Energize a cold audience

Energize a cold audience

Many times a speaker, through no fault of their own, will step to the front of the room and face a cold audience. It could be the time of day, the meal before or after the session, the previous speaker, an organization-wide situation or even the temperature, setup and/or lighting of the room. It could be anything. The energy and the expectations are bottomed out. You may well have to struggle to get the power level up.

There are a number of techniques that a presenter can use to open their time and energize the room – to get people involved and to take notice. The most effective ones involve the audience directly and they fall into three categories: Get them thinking, get them moving or get them talking. Let me give you a few examples of each.

Get them thinking. These are the traditional openings many speech coaches advise. Most of them are cerebral and as you will see ahead are less energizing than physical or interactive openings.

Ask a question. Challenge a widely held belief. Recite a quote. Tell a story. Show a film clip or other multimedia material. And a final strategy, tell a joke. — it will hopefully be relevant to your subject and cause some mental investment on the listener’s part. Be aware that when your audience is cold it may take a lot of thinking on their part to “warm up” to the beginning of your talk.

Get them moving. Movement of any kind – even applause — will almost certainly generate more energy in the room. There are at least two simple techniques I have seen that are effective:

Recognize the person who introduced you or someone who has done a great job in setting up the event and ask the audience to give a warm appreciative applause. This person can be anyone from a meeting planner all the way to the CEO – if they are truly someone who deserves a little thanks for their efforts, the audience will enjoy providing it. I have used this technique and added some lighthearted exaggeration on top by saying the person who introduced me was also here at 5 a.m. mixing up the incredible cheesecake we all just enjoyed.

The other technique is to ask your audience to stand and stretch, stand and say hello to their neighbor or just stand. Asking them to do something like this at the beginning of your presentation can be a little disruptive but if you need a transfer of energy, a quick physical activity may be just the thing.

Get them talking. A trick I borrowed from the brilliant presenters John Maxwell and Les Brown is to get your audience talking to each other. At various points throughout his presentation John Maxwell will often ask his audience members to turn to the person next to them and make a humorous comment on something he has just said.

A tip I learned from Les Brown is to open by asking my audience to turn to the person next to them and say “Good Morning! You look spectacular today!” Then I have the other person return the compliment with “I know. You are looking pretty awesome as well!” This has never failed to be a great ice breaker and energy booster.

The only downside to these techniques is they create a bit of chaos. You may need to let the room settle down before you continue. The chances are however that you will have cured that low energy funk and gotten everyone primed for your spectacular power presentation.

By | December 10th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|0 Comments

The secret to getting great images

Shutterstock

The secret to getting great images for my slides?

Simple. I pay for them.

Not a lot mind you. I am as cheap (frugal) as the next guy. But one of my best investments is a regular subscription to Shutterstock. There are a lot of other stock image agencies out there (just Google “stock images”) and I am sure many of them are very good and affordable. But I like Shutterstock. For a monthly subscription rate I can search and download up to 350 photographs, layouts or illustrations per month. The images are generally of very high quality, they have a vast library that gives me a great selection of material and best of all, I now own them. That means I can use them, with a few minor restrictions, in any future project. What a deal.

Here is a hidden benefit: I will often have a preconceived concept locked in my mind of what I want the project to look like. After scanning a few pages of the very current Shutterstock offerings on the subject I will develop a whole new perspective on the way things should look. Their stock images and artwork are original and always showing new looks and trends. It inspires my creativity.

Good images are worth the effort and the cost. They will set you apart as a pro.

By | December 2nd, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|0 Comments

What can I offer that will be most helpful to them?

What can I offer that will be most helpful to them?

A number of years back I was asked by a friend to fill in for her as the monthly speaker at a local business association meeting. I was and still am committed to the idea that to become better at speaking you must speak. And not to your dog or to yourself in front of a mirror. You have to go through the preparation and the experience of presenting to a group. So I accepted.

I was unsure of who this group was. What were they expecting and how could I dazzle them with my subject matter brilliance? I struggled with this as I prepared my notes and my slides. Even though I had carefully researched this group the answers weren’t coming to me as easily as with other groups. I was filled with doubt as to whether accepting this assignment was a good idea or not.

The night before my presentation I reframed my internal talk to something like this: What can I offer that will be most helpful to them?

