Two birds…….two stones
We’ve all seen a presentation delivered at a conference that has too much information on the slides and we’ve all seen that presentation forwarded to attendees that basically tells you nothing. Maybe a picture off a bird dipping it’s beak in to a pool made sense then, but it doesn’t now! The reason both things happen too often is that the presenter is using only one presentation.
A presentation can not be all things to all people
The presentation you deliver in front of an audience should differ from the presentation you upload or give to the organiser to distribute. This is probably obvious to most people but it is very interesting to see that the majority of presentations delivered in front of a live audience are the same versions sent to attendees post event. And that is a shame: it is a learning opportunity missed. This happens because we organisers never ask our speakers for two different versions. To ask is the number one presentation tip for powerpoint!
Some simple presentation tips for powerpoint
1. If you are an organiser explain to your speakers that spending a little bit of time changing the presentation will make a big impact on the learning for your attendees. Simply by explaining and then showing the differences you can increase the learning of your attendees. So ask for two versions but do provide some guidance; some of which is below.
2. We have all been told that you should NEVER use bullet points in your presentation, well, that’s not exactly true. Bullet points are perfect if you want someone to take in your key points when they don’t have the distraction of you talking as well. So when presenting bullet points are bad. When completing your version to send to delegates bullet points are good.
3. When presenting use big bold strong images. These images don’t need captions of extra information on the screen (that’s why you are there) But when you complete the other version reduce the physical size of the image and add the title or the key take home message you want delegates to take away.
4. A lot of text on a slide when you are standing next to it on stage is not a good idea. Attendees will find themselves distracted between the information on the screen and the information coming from you (even if it’s the same information it’s still confusing) However without you filling in the details, a lot of slides needs a lot of information. Don’t be scared to add what seems like a lot of detail to your slides post event. This info replaces you.
5. When you present your talk it will likely last 30mins so think about how long it should take to read the presentation. It should be a lot shorter. Don’t overload the second presentation; remember you should only have the same 3 to 5 key points.
6. Adding links to further reading related to the topics you cover works really well in the second, take home version, much less in the “live” presentation. Sticking up a 20 character web address on screen and hoping that attendees take it down properly and then remember to use it doesn’t work so well.
7. Add links to content in your attendee version. You will perhaps be directing them to your other presentations or content or to interesting events so make sure you make it easy for them.
Why this is so important
1. As an organiser you are really showing your delegates love. You are demonstrating value to them and also that you understand their learning needs. Tailored learning isn’t easy to do but does show your commitment to their needs.
2. You have more content and content is very important. You are not sending them stuff they have already seen but real added value stuff.
3. As a speaker you are showing a commitment to those who took the time to come and see you. I personally think this helps you stand out among other speakers. It’s also an extra thing to do to justify you being paid (which for a whole host of reasons I support)
4. The savvy attendees should be demanding this at the events they attend. So put the effort in so they continue to attend your conference and not someone else’s.
Hopefully a helpful example
I spoke recently at an event in Budapest. I’ve uploaded the version I presented and the version I then forwarded to the organiser. This is far from perfect (especially with the problems Slideshare has dealing with Keynote) but it should provide a useful guide for you to forward to your speakers. These presentation tips for powerpoint will hopefully be a helpful example.