We’ve all heard the expression ‘death by powerpoint’ and yet professional people who should know better are still subjecting unsuspecting audiences to presentations that are utterly boring, banal, condescending, overly-complicated, time wasting, mind-numbing, bum-numbing, yawn making …. well. you get the picture.
The ONLY reason for making a presentation should be to move your audience in some way; change their thinking or perception, their attitudes or behaviour.
To move an audience a speaker needs to make a connection by creating chemistry but so often all they create is boredom.
Don’t do this:
The first example had university lecturers not only reading every word on their slides (power point as script) but giving us all a USB stick with the bloody slides on as well just in case we didn’t get the message by seeing it and hearing it simultaneously!
If a slide needs to be read out loud it has no business being in a presentation.
The second example was a boring man who should never have been allowed near the business end of a microphone who actually left his lectern to cross to the other side of the stage and reach up to point to a number on the slide (one among hundreds) and explain what it meant. Thankfully we couldn’t hear what it was because his microphone was attached to the lectern on the other side of the stage.
If you want to give a report – print it and mail it. Its not a presentation.
The third was a woman who said she was going to tell us some stuff from last year, this year and next year and paused while she clicked through three separate slides showing the years she was talking about, just in case we’d got caught in a time warp.
Don’t treat your audience members as though they are idiots
All of these people earn high salaries. All of them have help in their fancy offices from people who should know how to put a presentation together. All of them should know better – and so should the people who booked them as speakers!
Don’t hold your audience hostage just because they’re too polite to leave
If you expect people to give their time and attention to a speaker at your event, do us all a favour and make them deliver the presentation without Power Point first. If they can pass the test and hold an audience with what they SAY, then and only then, allow them to add slides that illustrate and punctuate the presentation and NEVER, EVER duplicate the script.
Good presenters practice. They plan and prune and work out how to make an impact. If there was a power cut they would still deliver a great presentation. They don’t need the prop of Power Point.
If you’re not a good presenter don’t think Power Point will save you. It won’t.
If you’d like to get free tips on how to be a better presenter, sign up to the blog by my friend and communication coach Jon Torrens