I recommend you read a recent article by Nilofer Merchant, CEO of Rubicon Consulting titled “Eight Great PowerPoint Myths” (click here to read the article). What I liked about this article is that it takes an audience perspective, not a presenter’s perspective. Why is that so important? Because far too many presentations are all about the presenter, not about the audience.
What I would add to Nilofer’s comments is the order in which you should undertake the tasks that it takes to create a great presentation that uses PowerPoint as a supporting tool. Here’s my list in order:
- Decide on the goal of the presentation – what do you want the audience to know, do or feel after you are finished?
- Analyze your audience – who they are, where they are coming from, any underlying feelings or assumptions you need to take into account.
- Outline your main points and supporting information so that you logically move the audience from where they are now to where you want them to be at the end of the presentation.
- Plan how you will open the presentation, interact with the audience so it is more of a conversation, and close the presentation
- Create persuasive visual slides that have a headline and a clearly designed visual that you can speak to in order to make your point.
- Rehearse your presentation so you smooth out the awkward parts and it flows as easily as a casual conversation with friends on the weekend.
- Reap the rewards that come to those who stand head and shoulders above the normal presentation that consists of reading bullet paragraphs off the slides.
You can get more information on my five-step KWICK method for creating persuasive visual slides in my book “The Visual Slide Revolution” by clicking here.