Just Sayin'

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DEATH - By PowerPoint

16 February 2011

Seriously, do you really have to?

Do you really have to start your Slides with HELLO, Good Morning and naturally end them with GOODBYE and Thank You?

Oh just give me a break!  To all ye MS PowerPoint freaks, listen and listen well.

There's an old adage that goes "If you can't razzle-dazzle them with your substance, then you might as well razzle-dazzle them with your bullshit!" 

I would like to believe that generally, as far as my education on business presentations are concerned, a set of slides are considered Visual AIDS.  Tools.  

Visual aids like videos, pass outs, and yes, PowerPoint slides,  help cut the monotony of your face and voice and likewise forces your audience to look at something else instead of stare at the ceilings or windows or their shoes during a business presentation.

But do you really have to go overboard by reading the essay you wrote?  Verbatim? Every single word flashed on the screen?  

Have you heard of "BULLETS", not those that I intend to shoot you with, but Bullet Points?  They are called such for a special reason. 
  • They are small dots, or squares, or arrows or check marks, that are short descriptive phrases.  
  • They de-clutter the material on your slides so you need not post your entire script.
Do you see that?  Bullet Points.

And please, remember the 75/25% principle.  

If you have 15 minutes to present, the rule of thumb is to keep your slides between 10-12.  It is likely that you will talk for more than a minute in one or two slides.  

If you plan to present for more than 15 minutes, then please ... call a caterer.  At least feed your audience.  They deserve that much for all the pain and agony.

Optimize your slides.  

Use strong visuals.  

Use graphs.

Add some animation..  But don't overdo it.  You're not Stephen Spielberg.

There is a simple guide on developing powerful presentations that you can look at (Google it!), and I suggest, if you are asked by your Boss to make him some slides, or are making slides for your own use, Keep it Short and Simple.  Your slides are aids to your presentation, they are not designed to replace you as the presenter nor the information you need to share.  

As a general rule, if there is no need to put what you have to say into slides, DON'T.

Unless you want to make a name in your Office as the geek who killed his audience 

Scott Adams rocks my world.

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