Why presentations fail

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Information about Why presentations fail
Business & Mgmt

Published on October 23, 2008

Author: mediacodex

Source: slideshare.net

Description

The cardinal sins of presenters and the confusion between visual aids and notes.

Most presentations fail: Why? By Wahyd Vannoni

Misunderstanding the role of Visual aids

Most presenters confuse 3 concepts: 1- Visual aids 2- Notes 3- Collateral material

1- Visual aids

2- Notes

3- Collateral material

For most presenters, the notes, visual aids (usually slides) and the documents they leave behind are one and the same thing. They are not!

For most presenters, the notes, visual aids (usually slides) and the documents they leave behind are one and the same thing.

They are not!

Visual aids A visual aid, usually in the form of a powerpoint slide should only be used when an idea cannot be expressed concisely with words. For example…

A visual aid, usually in the form of a powerpoint slide should only be used when an idea cannot be expressed concisely with words.

For example…

Presenter: “ I love Tokyo, I would live there in a heartbeat. I love it because it’s complex and vast. But rather than talk about it for hours, let me show you what I mean with a map of the Tokyo’s metro-system” Here it is…

Presenter:

“ I love Tokyo, I would live there in a heartbeat. I love it because it’s complex and vast.

But rather than talk about it for hours, let me show you what I mean with a map of the Tokyo’s metro-system”

Here it is…

Tokyo Metro Map

Now take the slide away Presenter: Ok, You have now seen how vast and complex Tokyo is… let me go on with the next idea… The slide needs to go away, otherwise, you can’t command the attention of the audience.

Presenter:

Ok, You have now seen how vast and complex Tokyo is… let me go on with the next idea…

The slide needs to go away, otherwise, you can’t command the attention of the audience.

Notes I often hear that “notes” make a presenter look feeble because it shows he doesn’t know his material. Here are 2 reasons why this is wrong and fatal.

I often hear that “notes” make a presenter look feeble because it shows he doesn’t know his material.

Here are 2 reasons why this is wrong and fatal.

Reason 1 Pilots have a checklist they go through before each flight: would you board a plane knowing the pilot doesn’t have a checklist? I hope not. So why would you listen to a presenter without notes?

Pilots have a checklist they go through before each flight:

would you board a plane knowing the pilot doesn’t have a checklist?

I hope not. So why would you listen to a presenter without notes?

Reason 2 The notes are a roadmap which will tell the presenter what to say and in what order without going off track. The more knowledge able a presenter, the more likely he will go off a tagent, confusing the interesting with the relevant…

The notes are a roadmap which will tell the presenter what to say and in what order without going off track.

The more knowledge able a presenter, the more likely he will go off a tagent, confusing the interesting with the relevant…

Most interesting things are not necessarily relevant to your message. (start-up entrepreneurs make special note of this)

Most interesting things are not necessarily relevant to your message.

(start-up entrepreneurs make special note of this)

Visual Aids vs Notes So you use your notes to know what to say and in what order. You use the visual aids (in form of powerpoint slides, pictures and videos) to enphasize a point.

So you use your notes to know what to say and in what order.

You use the visual aids (in form of powerpoint slides, pictures and videos) to enphasize a point.

Documents Your marketing collaterals, presentations, documents, should be provided at the end and are neither the notes nor the slides. They are yet another kind of documentation in their own right for a specific use.

Your marketing collaterals, presentations, documents, should be provided at the end and are neither the notes nor the slides.

They are yet another kind of documentation in their own right for a specific use.

Additional insight 1 Q: Does it mean I (the presenter) have to produce three kinds of documents? A: Yes: each is optimized for a particular medium.

Q: Does it mean I (the presenter) have to produce three kinds of documents?

A: Yes: each is optimized for a particular medium.

Additional insight 2 Q: Do I need to put down the visual aids while I present? A: Yes: you can’t compete against visuals. People can’t read the slide AND listen to you at the same time. They will do both badly.

Q: Do I need to put down the visual aids while I present?

A: Yes: you can’t compete against visuals. People can’t read the slide AND listen to you at the same time. They will do both badly.

Additional insight 2 Q: Do I need to put down the visual aids while I present? A: Yes: you can’t compete against visuals. People can’t read the slide AND listen to you at the same time. They will do both badly.

Q: Do I need to put down the visual aids while I present?

A: Yes: you can’t compete against visuals. People can’t read the slide AND listen to you at the same time. They will do both badly.

Don’t believe me? Turn a news channel on and try to both Listen and Read the crawler at the same time.

Turn a news channel on and try to both

Listen

and

Read

the crawler at the same time.

Additional Insight 3 Contextualize the visuals Tell people what you are going to show them. Show it to them Remove it and tell them what they have seen

Contextualize the visuals

Tell people what you are going to show them.

Show it to them

Remove it and tell them what they have seen

Additional insight 4 There are no minimum or maximum number of words per slide. What matters is how you use the slide.

There are no minimum or maximum number of words per slide.

What matters is how you use the slide.

You can, for instance use a slide for a quotation… Presenter: Shakespeare is very eloquent, here is what I mean…

You can, for instance use a slide for a quotation…

Presenter:

Shakespeare is very eloquent, here is what I mean…

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end, Each changing place with that which goes before In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end,

Each changing place with that which goes before

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Remember this You don’t take a TV ad and bring it to the radio just by removing the pictures and leaving the sound on. You don’t take a radio ad and put it verbatim on paper. Each medium needs to be optimized

You don’t take a TV ad and bring it to the radio just by removing the pictures and leaving the sound on.

You don’t take a radio ad and put it verbatim on paper.

Each medium needs to be optimized

Last insight That is why, by the way, the best presentations on slideshare, would do poorly on stage… On slideshare, there is no presenter!

That is why, by the way, the best presentations on slideshare, would do poorly on stage…

On slideshare, there is no presenter!

Finished for now The confusion regarding visual aids and notes is but one of the sins of presentations. There are others… www. media codex .com Blog: http://mediacodex.wordpress.com

The confusion regarding visual aids and notes is but one of the sins of presentations.

There are others…

www. media codex .com

Blog: http://mediacodex.wordpress.com

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