I'll do your props — PowerPoint templates & content
How many times have we heard: Can you show me how to do it?
I learn better from “one-on-one” workshops.
Google it. (originally it was “Go look it up in the encyclopedia”.)
That last one was not the best way to find information, it was the only way. But even back then, the physical action of locating the information helped you retain it. There was no way I was taking the bus again, to go to the local library to see what a sea turtle looked like. We have it easy now with the web. Fast and simple to obtain visual representations of any concept we wish to share with an audience.
Imagine if the news was still just a black and white talking head. No images, no video, no animation. No one would watch it. Audiences today expect visuals. High quality visuals.
We always seem to better retain a tidbit of information or a technique, by having a real live person “SHOW” us. Try learning to play guitar from a text book that has no diagrams or photos.
Show is always first in “Show and Tell”. Because our brains learn better that way.
Text is not the best way of transferring information to an audience. So why do speakers continue to place bullet points on their slides? Expediency? Last minute dive into the world of PowerPoint software? Too busy troubleshooting the software rather than crafting their message and illustrating it well.
Do you remember cue cards? Those small cardboard squares for shuffling through your speech? Those would be the equivalent of your notes pages in PowerPoint. The slides themselves should be used for visuals: photos, diagrams, charts, big and short blurbs. No sentences. No paragraphs. Think billboard! If you want paragraphs of text, give them a book or a brochure.
If you want your audience to stay awake — stay away from bullet points.
Below, a series of slides, before and after treatment with this style.
There is a rule for the above concepts. I’ve written about it, as have many other presentation specialists. The 80-20-10 rule.
Your audience will retain 80% of what they SEE.
— Any pertinent visual is better than none.
Your audience will retain 20% of what they READ.
— Only a tiny bit of text, one idea per screen.
Your audience will retain 10% of what they HEAR.
— You had better be a great speaker if you only place text on your slides!
It takes time to craft your message. It takes even more time to illustrate your concepts. Take that time to do it right.