How many times have you said this?
The presenter’s hands are behind his back, his face is beetroot red, and he’s mumbling incoherently at the floor, but man those PowerPoint slides look good. I’m so interested!
If you answered “never”, let me ask you this:
Why is it PowerPoint’s fault?
Is it death by PowerPoint, or is it death by boring individual?
When someone writes a boring essay, you don’t blame Microsoft Word.
When the firm’s in the red, you don’t blame Excel.
But when someone does a crappy presentation, somehow it’s PowerPoint’s fault?
Here’s the thing:
Good PowerPoint slides can enhance a good presentation delivery. Good PowerPoint slides can do nothing to help a bad presentation delivery.
The only way to fix your presentation delivery is to focus on how you deliver, not the pretty pictures around you.
To improve your presentations, focus here:
1. Know your stuff
If you don’t know your stuff how can you do a competent presentation about it?
Before you get on stage make sure you understand what you’re talking about and why.
This doesn’t mean you should memorize lines. It means you need to be able to talk about your subject without any prompts.
2. Draft 3 main talking points
The more you have to talk about the more complicated you make it for yourself.
The more you have to talk about the more likely the audience will get confused or switch off.
To this end, keep your main points to three or less. It will be easier to remember for both you and your listeners.
3. Don’t write a script
Presentations are boring enough without listening to a monotone recital.
Give your audience the best chance of being interested, by talking naturally about your subject rather than spewing lines from memory.