When I reoriented my thoughts to their point of view and their unique needs everything fell into place. It helped me be more genuine as a presenter and the audience could certainly sense it. They responded very enthusiastically.

It sounds obvious, but we often forget that when you are searching for how to connect with your audience you may need to stop trying to impress them with you — put yourself in their shoes and see what you have that is most beneficial to them.

By | November 25th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|0 Comments

This slide intentionally left blank

This slide intentionally left blank

There are good reasons to blank out the screen during your presentation. You may be at a transition point and want to verbally begin a new section. You may be finished with the discussion of the previous image or message and don’t want it to linger inappropriately while you continue on. Or you may want to give the audience a visual pause and redirect their attention back to you.

I often build blank screens into my presentations to warn me that a transition is coming up so that I won’t prematurely disclose the next slide before I have orally set it up. There is no harm to be done — I can click right through it if it becomes unnecessary.

Create an actual blank slide or use the commands in PowerPoint or Keynote (press “B” for a black screen or “W” for a white screen) to temporarily pause the visuals in real time and give a blank screen. Many remote controls have a button that will accomplish this also.

It is another way of keeping the control of the timing and the display of the projected images so that you and your brilliance will be the proper focus of the presentation.

 

By | November 11th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on This slide intentionally left blank

To be an Expert or a Master

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical axis represents the speaker’s delivery style from a low-end of relying almost totally on PowerPoint slides to deliver the content to a high-end style of mostly speaker delivered material.

The horizontal axis ranges from complex content on the left to reduced and simplified content on the right.

In the lower left corner the combination of a lot of content jammed into a series of PowerPoint slides results in a data-dump effect. Lots of facts but little meaning or retention of ideas. This is the curse of most bad PowerPoint presentations.

The lower right shows the result of simplifying the data in the slides but without the perspective and guidance of the presenter: it is a dumbed-down presentation. Perhaps pretty slides but no real meaning.

As we move to the upper quadrants we change from a PowerPoint heavy presentation to one where the presenter is the source of knowledge along with slides as enhancements.

Upper left: Complex content delivered well by the presenter is a common occurrence with technical presentations. The speaker is now the expert and has great depth of information. Technical audiences can extract great value in the right situation while a non-technical audience may become lost.

What I consider to be the best of both worlds is the upper right: The Master/Guru. Simplified content delivered by the presenter and not the slide set. The slides serve as a guide to enhance and reinforce the main message. This sets the speaker apart as not just an expert but as a master who can make the complex simple. Depending on the audience there may still be a need to provide some in-depth details.

By making the complex easy to understand you are providing the ultimate service to your audience – meaningful information not just data.

By | October 29th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on To be an Expert or a Master

The danger of too much information

TMI?

Too much information? In general, the reason any of us are standing in front of the room for any kind of presentation is that we know what we are talking about. We are experts. We know the material and we have the ability to go deep into our content. And therein lies a problem — especially when it come to visual presentations — we just have too much information and we feel we must deliver it all to our audience.

“A little bit is good. Maybe a few more slides about this…”

“I can tell them about this too…”

“I’ll just show them a quick slide about this — they might like that…”

The problem is not that we have to prove we are experts or that our audience may be very interested. The problem is that an audience can only absorb so much in a live presentation. They can only get so much from your slides and they can only retain so much from your words.

That is why the best presentations focus on a central concept. What one idea is it that you want your audience to walk away with? What do you hope they will remember a week or two after your speech? Build your presentation on that. Make everything, every slide, lead to that destination.

Even though you may feel it would be fascinating to tell them about that non-critical insight you might have, doing so will not move your audience toward your goal — the message that you want them to walk away with.

Don’t tell them everything. Give them the big idea and stay away from too much information.

By | October 21st, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on The danger of too much information

12 questions to ask yourself – Part 2

12 Questions (continued)

Below are the remaining of the 12 basic questions you should ask yourself as you prepare for your next presentation. View the first six here.

