I'm catching up on my blog reading/scanning and came across an interesting post by Seth Godin in his blog Seth's Blog titled "Really Bad PowerPoint". Seth makes some interesting points that are worth evaluating as you develop your presentation strategy. Among his tips worth considering are the following related to making great presentations:
- Make yourself cue cards
- Make slides that reinforce your words not repeat them
- Have a document to hand out at the end - Don't hand it out at the beginning!
- Create a feedback cycle
For PowerPoint effectiveness he advocates the following:
- No more than six words on a slide (mmm... interesting when you think of the 4 X 4 or 5 X 5 rule that many presenters advocate)
- No cheesy images (I've had a few of these...)
- No dissolves, spins or other transitions (I think these can work if they help reinforce your story)
- Limited use of sound effects and if used use music
- Don't hand-out print outs of the slides they don't work without you there (this is very true, but audiences expect them)
The 5th one is an interesting one given how many organizations insist that presenters give them the slides in advance so that they can hand them out to meeting attendees. Seth would argue that these meeting planners and professional development staff need to re-think this concept.