Have you ever experienced death by PowerPoint?
Death by PowerPoint is an affliction caused by poor use of presentation software. Such as having huge slabs of text or bullet points on slides. The audience is likely to be bored to death by the PowerPoint.
Death by PowerPoint is a myth
Andrew Shields is an awesome presenter. He has a knack for clearly explaining information. When he speaks he connects to his audience and they want to listen to him.
Brett West is an inexperienced presenter. He has delivered about 5 speeches to date. He is nervous when he presents so his tone is flat, his body language muted. Audiences remain unimpressed.
Today Awesome Andrew and Boring Brett both have to deliver the same presentation topic to their teams.
Awesome Andrew has been busy so his boss designed his slides for him. They are terrible. Lots of text. Lots of bullet points. Random animations. No white space.
Boring Brett is determined to do a better presentation this time. Last month he read a good slide design book. He has been perfecting his slides over the last week. His slides look great. Not too much text. Relevant images. Easy to understand charts.
Awesome Andrew and Boring Brett deliver their presentations.
Whose presentation is better received?
Before we find out, consider this:
Good presenter with bad slides or bad presenter with good slides?
Make your choice.
In all likelihood you chose good presenter with bad slides.
Because you know that a good presenter will do a reasonable job of explaining the content.
The presenter will handle questions well.
They’ll keep the audience interested throughout.
Most importantly they won’t read from the slides. In fact, the good presenter will likely turn the slides off.
There is nothing we can do to save the bad presenter. His slides could be perfect, but they won’t help. We still have to listen to Boring Brett.
Actually, with the simplicity of great slides we are forced to focus more on the stuttery, stammery Brett.
As Brett bumbles through his speech we can admire his lovely slides while thinking Andrew could have done a much better job.