7. Is there a change of pace? Presentations longer than even a few minutes may need to mix things up to keep the audience engaged. A few ways you can do this:

  • Transition into a new perspective — “let’s take a look at this from a different point of view…”
  • Change the look and feel of your slides
  • Tell a story to illustrate a point or introduce a new section
  • Play an audio or video (keep these tightly edited)
  • Ask a question
  • Have an audience interaction

8. Is there a wrap-up and a call to action? You have stated your case in simple but convincing terms — now wrap it up. Bring everything full circle and summarize your major points. Trim the details back to their simplest form and tell your audience what is critical for them to walk away with. Then, give them action points — tell them what they should do with this valuable material you have just given them. If you have done your job well, they are fired-up and ready to go. Give your listeners a channel for this enthusiasm.

9. Have you rehearsed enough? Seasoned speakers know that their confidence, humor, stage presence and ability to connect with their audience increase greatly with practice. Don’t short yourself this precious step. Use video and audio recording, use trusted friends, get a coach and keep rehearsing. It will help you smooth out the rough spots and enhance the brilliant spots.

10. Have you checked the room and checked the technology? Whenever possible get in your presentation area before the audience does. Stand where you will be speaking from, note where the monitors are, where you can stand and not obscure the screen or stand in the projector beam. Make sure the actual technology you will use is working and ready to go. Is everything cued up? You should be able to step to the front of the room and start without fussing with a computer or clicker.

11. Did your prepare mentally and physically before you went on? You may need to isolate yourself for a while just before your speech and clear mental distractions. Or you may need to do something physical to get your energy level revved up. Mick Jagger reportedly hits a treadmill backstage for 30 minutes just before he hits the stage.

12. Did you get to know your audience ahead of time? This is a powerful technique: whenever possible mingle with your audience as they enter the room. It warms you up and it warms them up. Introduce yourself, tell them how excited you are to be there. Ask them about your subject — you may get some last minute details you can use. Then when you begin you will have friends in the audience instead of a roomful of disinterested strangers.

Use these 12 questions to build and fine-tune your speech and to prepare yourself for your delivery. You will be richly rewarded with a first-rate presentation that both connects with and motivates your audience.

By | October 15th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on 12 questions to ask yourself – Part 2

The Magic of TED

Cara Snow at TEDxPeachtree 2017

Ah, the speaking business. There are a million experts, voices, tipsters and YouTube videos. Do this and, don’t ever, ever, do that.

I know. I claim to be one of them. I am constantly offering free but absolute advice about visuals, presentation skills, design and such. I try to catch myself with a common admonition to my readers to try something out. If it works for you, then great. If not, then there are lots of other pieces of advice about the same issue.

This past week I had the honor of designing slides and coaching a few TEDxPeachtree speakers here in Atlanta (Cara Turano Snow, above). It was that kind of experience for me that I know I will extract lessons from for many months to come.

Two initial truths I have concluded:

  1. There are a lot of ways to do this thing we call public speaking. A lot of ways to skin this cat. Maybe this is what attracts me to it with such a deep-felt zeal. There is no one path. For every “rule” you hear from an “expert” or see online there is someone out there who is breaking it and getting standing ovations (and probably millions of dollars).
  2. The one rule, however, that may be absolute is that the audience is always at the top of the list. It doesn’t matter who you are or how important your message, if you don’t inform, entertain or in some way add value to your audience then you have missed the mark.

I try to coach my clients and create their presentations to fit their individual skills and passions. Always while keeping the ultimate goal of providing something meaningful for the audience. It is not a perfect science. There were some bulls-eyes at TEDxPeachtree and there were some works-in-progress.

There may be a third truth:

  1. When you are at the front of the room and you command a group’s attention, when that connection occurs, when you say or show or create something that touches your audience and creates a deep, even emotional, bridge, then that is as good as it gets. It is like drugs for the presenter and it can be a life-expanding experience for the audience.

Maybe that is the real magic of TED.

By | October 7th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on The Magic of TED

12 questions to ask yourself – Part 1

12 questions to ask yourself

Here, in roughly chronological order, are 12 basic questions you should ask yourself as you prepare for your next presentation. Some of these deal with visuals — how you might prepare and deliver PowerPoint or Keynote — but most of them are all encompassing and are relevant to just about every situation where you are formally addressing a group.

