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Don’t Let Your PowerPoint Undermine You

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After three decades since the introduction of PowerPoint, it has gone from the greatest program on earth to a synonym for boring and an example of mental fatigue in motion.


When people talk like this, I have to remind them not to kill the messenger.


There is nothing really wrong with the PointPoint program. It is a tool, and as such, it works capably.


But just as a hammer needs a nail and a bucket needs a mop, your PowerPoint presentation needs great images, clear type fonts and most of all, arresting and imaginative content.


Consider that your PowerPoint is just one more vehicle to help you tell your stories. If your stories are bland and repetitious and fail to ignite your audience, then even a great PowerPoint design won’t save you.


But if your remarks are intriguing and add value to the lives of your audience, then augmenting them with visuals will enhance your stories and make them even more memorable to your audience.


Here are three ideas to bring new life to your PowerPoints:


Number one: Ask yourself if content can be seen clearly

It sounds so basic, but time after time I view PowerPoints with type fonts too small to be seen by people with normal vision, I wonder what it must be like for those with vision impairment.


Keep in mind that across Canada and the United States, approximately 75 percent of the population wears glasses or contact lenses to correct everything from minor to major vision impairments.


Despite this, we create PowerPoints using white type on light backgrounds or type smaller than a 24 point font.


If you aren’t sure whether or not your words can be seen, walk at least six feet back from your computer screen and try to read what is there. That will give you the same perspective as someone sitting at the back of a boardroom trying to view your large screen at the front.


As the population ages, the need for clear visuals will be even more pronounced.


So use big, bold, simple fonts and don’t use any words at all in the lowest part of your screen.


Also keep in mind that the visual sense is not the only one your PowerPoint can appeal to.


Add music either as a background or just for emphasis on a particular slide to engage the audio sense as well.


If you have not added music before and need a tutorial, there is an excellent one on www.YouTube.com. Go to: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=how+to+add+music+to+your+powerpoint#id=1&vid=cb4148a96cdf138e7a67ec97d74956c7&action=click


Number 2: Let your PowerPoint star as a co-presenter

Another way to make the most of PowerPoint is to stop considering it an “add-on” to your own presentation and let it shine in its own right.


Build a PowerPoint that is so riveting that sometimes you actually stop your remarks and let it take over. At the very least, pause when you change the screen so people can absorb the message, share some humor or consider an inspirational remark.


If a PowerPoint is to shine as a star, there are some things you have to get rid of. This includes, but is not limited to, charts, graphs, and lengthy lists of bullet points. This is old-school PowerPoint.


New PowerPoints find ways to be creative that make your audience sit up and take notice.


If you want to see examples of some of the best and most amazing modern PowerPoints, check out Cubical Ninjas’ 20 best PowerPoints. You can find it here: https://cubicleninjas.com/top-20-best-powerpoint-presentation-design/


I especially love The Power of Networking by Fabio Laila, the first one in their collection.


Number 3: If your PowerPoint says what you say, one of you is superfluous

Time and time again, when you give a presentation, someone will ask if you can email them your PowerPoint so they can have access to all your key messages and statistics.


Even worse, they will tell you they were sorry they had to leave the conference early and really wanted to hear what you had to say, so “can you please send me your PPT?”


The answer is “no” although if you have create a brilliant PowerPoint, there’s no harm in putting it on SlideShare.


The reason you should refuse is that all your key messages and statistics should not necessarily be in your PowerPoint. If they are there, nicely summarized, illustrated and short, why do they need you to do the presentation at all?


If you want to send executive summaries of your remarks, by all means do so. But don’t let your PowerPoints become mere summaries instead.


Consider the modern PowerPoint more like a visual to your spoken remarks. It enhances them by engaging people’s hearts. It adds image and emotion to what you are saying; it does not speak for you.


It should be simple, clear, uncluttered and light on words.


Let it make it easy for your visual learners to commit your key message to memory, but don’t let it stand alone.


Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 13 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.

To check out Paula’s book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67

Speaking inquiries email bookings@paulamorand.com or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.



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