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Better PowerPoints

by Terri Goodman of Terri Goodman & Associates

There is a much better presentation style than the traditional PowerPoint slide deck with titles, bullet points, and busy visuals. Increase the effectiveness of your presentation with an audiovisual experience that focuses your audience's attention and encourages them to listen to what you have to say.

Avoid slides that compete with the speaker for the audience's attention. In any given time frame, individuals can either listen, read, or talk... they cannot do all three at once. Your presentation must encourage them to listen. If they have to choose between reading a busy slide and listening to you, they'll try to do both... and accomplish neither.

Each of your slides should provide a simple statement of your point and an illustration to support or complement it... the bulk of the information comes from you. With a single glance at your slide, attendees will be in sync with what you're talking about... and will spend their time listening to what you have to share.

The Rule of Three can keep you on track. First, use your slide deck to give structure to your presentation. Use the slides to introduce the major components of your message. Second, keep the slides simple: make your point, and third, reinforce the message with an engaging visual. Remember, they come for you not the slides.

Think about your presentations. Do you make your attendees choose between listening and reading?

The images on your slides should enhance your message without competing with your audience's speech-processing bandwidth. Build a slide deck and a talk track that work together.


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