Posts Tagged ‘powerpoint’

Avoid Overuse of Animation in PowerPoint Presentations (Video)

Free PowerPoint Tip #4: Avoid Overuse of Animation in PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint will do some really cool types of animation, but remember that if you animate something, it should help you clarify your point. Bullet points that fly in, spin around, make sounds, and blink are just a distraction from your message. For the most part, the animation called “appear” should be your most frequently used. If you want your audience to follow you step-by-step, you can reveal your bullets one at a time. However, you’ll have more energy as a presenter if you just make your slide appear and physically move to your screen and point to your bullet point when you talk about it. You become the animation versus using the slideshow.

Don’t Eliminate Animation Entirely

Keep in mind that we are not suggesting that you eliminate animation entirely. If you do, you’ll be missing out on a great advantage of PowerPoint. A good graphic that is short and eye-catching (and that helps clarify your point) at the appropriate time can be very helpful and add some fun to the presentation. But if you rely heavily on animation to make your point for you, the PowerPoint Presentation will become the presentation, not the presenter.

Avoid overuse of animation in your PowerPoint Presentations.

Reduce the Data on Your PowerPoint Slides-Video PowerPoint Tip

Reduce the Data on Your PowerPoint Slides-Video PowerPoint Tip

Too Much Data on Your PowerPoint Slides: Your PowerPoint slide deck should be a visual aid to help you explain your point, so if you put too much data on a slide (too much text, too many numbers, or charts and graphs – gasp – Is he saying we can’t use charts and graphs?) you will overwhelm you audience and cause them to attempt to draw their own conclusions about the data.

Your PowerPoint slide should convey a simple concept at a glance.

A good rule is what we call 6X6, which means to limit your number of words per line to six and limit your number of lines to about six as well. That way, no matter how big or small your room is, your audience will be able to read your data, and it will be easy for the audience to instantly understand the concept you are communicating.

PowerPoint is a Visual Aid Not the Presentation

This video is a first in a series of PowerPoint Tips to help viewers more quickly and easily design and deliver PowerPoint Presentations. Tip #1 is that PowerPoint is a Visual Aid, Not the Actual Presentation. Most people start designing their speech by creating their slideshow, but that is backwards. If you design your presentation first, it is more easy now to design slides that help explain or prove the points in your presentation. If you design the slideshow first, you are likely to use Powerpoint as a crutch which increases nervousness and increases the chances that you will actually forget something or lose your audience along the way.

Three Ways to Spice Up Your Business PowerPoint Presentations

Business PowerPoint Presentations have changed a lot in the last ten years, but some of the best presentation secrets have been around for a while. Almost 25 years ago I was given a little book published in the 1950’s. It was entitled, “Public Speaking as the Audience Likes It”. I don’t remember much of the contents, but I do remember the point- when you are preparing to make a presentation, consider the audience and think about the best way to present your material so they will enjoy the experience and remember the valuable material. So here 3 things you need to know to help you relate to your audience when you design a business PowerPoint presentation.

Consider Your Audience

Before you start to design a business presentation, spend some time thinking about those who are going to receive your message. What do they have in common? What do you know about who they are? What do they feel? What experiences have they had? Where are they coming from? Consider, from the audience’s perspective- what is so important about what I have to say? Why should they listen? How will they benefit? And how can I help them enjoy the experience?

Too often we begin our preparation thinking about what we want and need to say. We think about major point and what information we need them to assimilate or remember. We think about our responsibility, and if we have any fear or trepidation about being in front of people, we just wish it were over and prepare the message without much thought given to the audience.

That last line is too much too true. We prepare the message without much thought given to the audience. We think about the message, what we want to say and how we are best going to say it; we prepare our PowerPoint slides hoping that will “wow” the audience into valuing the material. We remember the KISS method of presentations and we keep is simple, stupid. Maybe we remember the old adage, stand up, speak up, shut up, sit down. Fun little sayings, but not much help.

