I was recently asked for some “tips” for a better slide deck or powerpoint. First of all, if you know me, you know that I hate “tips”! For many of us, becoming a compelling presenter won’t happen after reading a quick list of do’s and don’ts.
That said, I too recall going on rampages researching “best practices” and finding tips like:
“You don’t even need powerpoint!”
“People are highly visual! Don’t mess it up.”
“If you have too much text, people will read your slides and not look at you!”
And although all of this advice is part-true, I remember thinking, “Well what do I do if I have to break those rules?”
For my own presentations, I strive for “Less is More”
Less text per slide.
Less visual clutter.
More “white space”.
However, for the average professional, (especially in technical fields) it’s okay to break those rules. Maybe you have to display all your data at once. Maybe you have to hand out the slide deck as a reference. Maybe someone else makes the slides for you. Or maybe you just need the text as an extra security blanket.
The truth is, a bad powerpoint won’t destroy a good presentation. If people enjoy paying attention to you, they won’t just start reading your slides. On the other hand, a good powerpoint won’t save a bad presentation either. If you don’t have an engaging message, and you have no stage presence or personality – people’s attention span will be BEGGING to be distracted by something else.
Presenting an ENGAGING and PERSUASIVE message with CONFIDENCE and PERSONALITY takes more than just reading a list of tips. But you can learn it. It just takes effort and practice, and sometimes it takes the right coach to hold your hand through it.
I summarize all of this in a quick, 2-minute video. If you have a question for my Q and A, just hit reply, and if you think you want to go deeper and see what’s keeping you stuck and how you can move forward, hit reply to set up a call!
Until next time,
Let’s make it official!
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