- Base your presentation on your audience and what you want them to do, feel and/or remember afterwards. Do not base it on what you think is interesting, fun or important.
- Have a clear and easily remembered Main Objective!
- You don’t have to tell them everything for them to understand anything. Do the opposite and think “How little could I tell them and still get them to do what I want them to do?” If you feel you could talk for hours on the subject – don’t.
- Everything you DO tell them must be relevant, i.e. lead to the Main Objective. Say phrases like “Why am I telling you this? I tell you why…” to remind you to eliminate non-essentials.
- The audience will forget almost everything so be clear about what few things you want them to remember and repeat it again and again.
- The PPT supports YOU – not the other way around. Don’t put text on the slide that you read out loud! That’s a cardinal sin. If they can read it themselves – you shouldn’t be there.
- Make sure your diagrams are clean and clear by removing all non-essential objects, text, lines and numbers. If an object doesn’t support the message – it disrupts the message.
- Concrete examples and anecdotes are always better than text, bullets, pictures and diagrams. Stories are remembered thousands of years but facts are forgotten in a second.
- Nobody has ever complained about attending a too short presentation.
- Headings should summarize the main point of the slide in a readable sentence. Never use one word headings like “Report”, “Finance” or “Summary” because that’s just noise.
- Use the Structure below to guide your audience from the beginning to the very end. People’s attention span is horrifyingly short so if you let go of the structure, you risk losing them!
Think about the last time you really learned something and specifically, how did you learn it? Was it via PowerPoint? No? Maybe you Googled it, read about it in a book/online or asked someone and got a good explanation? Maybe you even did the dance of trial/fail until you trial/succeeded?
If you don’t learn via PowerPoint – why do you think we often choose PowerPoint as our number one instrument to teach? Even though this question was rhetorical there actually is an answer:
Because we want to make everything clear, concise and easy to understand.