Death by PowerPoint and How to Fight It

When I was browsing through Slideshare today, I found this gem: Death by PowerPoint – and how to fight it.

It’s simply too good not to share, because it offers some real solid advice on how to make your PowerPoint slides work for you instead of against you.

Alexei Kapterev gives some solid and practical advice:

Present to make meaning:

Without providing the necessary meaning about the subject, why it matters to you, and why it should matter to your audience, your presentation will be kept at a level too abstract to really attract attention. You will make your presentations real when you put your content in the appropriate context through stories and real life examples. That’s when people can relate; that’s when people will give you their full attention.

Significance leads to Passion attracts Attention leads to Action.

When you present with meaning, you are presenting with enthusiasm and give significance to your topic. Such passion automatically  will get you attention, which in turn will lead to action in your audience. It becomes easier to guide them to the action you would like them to take.

Give only 3 to 4 reasons supporting your point.

It doesn’t really matter, how you structure your presentation, as long as you keep in mind that 3 to 4 discussion points are the most your audience will realistically remember.  A structure that always works is a Memorable Opening and Closing with 3 to 4 arguments in between. Each of these arguments should be supported by 2 to 3 details. This is an easy and practical format to scale your presentation without losing focus of your 3 or 4 main points.

Less text, more imagery, wild imagery.

When you design your slides, forget about the words initially. What kind of image could you use to symbolize your message? Just one image that’s powerful enough to convey enough meaning even without words. Then find that image and think of just one word that describes the point you are making. Then put that word on the slide. Just that one word. Less is more.

Rehearse to get feedback.

You will never get it right the first time. Rehearse your presentation early and often. If at all possible, rehearse in front of your colleagues, friends, and family to get valuable feedback that will make your presentation all that better.

Simple Design Rules:

  • One point per slide
  • Few matching colors
  • Very few fonts
  • Photos, not clipart

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