Death by Power Point
Recently I was asked to judge a series of presentations made by a group of masters students. The exercise was based on a live project we are...3 Mar 2010 4503 Views
Recently I was asked to judge a series of presentations made by a group of masters students. The exercise was based on a live project we are working on at The Duffy Agency. They were presenting their marketing plans for a beverage we will be launching in the Spring. After the presentation Pontus, one of the students who presented, asked if there was a website or book he could read to sharpen his presentation skills even further. None came to mind, then I remembered this gem. It was sent to me by a client a few years back. She swears it was not intended as a not-so-subtle hint. But she did e-mail it to me WHILE I was presenting to her management team. In any event its funny and offers some good practical advice. If you know of any other resources that might help Pontus, please comment.
Thanks to Pontus for the question and to Alexei Kapterev for the answer. Download Download Death-by-powerpoint in PDF format.
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I am Pontus. I asked about presentation techniques since one can never become too good at it. On the other hand, most of the times presentations (especially slides on a projector) are, well let us say not so good to be mild. My professor at Lund School of Economics and Management (http://www.ehl.lu.se) Mats Alvesson once said during a lecture: “If you don’t have a point, use a Powerpoint.” Then he held his lecture using a good ol’ overhead projector with a Word like typed document on which he revealed one line at a time. He had our attention during the whole class.
So, Powerpoint are bad? Well, no.. and that’s why I asked Sean. I’d also love to hear about tips and tricks from the rest of you readers out there. My findings so far are:
– During presentations you work with limited “bandwidth”, limited audience interest, limited time and often huge amounts of opportunities to communicate.- There is no universally effective method that makes a winning presentation all the time without paying attention to the situation.- Tayloring the presentation to the audience rather than your message or presentation content is vital. If not you might just as well talk to yourself in the mirror the equivalent amount of time.- Always embrace chances to improve on presenting or communicating. Be humble and open.- Tell a (hopefully good) story. :)
That said, two books are worth mentioning (more tips are gladly welcomed!):- The Storyboard Approach by Marcel Dunand and Kerry Choun: A great tutorial on storyboarding with loads of examples and how to:s for all kinds of contents (text and graphics: charts and diagrams).- Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson: A book recommended all over the Internet also concerning storyboarding. Definately beginner friendly.
Though, like I (and Sean) said, I want more. Inspiration is always good. For a different and un-traditional way of doing slides, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrpajcAgR1E& for Dick Hardt’s Identity 2.0 presentation from OSCON 2005.
Over and out but hopefully soon back for your tips,Pontus
Powerpoint by death pretty much visualized in stand up.
This is a fantastic PDF. I’m sharing this with all the PP jockeys in the building!
Thanks for the comments Pontus, Olof and Max. Here are some more great insights on the art of presenting with PPT from Bozidar Jovicevic called “Present Differently” http://tinyurl.com/ykjusyj. Check it out.
More insights http://flowingdata.com/2010/04/27/discuss-powerpoint-is-the-enemy/ and anyway, this is a great blog for all that need to present complex data. There’s a nice how-to-generate-that-perfect-TED-talk generator out there, too. On my part, I recently stopped using text in presentations altogether…