I am a reformed PowerPoint junkie, and like any junkie, I abused and misused my drug of choice, PowerPoint. I am convinced that PowerPoint has become public enemy number one in public speaking, resulting in countless poor, boring, and useless presentations. That is why I have curtailed dramatically the use of PowerPoint in my work. However, if you have not gone cold turkey and are still hooked on the stuff, my friend, mentor, and an amazing speaker Rich Gee, has devised a five-point strategy to put the power back in your PowerPoint
1: Use a solid, plain background.
Keep the background simple and open (I like plain white). Also, many presenters love to have their logo on every page, but I do not ascribe to this tenet. If you are afraid of someone absconding with critical information, have copyright data at the beginning and end. If you are worried, add copyright data to the printed form. However, remember that for screen projection, less is more.
2: Shoot the bullets.
If you are using bullets on a slide, you are saying TOO much. Your slide is a thought, an impact, or an idea that people will remember. What you add verbally is the filler, including the bullets, the knowledge. The minute I see bullets, I want to walk out because I know that the presenter has no idea to offer.
3: Ten words or less.
I prefer 10 words or less, but 15 is fine. Again, less is more. People do not want a volume of information. They want ideas, they want knowledge, and they want to be entertained. If you fill the page with words, throughout the presentation, your audience will read and not listen to you.
4: Use images.
Use images to add flourish and vibrancy to what you are saying. If you use boring business photos or bad art (which comes with PowerPoint – and they’re awful), stop before you kill again. Do not put an image on every slide; let the typography of the information reinforce your verbal statement.
5: Know your technology.
Learn how to trouble-shoot technology because laptops, iPads, projectors, and HD TVs are not always user friendly. Practice connecting your laptop to the projector or HD TV over and over again. Go to Best Buy, with laptop in hand, and get advice on every possible cord, dongle, and connector you might need to connect your device to any projector or HD TV. Buy these gadget supporters, put them all in a bag, and take them to every presentation. In addition, I recommend that you buy a clicker to advance your slides easily.
Remember: Your audience came to see you present, not a PowerPoint show. Make your presentations more powerful by having less PowerPoint and more of you.
Go to www.RichGee.com for more amazing advice