Evil presenters are the ones that suck the life out of you as they read their slides that each contain fifteen or more bulleted sentences.

The presentation software didn’t make them do that.  They chose to make those slides look that way.  Don’t you ever do that!

In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek clearly explains how the human brain makes decisions in the region of the brain that controls emotions but does not have the capacity for language.  If you are to achieve the objectives of your presentation you must connect with the part of your audience’s mind that is emotional.  They have to feel that your idea is good for them.

Your slides are one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience’s emotions – but not if they are filled with words.

Designing a powerful presentation

  1. In the title area of each slide, write a few words to capture the main thought you want to convey on that slide.
  2. Continue this process until all your main thoughts are on the title of a slide.
  3. View the slides using the PowerPoint™ Slide Sorter View. You now have a “storyboard” and can add, delete or move slides until your storyboard is complete.
  4. In the PowerPoint™ Notes View, write out everything you want to say about the idea captured in the title of that slide.
  5. Look at each blank slide in the Normal View and ask yourself, “What is the best combination of photographs, charts, graphics and a few words that will help the audience believe and understand the points I want to make with the slide?”

Creating powerful visuals

By design PowerPoint™ will tempt you to make bad slides.  Open the slide template and the default is a headline and several bullets. Don’t have enough room on the slide for all your words?  Don’t worry! PowerPoint™ will automatically reduce your font size and let you keep typing forever.  This is where the phrase “Death by PowerPoint™” comes from.

  • Use images – slides are designed to supplement what you will say so don’t put what you are going to say on the slide.
  • Limit text – 10-15 words maximum.
  • Develop interesting ways to present data that makes the data easy to understand and remember.
  • Use high-quality stock photo images not cheesy clip art.
  • Limit the amount of information you put on one slide so the audience can focus on one point. Don’t worry about creating two slides for that one idea – the slides are free!

A presentation is the transfer of emotions supported by data and logic.”

“If all it took was logic, no one would smoke.” says  Seth Godin.  You start your presentation feeling a certain way about your topic: angry, excited, confused, eager, frustrated, passionate… For you to succeed the audience must feel the same way when the presentation ends and have enough data to support the way they feel.  A presentation is the transfer of emotions supported by data and logic.  Boring slides will confuse your audience or cause them to stop listening.  Well-designed visuals are one of your most powerful tools to transfer your emotions to the audience.