Presentations that make a statement

I went to a seminar the other day where the speaker had a great presentation full not of bullet points in black on white but of interesting images. He’d taken a real leap into being more innovative with presentations – going well beyond “death by powerpoint” and bullet points.

Less is more in this case – the images were relevant to the speaker’s points – he spoke to us, not just reading his slides – and he’d obviously put a lot of effort into preparation.

There are a lot of reasons to overhaul your presentation style, based on recent research and best practice. Some key points are:

  • Use more images – to make an emotional connection with your audience in a way 8 lines of unreadable text can’t
  • Ask questions instead of giving statements – it makes the audience think about what you’re saying and remember it
  • Pause, and give time for the audience to think about those questions
  • Use video or charts, and colour to increase your impact – but avoid unnecessary animations and transitions
  • Think “If your audience could remember only three things about your presentation, what would you want them to be?” And make sure those three things are clear.
  • Keep it simple!

More helpful information:

Presentation Zen – with some great examples as well as tips

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