Designing a presentation starts with the creative process, which can be messy. PowerPoint is tidy, but should only come in later when preparing a presentation. I love PowerPoint. Maybe you do too? Remember, however, that PowerPoint is a visual aid.
Consider a speaker you’ve enjoyed in the past, maybe at a conference. Let’s say this speaker delivered a wonderful presentation. What if they’d only sent their PowerPoint slides and hadn’t actually shown up? Would you have gotten their message?
Imagine that this same speaker talked without PowerPoint slides. Would you have enjoyed their presentation? Would you have learned? Of course you would. The presenter is obviously more important.
Planning a presentation can be a challenge, partly because the creative process is messy. Maybe you’re tempted to rely on PowerPoint because slides are tidier? Don’t be afraid of the creative process. Let yourself brainstorm and think, “What’s going in this presentation? What characters and stories do I bring in? Are there any case histories I can include? What questions can I ask?” Brainstorming is best done on paper, a flip chart, a whiteboard, or even Post-It notes.
Next, ask yourself, “What’s my central theme? What’s the logical order? What are the examples?” And then, when you have an outline on your flip chart or note pad, that’s when you can ask yourself, “Where do I need the visuals?”
Always work on your content and structure first. Once these are in place, it will become apparent how you can use visuals to support your message. PowerPoint is most powerful when it reinforces a well-crafted message.
Let me help you become a great presenter quickly, easily, and cost-effectively on your own schedule. I’m here for you 24/7 through Fripp Virtual Training.
“Thank you once again for your speech coaching to prepare me and my team for our Global Sales meeting. You have an amazing talent in helping me pull my corporate message into a meaningful, impactful, and entertaining story. You are always the one to call when my back is against the wall. Your magic always works and hits the mark with every audience!”
– Brian Marlier, Senior Vice President, US Enterprise, Cisco
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Prepare & Present Powerful Presentations
Just a few of the many complimentary resources on Fripp.com to help you prepare and present a powerful presentation with or without PowerPoint:
- How to Save Time Preparing Your Presentation
- What Do You Really Mean? Specificity Is The Key to Credibility
- Do You Know How to Correctly Use Visual Aids in Your Presentation?
- Bad Slides Distracting Your Audience? How to Make Yours Good
- 8 Ways You Can Make Your Presentation A Success
- Everything Starts with Structure – How & Why to Create An Outline for Your Speech
- Rock Star Communication: How to Inspire Action & Commitment
- 12 Mistakes Made when Creating PowerPoint® Slides & How to Correct Them
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.
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In response to this article, Shoshana Shamberg sent me a list of helpful strategies for presenting to audience members with visual stress or impairment. She recommends, “For PowerPoint and other presentations, use a pastel background with dark text or dark background color with light text to reduce glare. Keep the background simple. Choose a clean text with good spacing. (Century Gothic and Arial are examples.)” Shoshana specializes in educational programming for students with severe disabilities and people of all ages with learning differences. For more information visit: http://www.aotss.com Thank you Shoshana!