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power point addictEven if you’re a comfortable, confident presenter, poorly designed slides can ruin your presentation. Remember that you should be the center of attention; the slides are there to support you, not replace you. Complex, overly wordy slides will draw the attention away from you. ┬áThe audience will look at the slides and not hear what you’re saying. The general rule is to simplify your slides until it hurts … and then simplify some more. As William James said, “The essence of wisdom is knowing what to leave out.” Learn how to prepare good, supportive slides in the video.

6 Responses to Slidecraft

  • In all the years I’ve known you, you never told me I was allowed to be the center of attention and now you’re giving me carte blanche to be just that when I present. How comes it’s taken you so long to see the light ?

  • Hi Travis,

    Thanks for the tips on better powerpoint presentation. I hadn’t thought about letting the audience read the slide first before you begin speaking. I’ll try it. I also will be more aware of moving quickly. I hate reading ahead and waiting. It’s like listening to the slow kid in class stumbling through a reading passage. Shoot me now!

  • Great points! Trevor’s comment sure resonates as I was taught the concept ‘make YOURSELF the object of attention’ decades ago and am still learning! The idea of spreading content across multiple slides & advancing slides to create the visual dynamic is far better than loading up slides with animations [high risk in web presentations] or a host of other ‘visual sweetener’ that leaves the presenter in the shadows while clouding the intended message … recalling many advertisements I’ve viewed over the years and citing them in conversations with the statement “… don’t have clue as to what the product is but the ad was really entertaining” provides a clue as to how we need to have our visuals support our message, striving to assure the latter is not lost in the ‘visual entertainment’ …

  • Whilst I agree that it’s good to have one point per slide to avoid the audience reading ahead, I have found that a similar effect can be achieved by animating the bullets so that they appear one click at a time. The advantage of this is that the audience are reminded of main topic to which each bullet is related and also, if they print the slides out later, all the bullets appear together. That said, it’s a really useful video and I’ve sent the link to quite a few people in the UK.

    • Hi Chris — you’re absolutely right and I often use animation (rather than a new slide) to introduce one idea at a a time. It’s a good technique and I appreciate your pointing it out. By the way, are you still floating around England on a river barge?

  • Great tips! I’ve been to events where the speaker puts almost every single word of their presentation on the slides, which leaves me thinking they could have just given me a handout.

    The other problem is the people who try to impress with their PowerPoint expertise by making every slide do something silly: wobbly words, unnecessary animation, etc. It all detracts, rather than adds, to the message.

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