First in your PowerPoint preparation is to consider the audience and the best way to communicate with them. Think about the specific people, the demographics, commonalities, idiosyncrasies; examine them from every angle you can. Also consider your venue- where you will be making your presentation. Will you be on a stage with people seated in front of you; will you be on the same level as your audience; will they be at tables, round or square; will you use a microphone- hand held, lapel, or stationary; what kind of interaction can I facilitate, and the list goes on based on your own experience and creativity. But always consider your audience; it will influence the rest of your presentation.

Second- Involve the Audience

The days of getting up and speaking and then sitting down have past. We live in an age of reality TV in which we get to vote on the results, interactive games on the computer and via game modems, we have unlimited accessibility through cell phones, email and texting. People are not used to sitting back and just listening, the presenter must get them involved. So you have considered your audience, and you know your message, now how do you get the audience involved?

It is more than asking questions and showing slides, it is putting something in their hands, it is incorporating movement, it is using as many of their senses as possible to get them and keep them involved.

Nearly every book on public speaking skills written within the last 15 years has a section on telling stories, but don’t just tell a story, show it. If you were riding a bike, then show it; if you were going over something, show it; if you were involved in a heated conversation, show it; if you were throwing a ball, show- never just tell a story, but show it, use gestures and plenty of them.

Are you talking about something, an object, show it, better yet, if possible give everyone a sample. If you are talking about something with an aroma, then work the smell into your presentation, use a candle, home baked cookies, incense, whatever it takes. Perhaps it is a sound, a firecracker, jet engine, ocean waves- find a way to duplicate it for your audience’s aural stimulation. Perhaps it is a taste, give them something to remind them of the taste, a candy bar; a drink; ice cream- be creative. Maybe it is a texture- then give them something to feel, sandpaper, a piece of cloth, a rock, use your imagination, but incorporate some type of extra sensory experience for your audience to participate with you in the presentation. Be creative and push the envelope. (Some things I have done- handed out ice cream, given latex gloves and pens so the audience could take notes on their hands (five points-five fingers), lit incense prior so the room would smell like pine trees, given out hotel size soaps; spoken in a Santa Claus suit and a guerrilla outfit; given the participants small craft packages to built a boat made out of wooden ice cream spoons a toothpick and a piece of cloth, given out colored pipe cleaners for participants to fashion antennas… the ideas are as limitless as your imagination. Do it- get your audience involved.

Third- Be Concise in Your Closing

Once you had delivered the main thrust of your PowerPoint presentation and have involved the audience, leave them wanting more. Be concise in your closing remarks. Highlight the high points and then be on your way. Too many speakers close with their main points but continue to drag on thinking that re and re-emphasizing will make the message stick. When it is time to end, then end. Don’t keep re-covering the topics and never introduce new material. If you have considered the audience, gotten them involved, then you can make a quick recap and let their involvement continue to speak after you have stopped.

Besides giving thoughtful consideration to your messages, these are three ideas to help your presentation be powerful and memorable- first, consider the audience; second, involve the audience; and third- make your closing concise.

VIDEO-Design Your Presentation Based on Your Audience

When you write a presentation or design a PowerPoint slideshow, make sure and think of your audience first. This public speaking video gives tips on how to write a speech better by considering the wants and needs of your audience first. When your audience changes, your presentation should also change. When your audience changes, your PowerPoint slideshow also needs to change. Consider your audience, and you are much more likely to have a success delivering your presentation.

This presentation skills video is one part of a three-part video series that helps presenters design presentations more quickly and easily. Subscribe to our feed or LIKE us on Facebook to receive additional tips in this series.

