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Presentation Mastery

PowerPoint and 5 tips to make it slightly more pleasant

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp. co-founder

Okay. I use PowerPoint and love it.Here are 5 tips that work for me and connect with my participants:

1. Keep the lights up. It’s not a romantic dinner. The slides are only back-up to your message. They anchor points for visual learners. Let your group see you.

2. Stay away from boring lists. If you’re have to list, at least make it interesting. Instead of listing: Checking email on the weekend is a result of an email addiction (the point you’re trying to make), the bullet point could say: “Go Cold-Turkey.” Intrigue your listeners. Give them a reason to pay attention to you.
3. Don’t read what they can. Why would anyone read aloud what attendees can read themselves? Seems to me the presenter must believe:

  • their chosen font is too small
  • their group can’t read
  • their listeners could care less about what is being presented.

The only exception is if, by reading the slide, you can create drama or a message they might miss by reading it silently to themselves. If the word “fine” is on your slide, for instance, you may have to read it to be sure the right message is conveyed as in: Fine (You’re so fine), Fine (Happy to go along with it), Fine (no way I’m doing this without a fight).

4. Use great photos that fill the screen. Try Their photos are interesting and inexpensive. Oh and if you tell them SpeakerSue sent you, I get a free photo download! (I’m always honest!)

5. Make it fun!

Want more great ideas? Here is what a VP at the New Orleans CVB said about my recent presentation skills presentation to them:

Sue, Thank you for coming to New Orleans and encouraging us to do something different. I have used your techniques in three presentations so far … it really works! …The audience loved it …You are the best! Thank you!!!


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