It’s Friday afternoon, soon after lunch and you are about to observe a colleague’s presentation. As the lights dim and the uninteresting purring audio of the projector lulls you into a semi-comatosed condition, emotions of despair start to just take above, as the presenter introduces their 30 slides. You brace oneself for the endurance test that lies in advance.
Recognise the scene? It is turning into an more and more prevalent circumstance in the company surroundings and we now want to take inventory and ask ourselves of PowerPoint – “what is the objective of this presentation support?”
At initially, PowerPoint appeared to be the answer to all our presentation worries. To the a lot less expert presenter it grew to become a terrific way to set a presentation together. With its neat devices and uncomplicated-to-abide by structure, PowerPoint supplied a ‘quick fix’ solution to our presentation anxieties – all the presenter necessary to do was to ‘deliver’ their slides.”
So why then won’t the audience evangelise about it in quite the exact same way? I am usually questioned by individuals who go to my workshops how can they interact much more with their audiences when they are presenting with PowerPoint and why do their audiences seem to be indifferent or even disinterested in what they are attempting to current?
One purpose for this emerging reaction lies in the presenter’s misinterpretation of the verb ‘to deliver’. Only way too frequently this word has turn out to be changed by the phrase ‘to read out aloud’ and even by the phrase ‘to hide behind’.
Who would like to listen to somebody looking at out aloud – really don’t we all know how to study currently? Would not it be less complicated if we just give the slides to our viewers to take absent and browse at their leisure -in much more amenable environment?
The slick and polished character of PowerPoint has weakened the human input in presenting to this kind of a small level of insignificance that now, the presenter’s function is often lowered to no more than the ‘PowerPoint Operator’.
So in which has it all long gone erroneous and how can we re-handle the stability?
A single of the vital factors in the demise of the artwork of presenting is down to our essential human phobia of public speaking and our lack of commitment to tackle this difficulty. General public speaking is in fact 1 of the most frequent general public fears – almost as strong as panic of death!
So PowerPoint became our knight in shining armour – it gave us the crutch we desired to get in excess of our fears by hiding guiding the engineering. The monitor became our shining armour – it safeguarded our feelings of insecurity by taking the audience’s consideration absent from us – the presenter and directing their consideration to the massive screen at the rear of us which was some thing much extra ‘exciting’ to seem at.
Sad to say, the shine of the screen diminishes extremely swiftly when you commence to see the eyes of your viewers get on a set glazed expression – and you are only on your 3rd slide out of thirty. You imagine to oneself “It is time to mount my steed and flee” – if only you could – but you nevertheless have 20 7 slides to struggle by means of.
So we need to have to go back again to basic principles – we have to learn to get in excess of our fears and anxieties and re-attain manage of our displays. We never have to have to ditch the PowerPoint but we need to start off making use of it fairly than abusing it – the latter – which has turn out to be much more the scenario in modern decades.
Likely again to principles demands us to return to the first golden rule of PowerPoint which just about everyone ignores. This is to don’t forget that you are the presenter top the PowerPoint not the other way spherical.
But – as we have currently stated, nerves perform a very important role here. Since we are anxious we cling on to our PowerPoint for pricey lifestyle – as if we are clinging to a rock in a stormy sea. We thus need to have useful approaches to let ourselves to permit go with out fear of drowning.
Superior shipping and delivery competencies will provide us with this a great deal preferred confidence. We have to re-master the meaning of ‘delivery’ – that it is not reading off the slide or hiding driving your laptop. It is all about the art of conversation whereby to master to command and engage with your audience. These are expertise that can be learnt – in reality most very good presenters commit a lot of time practising their shipping strategies to assist them develop into confident and successful presenters.
You voice is a crucial factor in the accomplishment of your presentation shipping and delivery. Really couple people today use their voice to its comprehensive prospective. When we do the job with people today on their vocal strategy they are astonished at how empowering this is in supporting them to supply with increased self confidence.
A sturdy existence is also very crucial. Weak stance, annoying routines, absence of eye get in touch with will all inhibit your capability to interact with your viewers. Often, the PowerPoint presenter remains way too shut to or even attached to their laptop computer. It is as although they are indicating to their viewers “You should not search at me – I’m not significant – I’m just an accessory to the equipment.”
I constantly advise the presenter to transfer absent from the machines when they start out their presentation. By shifting nearer to the viewers at the get started you are declaring to them “I am in manage of the presentation and welcome you to hear.” Making use of a remote relatively than the mouse will persuade you to transfer far more. The much more you shift, the a lot more you command your house and interact with your audience
The subsequent concern relating to the abuse of PowerPoint is the building of the slides. Have you ever experienced a discussion with another person the place you failed to search at each and every other at all? You may well have accomplished so but prospects are there wasn’t a good deal of rapport concerning the two of you. We do want to appear at people – give eye get hold of to them if we want to engage with them and construct rapport. This is also the circumstance when we existing to our viewers. But how can we do this when we are looking through off our slides – and normally looking at the display screen guiding us – leaving us with our backs to the viewers?
This brings us to the second golden rule of PowerPoint, again – a single pitifully ignored which is that ‘the sole intention of PowerPoint is to help our concept not be the message.’
Looking through your slides verbatim is not the response -acquire a glance at what is on your slides and ask your self if this is audience friendly. The principle of ‘friendly’ has bought fairly confused and slides have now grow to be much less of a mate and a lot more of a foe. Who requires a friend who throws an limitless stream of words at you with the sole consequence of dull you to loss of life?
Slides have to be kept cleanse. Crystal clear out the avoidable words. Fewer words say a lot more and have much increased impact. Use punchy phrases that grab consideration and are easy to browse at a look. Don’t forget the much more the viewers reads off the slide, the less they are listening to you. And looking through is tiring – primarily on a Friday afternoon right after lunch – quickly your viewers will undertake that glazed expression and their minds will drift away to considering about their plans for the weekend.
“But how will I continue to be on keep track of if I don’t have all my notes on display?” – is the common cry of alarm I get from folks when I give them this assistance.
It is in fact simpler to current with cleaner slides. Slides with just brief phrases and critical words and phrases give an efficient prompt but also give you the freedom to come to be a lot more spontaneous and conversational with your viewers. Don’t forget, the slides are there for your audience, they are not your notes – do not confuse the two – they have diverse needs.
A good PowerPoint presentation that stimulates and conjures up – is this doable? Yes – if you have the electricity to deliver with self confidence and sure- if your presentation helps make the correct details. Keep the PowerPoint in point of view and really don’t make it possible for it to dominate. Normally try to remember – you are the presenter and you are your greatest visible help.