PowerPoint: How to Deliver PowerPoint Presentations Designed by Someone Else

By Doug Staneart, Author of The Fearless Presentations Seminar

Deliver PowerPoint PresentationsNarrating PowerPoint Presentations designed by someone else can be very challenging. In fact, one of the fastest ways to increase public speaking fear and make your PowerPoint presentations sound canned and… well boring, is to try to deliver a PowerPoint slideshow that someone else designed for you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t deliver PowerPoint slide decks that someone else created. It just means that when you do, you’ll probably be more nervous and have less of a natural flow than what you’d normally have when you stand up and deliver a speech. Remember that a presentation or a speech is just a conversation with your audience, so if you create the speech, you’ll be speaking in your own words. When someone else creates a speech for you, you will feel more uncomfortable and the public speaking nervousness will increase.

If you remember the movie Roxanne or the play about Cyrano de Bergerac, the two male characters, Christian and Cyrano are both in love with Roxanne, but Christian sees himself as being inarticulate and Cyrano sees himself as being ugly. Christian gets Cyrano to write love letters for him, which works pretty well until Roxanne finds out who actually wrote them. In the movies, Christian is portrayed as a dunce, but according to the original play, Christian is a brave and intelligent warrior who is just nervous. Christian is the kind of person that Roxanne would have fallen in love with if he had just used his own words to woo her. But because he was using Cyrano’s verbiage (his slideshow,) it just made Christian even more nervous – not less. Roxanne never got to know the real Christian. Your audiences are the same way. You will feel much more confident if you can communicate your own words to your audience versus trying to manufacture the “right thing to say” about a PowerPoint slide or bullet points that someone else created.

With that in mind, we know that situations will occur where we have no control over the PowerPoint slideshow or any of the visuals really. For instance, if you are a sales associate, and your company requires that you use a standardized PowerPoint presentation when you speak to customers or if someone calls in sick and you have to fill in for them at the last minute, the tips below will help you out tremendously.

Top PowerPoint Presentation Narration Tips

  1. Add Your Own Personal Experiences: The main thing that sets one presenter apart from another is the personal examples or stories that they tell when they deliver a presentation. You can easily make your PowerPoint presentation your own by inserting stories and examples from your own experience into the speech. For example, let’s assume your bullet point is “Sales decreased by 10% last quarter,” you’ll want to first clarify the point and explain in more detail what it means. For instance you might show the total number of “call-in” leads that the sales team received in the quarter versus previous quarter. Then once you have explained the point, add a personal experience to further explain it. “A couple of years ago, when I was a sales rep, I remember days that as soon as I would set the receiver down, another new incoming call was already being routed to me. The guys who are on duty now, however, are averaging ten to fifteen minutes between each call. At first, we thought that the time between calls was wasted time, so we looked at downsizing the sales team. However, because each salesperson is able to follow up better with each incoming lead, their closing rations have increased over 250%. So that 10% decrease in sales is coming from less than half the number of incoming leads that we were receiving in the boom.” Without the personal story, the bullet looks like the sales team is failing, but in reality, they are doing a tremendous job with the resources that they have had.
  2. Avoid Memorizing Someone Else’s Notes: If you try to write down everything that someone else tells you to say and memorize it, you will increase your nervousness exponentially. Instead, go to each bullet point and ask yourself, “What is the most important thing that the audience would need to know about that point?” Whatever pops into your head when you ask that question will likely be exactly what the audience needs to know. If you use this technique, then if you forget what you have prepared while you are speaking, you can just, internally, ask yourself the question again, and your answer is likely to return pretty easily.
  3. You May not Need to Speak to Every Point: When other people write a PowerPoint presentation for you, they often will insert way too much data into each slide. As a result, it can be very challenging to speak to every point. Realize that, as the presenter, you are in control of what you say. I had a client once whose executives decided that they wanted to create one all-encompassing slideshow that any sales rep could use in any situation. The finished PowerPoint deck had over 120 slides. There is no way that any presenter could deliver that much data in so short a period of time. So what my client did was print out the whole deck and had an office supply store put a cover on it. She gave this out to the clients as a reference and hand-picked the slides that were most appropriate to each client at the time she presented. As a result, she didn’t bore any of them. So sometimes, you might have to get a little creative in your delivery.

