Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Use PowerPoint to support multi-sensory experiences

In Carmine Gallo’s recent BusinessWeek column, he talks about going beyond your slides to create a multi-sensory experience for the audience. He cites author John Medina and his book “Brain Rules” as the source for the idea of going beyond your slides to create an experience that connects at a deeper emotional level. People remember these experiences better.

In the article, he shares a full-out experience from the National Honey Board. I’m not sure you want to do that for every weekly team meeting. But his other two examples can be enhanced by slides relatively easily.

He suggests passing around something physical so audience members have a tactile experience. I think this can work well. I suggest you also add a video to your slide that shows people what you want them to notice while handling the product. This way, you direct them to the important parts of the experience that you want them to remember.

His third idea is to invite and capture audience input. I did this recently during my keynote at the PowerPoint Live conference and I have advocated it for years. Using a simple hyperlink on a slide, you can bring up an Excel spreadsheet to capture audience input and discuss the results of calculations that are relevant to your topic. With a hyperlink to a Word document, you can capture ideas or brainstorming and have a document that can be e-mailed to everyone immediately after the presentation. By engaging the audience in the presentation, they pay more attention and remember what you said.

As the article suggests, don’t restrict yourself to the features of PowerPoint, such as graphs and images. Look for ways to incorporate video and hyperlinks to content outside PowerPoint.


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