[Presentation Zen] So, is it finally time to ditch PowerPoint? Hardly, but it is long past time to ditch the use of the ubiquitous bulleted-list templates found in both PowerPoint and Keynote. And it‚Äôs long past time that we realized that putting the same information on a slide that is coming out of our mouths usually does not help ‚Äî in fact usually hurts our message.
I can’t tell you how many presentations that I’ve been tortured sat through where a presenter will completely overload a slide and just read from it. If you sit in the back and watch, you’ll quickly find that:
- folks are focused on writing down what’s on the slides.
- folks are reading email, blogging, instant messaging or surfing.
- folks are sleeping.
Regardless, no one is listening to you.
Whenever I’m asked to make slides or talk to a group, I always try to keep in mind some basic guidelines which are qualities that I admire most when listening to great presenters (such as Garr Renolds, Guy Kawasaki, Ben Saunders and Steve Jobs). These include:
- Use great stock photography
- Follow the 10/20/30 rule (watch the video)
- Limit text and keep it simple (plus more tips from Garr)
- Visual Simplicity
- Have a conversation and tell a story
While most of these things obvious, it’s amazing how many times I sit through presentations that are the exact opposite of this.