Remember that narrating a PowerPoint slideshow that someone else creates for you is definitely more challenging than delivering a presentation that you create on your own, however it can be done. Just be sure to make the PowerPoint your own by inserting your own personal stories and experiences into the slides, spend time determining exactly what is most important to the audience, and feel free to cut out some of the bullets if your presentation is too data heavy. If you follow these simple tips, you will be more charismatic and articulate when you narrate someone else’s PowerPoint presentation.

Doug Staneart is the founder and CEO of The Leader’s Institute® public speaking training and leadership coaching institute. His first book, Fearless Presentations is available on Amazon and Kindle. He offers hundreds of different public speaking tips on his website at https://www.fearlesspresentations.com and to his followers on Facebook.

Power Point Tips

Power Point Tips: The 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Doug Staneart

The most frequently asked topic that we get questions on when we conduct public speaking training is always related to PowerPoint Tips. Because PowerPoint is so powerful, people tend to either get really good at all of the bells and whistles and overwhelm their audience, or they use PowerPoint as a crutch and rely on their slide deck too much making their presentation very boring. Below are the top 10 biggest Power Point Mistakes that we tend to make along with ways to overcome them. (By the way, we cover a whole section on designing PowerPoint Presentation in The Leader’s Institute Leadership Boot Camp.)

1) Designing a “PowerPoint Presentation”: Remember, a presentation is a verbal communication to your audience that may or may not use visual aids. PowerPoint is just ONE type of visual aid that can be used to further explain or clarify your presentation. If you focus entirely on this one type of visual aid without putting an emphasis on what you are actually saying, your presentation will tend to have a disconnected flow and will be difficult for the audience to follow. Instead, design your presentation and get good at delivering it first. Once you get good at delivering the presentation, then decide what visual aids you might be able to use to help you clarify your points.

2) Too Many PowerPoint Slides: Another big mistake is creating too many slides and using them as a crutch to make sure that we don’t forget anything in our presentation. Slide… Click… Slide… Click… Slide… Click… is a very boring way to deliver a presentation and makes the presenter look unprepared and uninformed about his/her topic. Only add a slide if it helps you better clarify your point.

3) Too Much Data on Your PowerPoint Slides: Your slide deck should be a visual aid to help you explain your point, so if you put too much data on a slide (too much text, too many numbers, or charts and graphs – gasp… Is he saying we can’t use charts and graphs?) you will overwhelm you audience. Your PowerPoint slide should convey a simple concept at a glance. A good rule is what we call 6X6, which means to limit your number of words per line to six and limit your number of lines to about six as well.

4) Overuse of Animation: PowerPoint will do some really cool types of animation, but remember that if you animate something, it should help you clarify your point. Bullet points that fly in, spin around, make sounds, and blink are just a distraction from your message. If you want your audience to follow you step-by-step, you can reveal your bullets one at a time. However, you’ll have more energy as a presenter if you just make your slide appear and physically move to your screen and point to your bullet point when you talk about it.

5) Too Many Busy Charts: (Gasp… He is saying not to use charts and graphs.) For the most part, charts, graphs, and pictures make terrible PowerPoint slides. If the charts or graphs are simple, they can be judiciously used in a slideshow, however if you are graphing total revenue of five different divisions on a quarterly basis for each of your ten major product lines, your graph will be way too busy to understand in a slide. Use a handout instead. If you need a visual aid for it, make a big poster of the graph but in most cases, you can just use the handout itself as the visual aid.

6) Improper Use of Pictures: A picture is worth a 1000 words, but only if the picture is important to your point. Often, we will look at our slide and think, “It seems a little plain…” so we stick a picture in to jazz it up a little. While that is not, in itself, a terrible strategy, sometimes the pictures that we choose cause confusion because it was an afterthought. You could set a small picture on the slide master so that it shows on every slide. That way, since the picture is always there, it doesn’t cause confusion when the text changes. By the way, making a poster of a good picture will add much more impact than a picture on a slide

7) Not Practicing Your Presentation with the Slideshow: Time is getting short, so you send your slide deck to marketing to jazz it up a little. They send you the final copy minutes before you go in front of the group. Everything is perfect in the slideshow, but because you haven’t practiced, your flow is off, and you have to keep clicking the next slide before you start to speak. It just makes you more nervous. Finish your slide deck early and practice with it.

