- “How can I improve my Powerpoint?”
- “How can I make my boring subject interesting?”
- “How do I engage the audience?”
These are the sort of questions I get asked a lot. The answer to all of them is simple, really: deliver it to someone who’s outside your industry – I’m ideal for this, by the way* – and ask them what they think. I’m guessing they’ll say things like “I didn’t understand that bit” or “Why did you mention that?” or even the classic “What is it you’re, er, trying to say with this?”
With great power comes great responsibility** and Powerpoint is very powerful. In the wrong hands it can be a very dangerous tool, sabotaging the whole thing by taking centre stage while also confusing the communication. It may be better if you ditch Powerpoint completely and use no props or technology (I know, I’m a maverick). Consider the best medium to convey your information, originality and enthusiasm – it may not be another slide show.
Here are some answers to those questions you just read:
- Reduce the content down to five or six slides. You’ve got thirty seven? Be ruthless.
- No subject is boring. Find the right perspective, tell a story. Use your massive intellect.
- Try speaking to them like it’s a conversation. Show your personality and sense of humour.***
Powerpoint is a medium which can serve you brilliantly if used correctly.
But so are you.
* No, really. And I mean spectacularly good.
** Marvel comics can be a great source of wisdom.
*** Yes you have one. Please use it.