Beware! Rant approaching!
I’d like to take a second to point out some of the useless tips that you are likely to receive from presentation and communication “experts”.
This is partly driven by the general crap I have heard from trainers over the years.
The main driver of this post, however, is an article I read on Forbes, titled World-Class Presentation Experts Share Their Top Tips. As I read the article I couldn’t help but shake my head at the heavy focus slide design received and how useless the advice was from many of these “experts.”
Really? Your top advice is that I use animation effectively? Earth-shattering!
Here are 6 presentation “tips” that are total BS (some from the article, some that I’ve heard over the years).
1. Use animation effectively
Thanks for that.
You may as well tell me to lose weight by exercising effectively.
It’s meaningless advice.
The way to use animations in your slides is to use only fade in – very fast or not at all.
Your audience are there to learn something.
They are not there to see how you can pull a rabbit out of a hat, turn it into a bullet point, and have it fly around the screen, smacking into other objects, before coming to rest as point number 2. This kind of BS is what amusement parks are for.
2. Prepare your slides and let them guide your talk
Your slides are there to support you.
If you let the slides guide your talk, you become the support for your slides.
If your slides are doing the driving you may as well email the slides to the audience and save them the trouble of coming to your presentation.
3. Minimize words on the slide using the 6 x 6 rule
The 6 x 6 rule was invented by someone who wanted to have a rule.
It means maximum of 6 words per line, maximum of 6 lines.
Not sure if you’ve already done the math, but 6 words by 6 rows equals 36 words!
36 words doesn’t sound like “minimizing” to me. Also, 36 words promotes reading. Anything that encourages your audience to read, encourages them to ignore you.
4. You need good slides to do a good presentation
No you don’t.
You need a good presentation “delivery” to give the audience reason to care whether the slides are good or not.
Strongly believe good slides will save your presentation? Try this… Give Garr Reynolds quality slides to Boring Barry from payroll and watch the train wreck.
5. Start with a good template
Same as above.
A template is not going to solve your problems.
Start with a plan. Practice, revise, become comfortable talking. Finally, build your slides.
6. Brand each slide
I’m not sure what to say.
Okay, yes I am.
While branding might be important if you’re sharing information outside your company, the fact that this is a “top tip” from an “expert” beggars belief.
What do you think? Have you received dodgy advice about your presentations? Let’s chat in the comments below.