|Articles To help Project Leaders
Welcome to the November 2007, Pow'Rful Presentations newsletter.|
This month we focus on developing your PowerPoint® presentation style by researching
two commonly known presentation styles. I consider these two styles best suited for the
advanced presenter due of the high volume of slides and the large time commitment
required to prepare for the smooth coordination of slides and verbal communication.
Busy professionals who occasionally need to deliver presentations are best served by
developing and rehearsing a simple presentation using the Pow'Rful Process. Spend at
least two minutes on every slide and use examples to illustrate your points. Don't try to
present an intricate presentation of 20 slides per minute without significant preparation
and the commensurate time investment.
I believe that you benefit from studying other styles and can include a sprinkling of these
two techniques into your presentation as a change of pace. While spending 2 minutes on
most of your slides, imagine the impact if you follow a black slide with 10 slides of
Larry's rapid- fire style. Your audience will enjoy the variety.
Style #1: Larry Lessig
Watch a presentation here to become familiar with this style.
Observe Dick Hardt present in this style here: http://identity20.com/media/OSCON2005/
Style #2: Takahashi Method.
Use GIANT SIZE text with this method. Use words and characters to convey your
message. (I have not found a worthy video clip of a presentation using the Takahashi
method to share with you, and I am substituting here). For example as a presenter you
may say, "Today we will discuss 5 reasons for extreme snowfalls." Your slide will show
a GIANT SIZE "5". "Reason #1 is sub zero air temperature" Your next slide will show a
GIANT SIZE "#1".
The principle is that you slides have GIANT SIZE text that is instantly recognized as an
anchor for your message and you provide the content to your audience.
Here is a sample slideshow to illustrate the Takahashi method. (Apologies, I could not
find an example in English).
The vast majority of PowerPoint® presentations given in business settings are absolutely
horrible. There is far too much text on the slides, too many text-laden slides for the time
allowed, and simply too much detailed information in the graphs. Presenters usually give
no thought to the presentation. Most presenters simply dump data into PowerPoint® with
the hope of muddling their way through the slideshow on stage.
Given this starting point any small improvement such as planning the presentation before
creating slides, or following the 10/20/30 rule dramatically improves a horrible
presentation. Remember that Guy Kawasaki coined this rule which says "No more than
10 slides in a 20 minute presentation with no less than 30 point font size."
I believe that absolutes do not apply when creating your slideshow. Defining rules such
as "No more than six words on a slide, ever" are a waste of time. Will your whole
presentation be ruined if you put seven words on the slide? Or eight? Or nine? There is
no need for absolute rules. You should apply common sense and follow guidelines that
produce effective communication with your audience most of the time, such as limiting
the amount of text on the slides.
Combining a few small improvements elevates your presentation from "horrible" to
"tolerable". Reading this newsletter guides you to further raise your presentations from
"tolerable" to "outstanding" by incorporating lessons from Larry Lessig and Takahashi.
Both of these methods require significant time investment to create the slideshow and to
rehearse so that you can deliver smoothly.
Experiment with these two methods and learn if either one resonates with you. Do you
feel attracted to either of these slide- intensive methods, or do you feel more comfortable
with fewer slides and verbally sharing examples and stories while displaying a black
slide. I personally prefer a small number of slides and a lot of direct communication with
the audience, as advocated in the Pow'Rful Process.
In summary, I am creating portions of my next presentation using Larry's style and some
slides with GIANT TEXT. I will take note of audience reaction and modify future
presentations accordingly. Who knows perhaps 2008 will bring "The Advanced Pow'Rful Process"?
For further learning, I recommend that you visit these sites and add them to your
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Resource and Appearance Updates:
1. "Feet-to-the-Fire: The secret to completing every project" is complete and available
for purchase at http://www.waynebotha.com/Wayne_Book_CD.htm.
2. I am being interviewed on "Abundance with De Boone" this Thursday (12/6/07) at
3pm. Listen in on WDJZ 1530 AM or online at http://www.WDJZradio.comas we
discuss "Dodging the Bullet Points". We will give away two free books to lucky
More next time!
Best, Wayne Botha
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