Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Presentation Software: More Of A Hindrance Than A Help?

With Dr Simon Raybould of Curved Vision TheatreI’ve spent some time recently chatting online to an ex-PowerPoint product manager (and others) about the use of PowerPoint and similar programs when people make their presentations.

We agreed that they were useful - but only sometimes. And whether they were more of a hindrance than a help depended, largely, on whether they were used because the presenter could do without them. There’s a wonderful irony that the kind of person who can use PowerPoint (or a similar program) and not be overwhelmed by it is actually the kind of person who could do without it in the first place.

Now, of course it takes a lot of practice to get to that stage, but there is something you can do which will both help give that impression in the short term and develop that skill in the long term.The almost embarrassingly simple tip is this: design and write your presentation without PowerPoint (or your chosen software).

Don’t even turn on your PC until you’re sure what you want to say in case you get tempted. Design it on paper using techniques like flow charts and spider-graphs until it’s a water-tight, flowing sequence of points which are arranged not only in a logical order but are arranged in the best order.Then, and only then, think about transferring to PowerPoint if - and only if - you feel you need it for the sake of the presentation; don’t get confused by feeling you need to transfer to PowerPoint for your own sake!Do it this way, and PowerPoint (if you use it) will end up supporting you rather than being the main focus of your presentation - and it’s you that’s giving it isn’t it? As ever, questions and free advice to me at sme@curved-vision.co.uk; go here for one day voice and presentation skills training; go here for a business presentations ebook.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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