Thanks so much for your project management in the real world presentation. Your research findings were very informative and provided the attendees with many thought provoking takeaways. Your facilitation was great and there was very good interaction throughout the meeting.
Laura Frank, PMP Synapse Group, Inc.
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Welcome to the October 2007, Pow'Rful Presentations newsletter.
This month I share a few tips for presenting slideshows that I have come across during
the month:

We know that personal stories are the best way to connect with your audience. What do
you do if you are preparing a presentation and don't have a relevant, personal story to
make your point?

Here are two tips:

a. Use an example to illustrate your point. For example, if you are illustrating the
widespread use of slides in today's presentations, use the audience as an example and ask "Raise your hand if you use PowerPoint in your presentations".

b. Relate a well-known story, giving credit to the original source. For example, it is OK
to relate Steven Covey's story of a paradigm shift, and explain how the story relates
supports your point in your presentation. People in your audience may have heard the
story before and a good story can be enjoyed many times, just as you enjoy your favorite
music again and again. Don't convey another speaker's story as your own.

Don't put Dilbert cartoons on slides, for at least, but perhaps not limited to the following
reasons. It is difficult to read the text from the back of the room. What do you do while
your audience is reading the cartoon? Stand and smile? You are forcing audience
attention to the cartoon, and taking all attention off you.

Find a buddy to video tape your presentation from the back of the room. Then watch it.
Can you interpret your tables, charts, processes and data-packed slides from this distance? If you can't then don't expect your audience to. (This technique has potential for
use as a tool for torture i.e. forcing presenters to endure their own slide shows)
Put "before" and "after" photos in juxtaposition. For example, make your left-hand image
"This is me at 200 pounds" and your right-hand image "This is me weighing 400
pounds". Displaying both images on the screen at the same time instantly conveys a large
portion of your meal, I mean message...

Throw out old slides. When you present often, you are going to build a library of slides
that you have used before. Once a year, go through your slides and throw out slides that
are outdated or that you can replace with slides to better convey your message at this

We know that text on slides is bad. Text on slides tempts you to read the slides to your
audience. Your audience wonders why you are reading the text when you could just have
sent the slideshow ahead of time. Well, I have found that acronyms on slides are worse
than text on slides. Although you are familiar with the acronym on the slide, your
audience may not be, or may have a different interpretation of the acronym. My advice is
to stay away from acronyms on slides altogether.

Resource Appearance Updates:

1. Feet-to-the-Fire Accountability Partners Audio Program is recorded and currently in
the editing department. I expect it to be ready for release in the next few weeks.

2. I am presenting at the Fall 2007 District 53 Toastmasters Conference in Fishkill, NY
on Nov 3. If you want to learn how to drastically improve your PowerPoint Presentations,
then attend the conference.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

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