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December 19, 2005

Don't torture your audience

There is no torture like being trapped in a room while a presenter slowly reads their way through PowerPoint slides.

Thankfully I do not need to watch or present a lot of PowerPoint. In our 100 person company communication is a lot more direct, and when we are out on the road selling we show the software, not our talking points.

But when I do need to prepare a non-demo presentation it sure is easy to use PowerPoint as an outliner. Unfortunately that also makes it easy to use the resulting outline in slide form as the presentation itself. And that makes me one of the torturers.

I am working to improve my slides; to turn them from bullet points to sharp, clear, visual reinforcements of my message. Shorter is better, but shorter takes longer, and well designed shorter…who has the time?

Garr Reynolds does, and you and I should make the time. His site has some great tips (though it will make you wish for an on-staff artist), and he has a great presentation blog. I particularly liked the posts on different presentation methods: Takahashi, Kawasaki, and Godin.

(Check out The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation.)

Posted by Bob Pritchett at December 19, 2005 6:25 AM

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