Published on October 9, 2009
? What’s the point of PowerPoint What’s the point of PowerPoint ?
These drop-in text boxes are intended to provide a narrative voice for this stand-alone presentation.
Happy birthday PowerPoint Happy birthday PowerPoint So, PowerPoint has turned 25.
And most people think it sucks
Because most presentations suck
THE SHORT VERSION Why do most presentations suck?
Because people are lazy …
… selfish …
… imitative …
… and heedless.
Why are so many PowerPoint presentations so BAAAAAAAD? (The real problem?)
FAR TOO MANY Because we deliver of the wretched things
We use PowerPoint as an AutoCue
We use PowerPoint as a brain dump
We use PowerPoint when we should be using email
And we use it to (badly) summarise hefty reports
Most PowerPoint presentations should come with a warning label …
It’s difficult to know which slice of the pie your presentation is in
You can ask her, but your mother is just not a valid test audience …
That’s lovely dear. Very nice!
Most audiences aren’t quite this overt in their feedback
And your friends and colleagues usually aren’t sufficiently clear with their feedback either …
You totally suuuuuuck! Although sometimes they can be quite direct
A handful of ideas
When is PowerPoint not the tool of choice?
IDEAS Presentations are about
WORDS And you speak lots of to convey those ideas
So this becomes a very important concept … wpm
150 wpm Most people speak at
Which means that for a 10 minute talk, you will speak …
How many words are in your PowerPoint file? (check its ‘Properties’)
50% If the wordcount in your file is about of the words you are going to say
Because if you just read to them, your audience will shut down … No matter how fast you speak, your audience can read a lot faster
And if you use PowerPoint as an AutoCue for your benefit …
… rather than as a visual aid for their benefit … (Pavement chalk art by Kurt Wenner)
… they will switch off
PowerPoint has to pass the 60mph challenge
If your slides are cluttered and complex, if they don’t get the essence of what you are saying at a glance …
… you will lose your audience
The 60mph Challenge Look at the following slide for 3 just seconds
Any doubts about what they’re selling and what the benefits of the product are? Now, click on to the next slide for 3 just seconds
No wonder PowerPoint makes so many people so unhappy
Lousy PowerPoint is costing you money!
Bullet Points are the biz! This is the first point And here’s another Then, in case the first two (2) bullet points get lonely, I thought I’d include a third one and I’m too lazy to condense my thoughts, so here’s every word I am going to say … With a sub-bullet, just to mix things up a bit And a second one, so the first sub-bullet doesn’t get lonely And let’s round things off with another fine outstanding example of bullet-pointage Just 73 more slides to go … We’ve all heard of “Death by bullet point”
This is the first point
And here’s another
Then, in case the first two (2) bullet points get lonely, I thought I’d include a third one and I’m too lazy to condense my thoughts, so here’s every word I am going to say …
With a sub-bullet, just to mix things up a bit
And a second one, so the first sub-bullet doesn’t get lonely
And let’s round things off with another fine outstanding example of bullet-pointage
Just 73 more slides to go …
Death by incomprehensible flowchart
Death by data dump
Death by hideous templates
Death by lazy-ass, cluttered, crud
You need safety equipment to sit through this kind of material!
Lazy Selfish Imitative Heedless This isn’t PowerPoint’s fault. This is the presenter’s fault.
Rushed / Hassled / 1,000 emails in inbox / Ridiculous deadlines / Pressure for results. Therefore, no time to: Think / Prepare / Rehearse The slightly longer version of why this happens so much …
Rushed / Hassled / 1,000 emails in inbox / Ridiculous deadlines / Pressure for results.
Therefore, no time to:
Think / Prepare / Rehearse
Imagine if actors behaved that way …
Or stand-ups …
And you’d be right to get upset; tickets to shows cost a lot of money these days
Well guess what? Every lousy presentation you sit through costs you money too …
You’re either paying the bozo who is presenting to you
Or losing out on an opportunity cost basis
“ Up with this I will not put!”
Stay the hell away from PowerPoint for as long as you can
If you’re starting to put a presentation together …
Click to insert Headline Click to add text Click to add text Click to add subtext Click to add sub-subtext Title Area for AutoLayouts Object Area for AutoLayouts Don’t start here
Click to add text
Click to add text
Click to add subtext
Click to add sub-subtext
Jot down a few key thoughts
Then build your structure
Write up your words (1,500 per 10 minutes)
Then you can think about how PowerPoint might help you get those ideas across
The top 3 differences between the good and the great
“ All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed”
Common Objection #1
But we never have time to rehearse around here!
I couldn’t give a damn about (a) my audience or (b) the outcome of this presentation
Common Objection #2
Yeah … rehearsal is great, but I don’t want to end up sounding stale
Try telling that to Meryl …
… or Dylan …
or Leonard …
All these professionals do you the courtesy of rehearsing and honing their performances until they are jaw-droppingly good. Operative word: Professional
John Lennon’s advice to bands starting out …
“ You need to spend 100 hours practising in the garage for every hour you will be playing on stage”
Imagine the difference even a tenth of that effort would make to your next presentation (Besides which, you can’t argue with John – he was The Walrus)
So, happy birthday PowerPoint So, happy birthday PowerPoint But never lose sight of this …
PowerPoint is not the presentation. You are.
© Fortify Services 1993 - 2009 presentingissimple.blogspot.com Lots more ranting on this topic at:
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