It is really Friday afternoon, following lunch and you are about to check out a colleague’s presentation. As the lights dim and the dull purring seem of the projector lulls you into a semi-comatosed point out, emotions of despair start out to take about, as the presenter introduces their 30 slides. You brace on your own for the endurance examination that lies ahead.
Recognise the scene? It is starting to be an ever more frequent situation in the business setting and we now have to have to get stock and talk to ourselves of PowerPoint – “what is the reason of this presentation help?”
At initial, PowerPoint appeared to be the response to all our presentation concerns. To the significantly less knowledgeable presenter it turned a fantastic way to set a presentation jointly. With its neat gizmos and straightforward-to-observe composition, PowerPoint offered a ‘quick fix’ solution to our presentation anxieties – all the presenter desired to do was to ‘deliver’ their slides.”
So why then does not the audience evangelise about it in fairly the exact way? I am generally questioned by all those who show up at my workshops how can they have interaction extra with their audiences when they are presenting with PowerPoint and why do their audiences appear to be indifferent or even disinterested in what they are making an attempt to present?
Just one motive for this rising reaction lies in the presenter’s misinterpretation of the verb ‘to deliver’. Only as well normally this term has develop into replaced by the phrase ‘to read through out aloud’ and even by the phrase ‘to disguise behind’.
Who wants to pay attention to a person looking through out aloud – do not we all know how to read through currently? Wouldn’t it be less complicated if we just give the slides to our audience to choose away and browse at their leisure -in much more amenable environment?
The slick and polished mother nature of PowerPoint has weakened the human enter in presenting to such a minimal stage of insignificance that now, the presenter’s job is often reduced to no a lot more than the ‘PowerPoint Operator’.
So where has it all absent improper and how can we re-handle the equilibrium?
1 of the key components in the demise of the artwork of presenting is down to our standard human phobia of public speaking and our deficiency of commitment to address this difficulty. Public speaking is in fact one particular of the most frequent general public fears – practically as potent as anxiety of dying!
So PowerPoint grew to become our knight in shining armour – it gave us the crutch we wanted to get in excess of our fears by hiding driving the technological innovation. The monitor turned our shining armour – it guarded our emotions of insecurity by getting the audience’s notice away from us – the presenter and directing their interest to the major display powering us which was one thing significantly extra ‘exciting’ to look at.
Sadly, the glow of the display screen diminishes pretty promptly when you begin to see the eyes of your viewers just take on a fixed glazed expression – and you are only on your third slide out of 30. You imagine to you “It is time to mount my steed and flee” – if only you could – but you continue to have 20 seven slides to battle by means of.
So we have to have to go back again to basic principles – we have to understand to get around our fears and anxieties and re-gain command of our presentations. We do not require to ditch the PowerPoint but we require to start employing it somewhat than abusing it – the latter – which has develop into more the circumstance in current many years.
Heading back again to basic principles demands us to return to the initial golden rule of PowerPoint which practically everyone ignores. This is to keep in mind that you are the presenter main the PowerPoint not the other way round.
But – as we have presently mentioned, nerves enjoy a crucial purpose below. Mainly because we are nervous we cling on to our PowerPoint for pricey lifetime – as if we are clinging to a rock in a stormy sea. We therefore require realistic procedures to enable ourselves to let go without having fear of drowning.
Excellent supply expertise will provide us with this considerably wished-for assurance. We have to re-study the meaning of ‘delivery’ – that it is not studying off the slide or hiding driving your notebook. It is all about the artwork of communication whereby to master to command and interact with your viewers. These are techniques that can be learnt – in point most very good presenters devote a lot of time practising their shipping and delivery techniques to support them create into self-confident and productive presenters.
You voice is a crucial ingredient in the achievements of your presentation shipping and delivery. Extremely couple folks use their voice to its whole potential. When we get the job done with people on their vocal method they are surprised at how empowering this is in supporting them to supply with increased self confidence.
A powerful presence is also incredibly critical. Inadequate stance, irritating behaviors, absence of eye call will all inhibit your capacity to interact with your viewers. Usually, the PowerPoint presenter continues to be also close to or even connected to their laptop computer. It is as however they are saying to their audience “Really don’t search at me – I am not vital – I’m just an accent to the products.”
I constantly recommend the presenter to go away from the gear when they start their presentation. By moving nearer to the viewers at the start off you are expressing to them “I am in management of the presentation and welcome you to listen.” Making use of a distant alternatively than the mouse will encourage you to move extra. The additional you move, the a lot more you command your place and have interaction with your viewers
The future difficulty about the abuse of PowerPoint is the development of the slides. Have you ever experienced a dialogue with a person where by you failed to appear at each individual other at all? You might have accomplished so but possibilities are there wasn’t a ton of rapport in between the two of you. We do need to have to glimpse at men and women – give eye make contact with to them if we want to have interaction with them and establish rapport. This is also the circumstance when we current to our audience. But how can we do this when we are reading off our slides – and normally hunting at the display screen at the rear of us – leaving us with our backs to the viewers?
This brings us to the next golden rule of PowerPoint, again – one particular pitifully disregarded which is that ‘the sole intention of PowerPoint is to assistance our information not be the message.’
Examining your slides verbatim is not the reply -acquire a appear at what is on your slides and ask yourself if this is viewers pleasant. The principle of ‘friendly’ has bought instead puzzled and slides have now turn out to be less of a close friend and more of a foe. Who requires a friend who throws an infinite stream of terms at you with the sole consequence of unexciting you to dying?
Slides have to be stored clean. Apparent out the unneeded words. Less text say far more and have far greater influence. Use punchy phrases that grab attention and are quick to browse at a glance. Try to remember the extra the audience reads off the slide, the considerably less they are listening to you. And looking at is tiring – specifically on a Friday afternoon right after lunch – shortly your audience will adopt that glazed expression and their minds will drift away to considering about their options for the weekend.
“But how will I stay on keep track of if I really don’t have all my notes on screen?” – is the standard cry of alarm I get from men and women when I give them this assistance.
It is actually less complicated to present with cleaner slides. Slides with just brief phrases and essential words and phrases present an helpful prompt but also give you the liberty to grow to be extra spontaneous and conversational with your audience. Keep in mind, the slides are there for your viewers, they are not your notes – do not confuse the two – they have unique needs.
A very good PowerPoint presentation that stimulates and evokes – is this possible? Sure – if you have the electricity to produce with self-confidence and sure- if your presentation tends to make the correct factors. Preserve the PowerPoint in point of view and really don’t permit it to dominate. Constantly don’t forget – you are the presenter and you are your greatest visible aid.