1. Who are these guys? The most basic of research should be conducted into your audience. Who are they? What are the general parameters that define them: age, education, gender, socioeconomics, careers, company positions, etc., etc. How homogeneous are they? What about the organization they belong to? What are their concerns, needs, trends? Try to crawl inside their heads. If you have time, contact some of their leaders and rank and file members to interview them. Then you can ask yourself the ultimate question: What do I have of value that I can bring to this specific audience?

2. What is my BIG idea? I have written about having and developing a big idea a number of times. What do you want the audience to “get?” What one thing do you want them to remember if you run into any of them in a few weeks? Express it as a benefit or action item for them. Distill this down to one clear, simply-stated concept. Use this BIG idea as a yard stick to measure against everything in your presentation. Does every slide, comment, exercise, etc. move the audience toward this one concept. Maybe 90% of business leaders and experts who speak have too much information to effectively deliver to an audience. It is better that your listeners get your one core concept then they are overwhelmed with 10.

3. Is there a logical structure? Now that you have a BIG idea, do you have maybe three supporting points for that idea? Do you state and develop those points clearly, logically? Does it all make sense? Does it flow logically? Many experts make the mistake of structuring their presentations according to their own internal understanding of their content. Organize and parse it so that your audience, who may not be experts, can absorb and digest. Put yourself in their shoes.

4. Do I really need slides? I make my living designing visual presentations for speakers but there are many situations where even a non-professional speaker can and should go it alone. Slides can help define a concept, can set a mood, can add an emotional component and can even help a speaker keep on track, but the audience wants to see and hear you. They want to know your take, your opinions. Consider just standing and delivering. If you are prepared and confident enough, it can be a powerful experience for both you and your audience.

5. Are my slides effective? This can cover so much, but ask yourself: Do I use quality images? Have I removed all but the most important keywords from my slides? If I have numbers, do I make them meaningful to my audience? Evaluate each slide to see if it works to move your viewers toward your BIG idea. Ask yourself if you need every slide and every element in each slide? Do you need additional slides to make your case?

6. Do I have stories? The power of relevant stories cannot be overstated. They appeal directly to our listeners’ empathy and emotions. The audience will paint their personal experiences onto yours. The connection and the buy-in are enormous. However stories need to be developed, edited and rehearsed. Don’t waste a lot of time with extraneous details. Make sure there is a relevant point (see #2 above). Tell about challenges as well as successes — people love to hear how you overcame a difficulty. If you are anxious about stories being too soft for a business context — don’t be. But if you must, think of them as “examples.”

Next week: the remaining 6 questions, including what to do just before you go on (Hint: Move like Jagger).

By | September 30th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on 12 questions to ask yourself – Part 1

Stop the PowerPoint (for a few seconds)

 Stop the PowerPoint (for a few seconds)

There are good reasons to blank out the screen during your presentation. You may be at a transition point and want to verbally begin a new section. You may be finished with the discussion of the previous image or message and don’t want it to linger inappropriately while you continue on. Or you may want to give the audience a visual pause and redirect their attention back to you.

I often build blank screens into my presentations to warn me that a transition is coming up so that I won’t prematurely disclose the next slide before I have orally set it up. There is no harm to be done — I can click right through it if it becomes unnecessary.

Create an actual blank slide or use the commands in PowerPoint or Keynote (press “B” for a black screen or “W” for a white screen) to temporarily pause the visuals in real time and give a blank screen. Many remote controls have a button that will accomplish this also.

It is another way of keeping the control of the timing and the display of the projected images so that you and your brilliance will be the proper focus of the presentation.

By | September 24th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on Stop the PowerPoint (for a few seconds)

PowerPoint at its best

Premium PowerPoint

No matter what you may have heard, PowerPoint (or Apple Keynote, if that is your choice) can be an exceptionally effective tool for creating a superstar speech.

To build a powerful visual presentation I try to work towards these goals…

I look for the core of your message, your big idea, your mission. Often my clients are not sure of what that core is. They may know all the endless details but they haven’t found or defined the center, the nugget of truth. That’s what I want. Sometimes that nugget is an emotional revelation. Sometimes it is a blinding flash of the obvious. Sometimes it is a profound, distilled insight that only their expertise could uncover. Whatever that is – that’s what I look for.