8) Sitting Down to Deliver Your Presentation: The moment that you sit down and start clicking slides, the PowerPoint deck becomes the authority in the room on the topic and your energy will plummet. Stand between your screen and the audience, and you will be the expert.

9) Read… Click… Read… Click…: If you are doing this one, then I hate to be the one to tell you this, but… You’re Boring! Sorry. I know that hurt, but it’s true. The good news is that if you follow the prior guidelines, this one goes away automatically. So if you are experiencing this, go back and work on the earlier tips.

10) Letting Someone Else Design your Slideshow: Realize that if someone else designs your PowerPoint Slide Deck, it will likely have many of the earlier mistakes in it. You’ll also have a more difficult time delivering it and be more nervous. To combat this, you’ll need to practice your delivery a lot more than if you designed your own presentation, but it can be done. Over time, use the guidelines above to influence the person or people who are designing your slideshow.

Follow these simple guidelines, and your PowerPoint Slides will help you better deliver more powerful presentations. Violate them, and you’ll likely be more nervous and have a more difficult time delivering your presentation.

Doug Staneart is the creator of The Fearless Presentations® Public Speaking Class that is offered in major cities all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Click the link here (https://www.leadersinstitute.com/public-speaking/fearlesspresentations.html) and request information about his presentation course, and he’ll send you a free copy of his book, Fearless Presentations®. His new program, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp, helps small business owners grow their businesses during difficult financial times like a recession.

PowerPoint Tips: 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes (Webinar Replay)

Here is the replay of our free webinar called PowerPoint Tips: The Ten (10) Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. We ended up with hundreds of people registering to attend, so if you happened to try to login and all of the seats were gone, we apologize. Enjoy the free PowerPoint Tips Webinar.

If you have trouble viewing the movie above, you can watch it at the source at: https://www.blip.tv/file/4024846/

Other Resources:

(Free Webinar) The 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This Thursday Evening, our CEO, Doug Staneart, will be leading a Free Webinar called PowerPoint Tips: The 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. One of the things that we’ve found conducting over 1000 Fearless Presentations Seminars is that one of the biggest causes of Public Speaking Fear is the way that a person designs his/her PowerPoint Presentation. Design it wrong, and your nervousness increases exponentially. Design it right, and you’ll be poised and confident.

Register for the seminar by clicking this link: https://www.leadersinstitute.com/powerpoint-tips-10-biggest-powerpoint-mistakes-webinar-replay/ 

In the free webinar, we’ll cover the following:

  • The 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid them.
  • The simple mistake that, if you do it, will cause your presentation to fall flat every single time (and what to do instead).
  • How what we do to reduce our nervousness actually causes us to be more nervous (and boring!)
  • A strategy that will increase the clarity of each slide ten-fold.
  • How, often, the things we do to make our slides look prettier actually cause the audience to be confused.
  • Everything your boss and coworkers have ever told you about charts and graphs is absolutely wrong — and once you know this secret, you will tower over them.
  • How just physically moving two feet in the room can give you more confidence and authority on your topice (seriously — two feet, and it’s not what you think).
  • And how if you let someone else design your slide deck, you’ll increase your nervousness exponentially.
  • And a whole lot more!

The webinar will take place Thursday, Aug 19th (that’s this Thursday) at 8:00 PM Central Time (9:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Pacific) and it’s free to our friends and clients.  Seating is limited, though, so you do need to register in order to reserve a seat (login early because we expect to run out of speaces.)

If you’d like to attend but can’t make it, register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the replay so you can watch it at your leisure.

See you at the webinar! (The links in the article now forward to the replay of this webinar. Just click any to watch it.)

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