Monday, 31 August 2009

Death by PowerPoint

As the PowerPoint application turns 25, many of us will have memories of sitting through Presentations that are delivered this way. However, according to Presentations expert, Max Atkinson, PowerPoint Presentations are often boring, and many of us will have experienced this for ourselves.

But how do you avoid your audience’s eyes glazing over and ensure your presentation is informative and interesting?

Lack of understanding of the brief

A big problem with presentations can be an initial misunderstanding of the brief. You need to spend time reading and understanding your brief. What type of presentation is required of you? Who is your audience? If someone else is organising the meeting, what are they expecting from you? Is it a formal presentation? Is it an informal chat? Is anyone else presenting? If so, what are they presenting on? Afterall, you don't want to repeat the same information.

Style over Content

A key issue with presentations can be the fact that content can become secondary to the look of the presentation. It can be tempting when you are working within PowerPoint to play around with the background template or to add funky animation to your presentation but this can be at the expense of the message. Instead the look and feel of your presentation should come after you have fully planned the content of your presentation.

Too much or not enough information

Sometimes when you are putting together a presentation it can seem like a good idea to share every single pearl of wisdom you know on a topic. Instead you should first of all consider your audience and the level they are at, what may they already know about the topic, what will be over their heads? This should also ensure you you cover the type of information the audience will be expecting.

Remember if you first of all plan and prepare your presentation in MindGenius, there is a one click export to MS PowerPoint, or you can present directly from MindGenius.

Do you have any nightmare PowerPoint presentation memories? Have you used MindGenius to overcome any of these issues?

5 comments:

Retailmonkey said...

I find the 10:20:30 rule quite effective.
1. No more than 10 slides
2. keep it to 20 minutes
2. Use a 30 point font
Keith Slater

Anonymous said...

Much better explanations you can find here:
http://www.slideshare.net/thecroaker/death-by-powerpoint
I even assume that guy is the one who invented the term...

Anonymous said...

Suggest one breaks out of or away PowerPoint regularly, rather than be a slave to it.

Anonymous said...

Read "Killer Presentations" by Nicholas Oulton. Not only is this a very practical guide, it fits in well with anyone who used MindGenius to organise their thoughts effectively!

Rob said...

Here is a recommendation ...
There is a great book on this subject written by Cliff Atkinson. The book, Beyond Bullets, is very good. It is much more than a "how to" book. It deals with principles, common sense and storytelling. Last month I recommended it to a professor and she has decided to redesign some of her presentations. I am not sure if Max and Cliff are related ...
Regards,
Rob

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