Top 7 Power and the Point of Powerpoint Tips
By Vince Stev
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MS Powerpoint is a mature product in a mature industry and yet it is still the most frequently misused application on the market.
Why is this?
Well, the mistake that most inexperienced users make is that they think that Powerpoint is the presentation itself - whereas the truth is that Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist the speakerís key messages.
People spend hours creating scores of slides with large chunks of text in a small font size. They then waste the presentational opportunity by reading the contents of each slide verbatim in a monotonous drone. This is more a case of assisted reading rather than imparting key messages with impact.
- The presenter must take centre stage and take control. Do not be a slave to the PC or the projector. Your audience has come to listen to you and Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist you deliver your key messages.
- Itís vital to have a structure so that you can map out what is about to happen. This assists the audience enormously when you tell them what youíre going to tell them. Remember to consistently use fonts and font sizes. Use non-serif fonts. No more than 2 per page. If your company has a logo or brand, ensure it appears in each page (master slide - usually bottom right hand corner).
- Ensure you have only one key point per slide. Ensure that each slide serves its purpose and pulls its weight. Can your audience read the slide?
- Know your audience - who are they and what's in it for them? Are you there to inform, persuade, inspire, motivate? Stick to your theme. We are all guilty of trying too hard to please. Sticking to the theme will help the audience enormously Ė confusing messages or themes makes the audience feel uncomfortable and you will see them shifting in their seats if they are confused.
- Know your PC.
Find out which type of PC youíll be using as the specification for each PC can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Email your presentation to the organisers and take a copy on a memory stick, just in case. Most modern laptops no longer use floppy disks. Find out in advance and always expect the unexpected.
- Also, make sure that you address your audience and do not talk directly to the screen. As always your primary concern is your audience. Without an audience, there is no requirement for a speaker. When you deliver a key message or even a key line, make sure that youíre looking directly at the audience and not at your notes. That will give your point added weight and greater impact.
- Use a remote mouse - it highly distracting for the audience if you are hunched over the PC during the presentation. Being free to move around the stage and address individual segments of the audience will make certain that youíll look calm and professional. That, of course, is exactly what you want. Being invited to speak again is your reward for your hard work, preparation and delivery.
How to create a positive impact when speaking in public. What to do and what not to do when addressing an audience. Making your speeches memorable by focusing your words on the audience. It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it. Speaking with confidence, coherence and clarity.
Article Submitted On: June 09, 2007