Then I translate that big idea, that core message, into slides. The slides have to illuminate the message; help explain the message; maybe even provide the emotional component of the message. The visuals have to do all that and still let the speaker be the storyteller – the star of their show. The slides cannot steal the presenter’s energy. They must complement his or her speech, deliver the presenter’s message and certainly not be boring.

And finally, and perhaps most important, the slides have to engage the audience and maybe even inspire them.

That is not your typical bullet-point riddled presentation. If done right, this can make for a pretty darn good PowerPoint show.

By | September 16th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on PowerPoint at its best

Tools of the Trade: A clicker and a monitor

Tools of the Trade

Two must have items for a polished professional presentation are a remote control or “clicker” and a monitor of some kind.

A clicker gives you control of your presentation without having to interrupt your delivery to walk over to your laptop and manually advance each slide. Or worse yet having to ask someone to babysit your laptop and advance the slides when you request them. Both of these scenarios cause you as the presenter to step out of your role as the speaker and deal with the technology — even if only for a second. Both disrupt the flow of your delivery and are distracting to the audience — making you look not in control and unprofessional.

I would suggest purchasing your own remote even if the venue for your presentation has one. They are for the most part universally cross-compatible and not too expensive. Bring extra batteries.

The monitor, unless it is your laptop, is not something you are expected to provide — but it is none the less critical to the success of your performance. Having a monitor in front of you, in your line of sight, allows you to see the slide that the audience is seeing without having to turn your head and look at the screen.

Always check out your speaking area in advance and, if possible, do a run through with the actual equipment you will use for the presentation. Can you position yourself and your laptop so that you can see the screen clearly when you stand to the side, out of the projector beam? If there is a provided monitor, is it compatible with your laptop and cabling? Is it in a good position for you to speak and still see the screen? If the using a provided system is it compatible with your presentation? What are the optimum areas where you can stand and still engage well with the audience? Does the remote work, are the batteries fresh and do you understand which buttons do what?

Having the right tools and doing a walk through before hand will add substantially to your confidence, your professionalism and the audience’s feeling that you are the expert in control.

 

 

By | September 2nd, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on Tools of the Trade: A clicker and a monitor

What to do with numbers (part 4) – Go big!

Cost of a penny

When you want to drive home the impact of a critical number in your presentation nothing does it better than showing it big — maybe really big. It is important to set up the context in advance. That may mean first displaying a slide with the full data set in a table or chart to explain the 30,000 foot view. Then you can drill down with a slide with the over-sized numbers that illustrate your point powerfully.

By | August 26th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on What to do with numbers (part 4) – Go big!

What to do with numbers (part 3) – Illustrate your numbers

Graphics-illustration

So far we have seen two ways to express data to our audience:

  • The first is to simply show the full data set in a spreadsheet or table-style chart and then use large boxes (semi-transparent white) to block out the data we don’t wish to focus on and use bright outlined circles or boxes to highlight the data we do want to discuss.
  • The second is to make a graph to show the relationship of a smaller but critical subset of the numbers.
  • The third way is to more fully illustrate our numbers than just showing a simple graph.

PowerPoint has a rather clumsy graph function that will automatically generate a bar, line, pie or other style graph. Unfortunately these default graphs are often more difficult to understand than just the plain data. I often choose to create a graph-type illustration from scratch like the illustration above.

If we have already shown the source of the data — the full set of numbers we have to work with — it may be a good strategy to dive in and show an important but narrow subset that makes the point we are trying to communicate.

We could just put the two numbers above on the screen, but the simple illustration of the stacks of dollar bills and the avatar-style images helps deliver our message on two levels: the numbers themselves and the visuals.

This technique of using words (or in this case numbers) plus a graphic engages your audience’s brains with two channels of communication and will greatly improve understanding and retention.

Next week: Go over the top

By | August 19th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on What to do with numbers (part 3) – Illustrate your numbers

What to do with numbers (part 2) – Make a graph

Make a chart

When we present numbers to our audience, just like when we present other content, we must help them make sense of it — what does it mean to them? Often we feel compelled to show all the data in a table or list to give a sense of the big picture or to establish our credentials as an in-depth expert.

However, a large amount of information should probably not be left on the screen for any length of time. It can be too unfocused and distracting — allowing your audience’s attention to wander around into information you are not currently discussing. And, of course, large quantities of numbers require small typefaces to fit on the screen — never a good choice.

