Boring business presentations are not hard to come by. That’s because most go to the pack the second the would-be presenter turns on their computer and starts writing their presentation directly onto PowerPoint slides (or insert your favourite slide weapon here). They don’t question what they are doing or why they are doing it.
So, why are they doing it?
There are three main reasons:
1. Everyone else does it.
PowerPoint is now so overused that it has become embedded in the culture of business that if you are doing a presentation you must have slides.
2. They use the slides as a guide for their presentation.
However stacks of bullet points or paragraphs of text on a slide serve only one person and that is the presenter themselves. As for the rest of us in the audience, if you stop reading your slides and talk to us, we’ll be much better off thanks.
3. They think it makes their presentation more engaging.
Well…PowerPoint and similar tools certainly can make presentations more engaging, but they usually don’t. That’s because of the way they are used – see point 2. Instead of using their slides for rich content that supports what they are saying, most presenters use them for text simply to keep track of what they are saying leaving their audience in despair and ready to clutch onto anything remotely more interesting.
Want to really connect with your audience?
Think of someone making a movie. The director doesn’t shoot the movie at the same time as the script writers are writing. The story comes first and then the visual and sound elements are added to bring the story to life.
So write your presentation first and ensure that it has a sound structure, then start thinking about what other elements you need to add impact to what you are saying. Sometimes slides will do that job, sometimes they won’t. Maybe some other prop, example, or demonstration will serve the purpose a lot better. Just don’t assume you have to do slides just because everyone else does.
Owner, Wise Words Communications