"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci
The principles of good presentations are very much like those used in good movies - both should take the audience on a journey of intrigue and discovery. Furthermore, as with each new scene in a film, a presentation must also take people forward on a moment-by-moment basis - hopefully without them predicting or knowing what's coming next.
Even with the loss of Steve Jobs, Apple executives still keep their presentation media simple. The video below is of CEO Tim Cook talking about Apple's tablet market share. He’s focusing on that one single point - freeing him up to add whatever additional information helps to reinforce his message. As such, he is making his life a lot easier.
Lose the bullet points
If your slides are packed with bullet points and different messages you will feel compelled to mention them all. You will be effectively bound in chains by your slides. Your visuals need to express their message in a glance - then you can be the expert your audience expects and not 'the guy who turns up to read the slides'.
How may slides?
In recent years the question "how many slides are you using?" has led presenters all over the world to feel they should use as few slides as possible - even though the remaining ones are then often crammed with needless information. In fact the physical number of slides is often irrelevant. What IS important is how much information is displayed and what the message is.
We have sat through presentations with over 100 slides that felt like 20 and presentations with 20 slides that felt like a 1,000. If you're required to convey a lot of specific technical information to your audience then give them the key facts in your presentation and send them a document with everything else in afterwards. This is is far easier for people to digest than cramming absolutely everything into your slides
Remember a presentation is just that - it's a message delivered by a living breathing human being, not a PowerPoint file.
As we launch our new In-house programmes and Open courses in Personal Resilience, our programme designer and course leader Justin McCarron looks at Resilience – what it is, and how it could benefit your team… > Read more