RE: PowerPoint advice?

Subject: RE: PowerPoint advice?
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 16:35:48 -0400

I've only been skimming this thread, but I'd certainly agree Geoffs advice.

A well delivered presentation IMO consists of at least three things:
1- A good speaker.
2- Good Speakers Notes.
3- Good Handouts.
4- Good Background.

The Powerpoint presentation is the background and least important thing for the
success of the presentation. The presentation background should be used for
effect, appropriate eye-candy, emphasize changes in topic, and
underline/highlight important points.

I've found that if you need to reference charts with specific numbers or complex
diagrams give the handouts at the beginning of the presentation and refer to
them. The presentation slides can then stick to trends and overviews or close
ups of specifics as required. Yes, giving the handouts at the beginning will
incite some to read them as you are presenting. But I've found that this is far
superior to squinting at illegible slides or the interminable delay as the next
handout page is passed round during the presentation.

IMO, the reason people read the handouts as the presentation is being given is
the same as why they read the presentation ahead of the presenter. Because the
presentation is so dry and has little to add to the handouts/slides.

Unfortunately, Powerpoint slides are often produced instead of speakers
notes/outline. And they are used as such. Take a cue from the current political
speech trend. Big, clear, single message background. While this is primarily so
that the main message is seen when the news plays the sound bite, it should work
in general speaking as well. You speech/presentation in most cases should be
able to stand on its own without the presentation slides. Then, graphics should
be added to highlight demonstrate those things that can not be communicated
verbally and titles should be added to highlight changes in topic and underline
important points (but most definitely not ALL points). For all the points and
fine detail, the participants will rely on their notes and your handouts.

Eric L. Dunn


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