PowerPoint Presentations Simplicity Test

PowerPoint Presentations Simplicity Test

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As you know, most PowerPoint presentations are boring and ineffective. They are not created to convey crucial information, but rather to help ease uncomfortableness with public speaking.

This is true. We use PowerPoint like a magician uses a lovely assistant — to misdirect the attention of the audience.

As a result, most slide decks are:

  • Simply speech outlines.
    We encourage the audience to follow along by reading the screen rather than looking and listening to us. What could be more deadly?
  • Jammed with much too much information, presented poorly.
    Your audience must decide whether to digest the slide or listen to the speaker — impossible to do both.
  • Choreographed to bullet point style.
    Bullet points have no rhythm, no tempo, no liveliness — and neither do presentations that rely on them.

The key to using PowerPoint, Keynote or any other presentation technology effectively is to use it to complement your talk and drive home key points, not to serve as the main event.

Learn the presentations simplicity of the best

Learn presentations simplicity from the master presenter, Steve Jobs.

Look at the opening minutes of his iPad 2 intro to see how he uses the medium wonderfully:

  1. Color
    • The slides are bathed in a soothing dark blue color.
    • He heightens interest by occasionally just leaving an empty blue screen.
  2. Space
    • When he presents a key data point, that number is about the only thing you see on the slide. It encourages you to listen to him for the context.
  3. Images
    • Instead of filling the screen with text, a beautiful image often delivers the message.
  4. Special effects
    • The effect — a spinning product, a dust cloud — usually appears at the start of the slide, drawing your attention, but then is quickly gone.

Like his products, a Steve Jobs presentations slide show is about simplicity, elegance and impact.

Learn presentations simplicity from the master presenter, Steve Jobs
When he presents a key data point, that number is about the only thing you see on the slide (Image)

So take your next slide presentation and run it through this five-question filter.

  1. Does each slide convey just one idea?
  2. Are images sometimes used instead of words to convey those ideas?
  3. Do the slides make use of empty space?
  4. Does the deck sometimes disappear, leaving nothing between you and your audience?
  5. Have you minimized bullet lists, distracting effects and eye charts?

What do you think are the keys to a good slide presentation?

The title image: Apple CEO Tim Cook brought out some impressive numbers…
The original article is here.

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