Open Your Presentation with Pizzazz

Has this every happened to you? You attend a presentation that sounds interesting, where you expect to glean some helpful, enlightening information. But right from the start, you are bored.

“Good afternoon,” the presenter starts. “It’s good to see you all here.” An awkward pause follows. “I’m so excited to be here today.” The presenter looks around a bit without really looking. “I’ve got some interesting information for you today.” And then continues in that vein, speaking but not really saying anything.

Finally, the speaker starts, and unveils their first slide. Bullet points. Six of them. And they are: Introduction, Beginning, Middle, End, Conclusion, Questions. One or two meaningless words per bullet. At least it’s consistent, you think; more words that don’t really say anything.

How many times have you waited impatiently for a presenter to get to the point? Pinched yourself to keep from dozing off? Struggled to sit still when every instinct in your body pushes you to squirm out of sheer boredom?

It doesn’t have to be this way. My latest Toward Humanity blog post tells a story about how a great presentation could start—with a story. It’s entitled “Open Your Presentation with Pizzazz—Tell a Story”. (Download the PDF.) Hope you find it enlightening.

Better Than Bullet-Points

When you hear the phrase “Death by PowerPoint”, it mostly refers to bullet-point slides. Why? Many reasons. Bullet-point slides are boring. They show a lack of innovation. They demonstrate a lack of knowledge. They show laziness. And finally, they show that you have not kept up with current research that clearly demonstrates bullet-point slides fail to inform and can actually be damaging.

A presentation, to be effective, must communicate visually. Bullet-point slides communicate verbally, and thus diminish their effectiveness. I know the default slide format in PowerPoint is for bullet points. It’s easy to just start from there. Don’t do it! Give your audience the visual information they need. Learn to create presentation slides that inform and communicate with clarity.