I was at a technical event the other day and sat wondering – “Why is it that…. everyone knows not to put word documents in PowerPoint but does it anyway?” This particular PowerPoint presentation was brutal – the material was dull to begin with and the font size was so small only the front row could read it if they squinted. The scary part is that this is not the exception – it is in fact the rule in the technology industry. Here is the quote you will hear “This slide is a bit of an eye chart” – So why do presenters do this? I shamefully admit I to have done this – but why? I am afraid the only explanation is that the presenter is not putting enough time into preparation and feels they need all the information up there so they have something to present! I have actually seen presenters admit while fumbling through a presentation that they were not their slides and that they had not gone through them before! This just screams to their audience “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU!”
I participated in a presentation skills course a few years ago and the instructor said the most effective way to use PowerPoint is one slide one thought or concept. I tried this once myself and it worked but comes across a little odd as there is a “PowerPoint Culture” (I just coined that term and I think I like it) that clearly has more than one idea per slide.
So what do you do…………
Guy Kawasaki has his 10-20-30 rule for effective PowerPoint presentation for venture capitalists. The rules are no more than 10 slides, no more than 20 minutes and no less than 30 size fonts. I really like his presentation it is less than 2 minutes here is the link:
I came up with my 7 rules for creating a compelling PowerPoint presentation in the technology industry:
1. Start with an attention getter – Jump in!
2. Know the 3 -5 points you want the listener to “take away”
3. Be sure to put a diagram or picture on just about every slide
4. Keep your presentation less than 40 slides and less than an hour
5. Use font size of 30 or greater
6. Tell 3 – 5 stories that ties in to each of your points
7. Rehearse the presentation 3 – 5 times
PowerPoint Presenter Oath “I will always be well prepared for my presentation and never read any of the slides” and now the most important part, “and this time, I mean it!”