If a table filled with numbers in labeled rows and columns is a start at making sense out of a set of data then a graph with selected information is the next level. A graph represents numbers as graphic quantities so your audience gets a chance to read the numbers and see some sort of visual relationship — this should improve comprehension.

The pie/doughnut graph above keeps the amount of information manageable — it does not list every possible type of pet — only the categories relevant to the presentation.  And it shows each category’s relationship to the whole. Plus adding icons helps the viewers quickly grasp the content while adding visual interest.

Next week: Illustrate your numbers

By | August 12th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on What to do with numbers (part 2) – Make a graph

What to do with numbers (part 1) – Highlight the important data

What to do with all those numbers 1

What do we do when we have to show a large data set in a presentation?

The first step may be to recognize that the presenter has the responsibility to lead his audience through the maze of numbers on the screen (hopefully not with that highly-irritating laser pointer). As speakers, we have to make the numbers meaningful.

The next step may be to understand that only so much information can be disseminated in a presentation — the details are often best left to a printed report or handout.

So how do we help our audience make sense out of the numbers we do show? There are at least 4 answers — maybe more by the time I finish this series.

The simplest solution is to show the original complex table and then block out the unnecessary detail we don’t want to discuss and/or highlight the critical numbers we do want to discuss.

The slide above uses semitransparent white boxes to minimize the unimportant content and red circles to draw attention to what is important.

The advantage here is that we are showing the entire data set in its original table format. A disadvantage could be that the type size in the original table may be a little too small to be very legible. But at least we are helping the audience make sense out of a sea of information.

Next week: A few rules for using graphs.

By | August 6th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on What to do with numbers (part 1) – Highlight the important data

Fire hose delivery

Fire hose delivery

The highly respected expert stepped to the stage and announced that he was going to “turn on the fire hose” and let the audience have everything he knows about the presentation’s topic. In a perfect world, all the brilliant insights that would tumble from his lips in this presentation would be eagerly assimilated by everyone in his audience. But in this world, that doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact, as presenters we are lucky if two or three of our important points register with just a few of the people in our audience.

Public speaking is not an efficient medium for delivering large quantities of information. But it is a superb vehicle for driving home one profound, well thought out and well-spoken concept — especially if we can stir an emotional response in our listeners.

Beware of attempting to offer too much. This is the main reason to simplify: if you tell your audience a dozen ideas they may not retain any of them; if you tell them one or two you may just change their lives.

By | July 29th, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on Fire hose delivery

Five ways to evaluate a slide

Five ways to evaluate a slide

What are the basic criteria that determine if your slide is working? How can you evaluate a slide or even a presentation to see if it will work and deliver your message cleanly and effectively?

I look for five basic things.

  1. Is there a BIG IDEA? Is there one concept that ties the slide together and fits in with the BIG IDEA that the overall presentation is trying to communicate. There cannot be more than one concept per slide and the audience should be able to get it quickly and without too much distraction. Often this can be expressed in the headline for that slide.
  2. Are there minimal words? There is an inverse relationship between audience engagement and the quantity of words on the screen. In general, the more text they have to read the less they will “get it” and the less attention they will focus on the presenter. Be a ruthless text editor — make each word earn its keep.
  3. If there are images are they displayed big enough to have maximum impact? Do they clearly tell the story the slide is trying to communicate? Is there more than one image on a slide — if so are they all necessary? Try eliminating them one-by-one and see if your idea becomes clearer and stronger.
  4. Are your numbers expressed simply? Have you made the effort to make the numbers mean something significant or are they just a data dump? Think of yourself as a tour guide explaining a foreign country to your audience. It is your job (and your slide’s job) to show them the important and interesting spots in the strange land they are in.
  5. Have you rehearsed the slide in its context? Rehearsal is the ultimate test. Do it out loud, in front of a mirror, with a trusted friend or video camera. Practice reveals all the clumsiness and inconsistencies in your presentation and its visuals. It shows where there is too much or too little, it builds your confidence and uncovers possibilities for improvisation and humor.

Measure your slides and your entire presentation against these concepts and your next PowerPoint deck will soar.

By | July 23rd, 2017|Monday Morning Slide Blast|Comments Off on Five ways to evaluate a slide