Friday, July 02, 2010

The Point of Powerpoint

Is not to bore people to death.

Want to kill a sales presentation?

Do a boring Powerpoint.

I use Powerpoint to create handouts, have done it that way for years until last year when I actually used it the way it was designed, as an interactive presentation projected on a screen.

My first one lasted 40 minutes, included a couple of videos and had 87 slides. We actually did Q & A as part of the presentation.

Seth Godin has some advice to follow:

The 200 slide solution

The next time you find yourself on the hook for a 40 minute presentation (with slides!) consider, at least for a moment, a radical idea:

A slide every 12 seconds. 200 slides in all.

You're used to putting three or four bullet points on a slide. That's at least four distinct ideas, but more often, each of those ideas has three or four sub ideas to it. In other words, you're cramming 32 ideas on a slide, and you're sitting on that slide as you drone on and on. Perhaps you spice it up with some reveals or animated bullets, but it's still 32 ideas going stale before our eyes.

What if you blew it up? Just one word on a slide. Or, perhaps just one image (no cheesy stock please). Maybe you write, "Cheaper" on one slide and, "More durable" on the next...

Slides create action. When did you decide that the appropriate amount of action was six or twelve times every half hour?

How would your pace change if you had 200 slides? How much better would the integration of slides and talk be?

I don't honestly expect you to do your presentation with 200 slides. I'm hoping this exercise will help you realize that you might not need any slides. Or that 50 or 100 slides will pick up your energy and make your argument more coherent.

But please, don't do that presentation you did last time.

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