Every now and then we encounter them. Possibly some of us do it more often (students, marketers, salesmen). We’re dreaded every time. Our throats are squashed by fear. Death by Power Point has ultimate ability to roll our eyes back into the skull and convince us that stabbing ourselves with pen may be actually a prominent idea… Well, it’s not and we should stand up straight to fight the terror of awful, terrible, appalling, boring, tedious, mind-numbing, dull and tiresome presentations packed with tons and tons of text, bullet points, tables, spreadsheets and worksheets which are word to word read by this… person who apparently is trying to make point other than conveying critical mass of hate to the still living world of upright, brilliant and elegant ways to transport ideas. I say enough is enough and underneath there are few simple rules of designing proper presentations.
Take advantage of designing rules and avoid PPDeath at all cost!
Slides, or more broadly – all multimedia are “only” the visual “WOW!” and should be treated as such. Not to transport the message, just to make it more clear and attractive what the person in the spotlight has to say.
The KISS acronym – Keep It Simple, Stupid – the Scandinavian minimalism have to dominate every aspect of your talk, content of your words, time, means you want to use and visual WOW effect you going for. It is better that way, trust me – I’m That Polish Guy Who Is An Image Creation Consultant. If you want to add something ask yourself “would it fit into Scandinavian kitchen?” If not then throw it away.
Make every sure that your message as a whole is absolutely crystal clear and easiest to digest as it could get. And then make it more clear and easy to understand.
Balance “hard data” with the story and people behind that data. People are people and to make most satisfying decisions they need emotional reasons as well as logical ones, there is this weird part of our brain that needs to “feel it”. Make them “feel it” then.
Your audience needs more stimulation than you would expect. Have you heard that the measured attention-span lately is around 9 seconds? Well it is that short. To stimulate them use the emotional side of your presentation, tell the story behind the idea, start with “why?” and again – make them care.
Also take advantage of the “French style of lecturing” as one of my professors had told me – every now and then make little one liner, joke or anecdote, nothing focuses attention as well as smile and laughter – so spice up your script a little.
Remember that creating a big, bang-on presentation takes no less than 3 weeks with last week being only rehearsals.
Those are the basics. Always yours
– Przemek Kucia