Monday, May 07, 2018

Presentation Prep: Convey and Connect

I am teaching a leadership workshop tomorrow. Tonight's chores include reviewing the notes for changes and scrutinizing the PowerPoint (a.k.a. Evil PowerPoint) slides in order to whittle them down to the minimum. "Start large and whittle" is my maxim. I like a maximum of five slides although some workshops have only three and a few have none at all.

I prefer none at all - just give me a flip chart - but sometimes you can't escape using slides. Readers of this blog know my longing for the days of overhead projectors because those marvelous machines permitted a more spontaneous, less programmed, exchange with the audience. Unfortunately, if you ask for an overhead projector nowadays the clients think your next request will be for a cup of Sanka.

Anyway, I often like to use pictures instead of words. A relevant photo can be a nice backdrop as related points are discussed. Here's one from my class on council presentations:

I note that the picture would convey an effective and subtle message if one were discussing the importance of maintaining a speedy response time for emergency services. The audience immediately identifies with the person on the ground. That photo beats any flashy slide with bullet-points.

And that is one of the aspects of visual aids. You want them to convey and, if at all possible, connect.

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