I'll do your props — PowerPoint templates & content
I believe the question answers itself. It should. But rarely does.
Countless times I have seen presentation slides stuffed to the gills with content. Every single square inch filled with text and graphs and tables and maps and charts and diagrams. Why? There has to be twenty different messages on each slide. There should be one or two important revelations per slide, imho.
Why do I bring up the Sunday Comics? Same reason a billboard works while you are driving along the highway. Big image. Short text. A few seconds to read it. I get it right away. Same for the comics. Big on simplified graphics, short concise pertinent text, a quick read and I get it. I won’t fall asleep here. Neither will your audience.
I recently downloaded the list of Top 100 Oil and Gas Companies in Canada. I wanted to see what was out there, to compare with my standards of content and form. I looked at the website, corporate brochure or annual report and the presentation. This survey, all done informally and completely subjective. Halfway through the list, I am still cringing. From my quick perusal, less than 10% have invested thought and time into their slides. Some start off okay, then veer into the realm of geologist’s idea of a good colour palette. Ug.
Your slides are presented in front of a live audience. Real people. Skin and bones. Not only that, they are there because they want to listen to what you have to say. They might even want to invest in you, your product, your company. They are not website page-hit stats. They are not entries on the mailing list for the annual report. Take your audience seriously.
It is beyond my comprehension why companies spend thousands of dollars on website and annual reports, but have their slides done at the last minute, by the in-office competent person. They stuff all possible data, without extracting the pertinent point. Leaving it up to the viewer to make the connection. Don’t present them with data — present them with your insights about the data.
If you put me in front of this type of slide, I immediately turn off. I am sure, I am not alone. The problem stems from many directions. It takes time to mull over the best way to present an idea visually. It can’t be done the night before the presentation.
MAKE AN EFFORT. — TAKE THE TIME. — DO IT RIGHT.
Clear thought — Clear message — Clear image.
Much better than a bulleted list of events don’t you think!