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Wayne BothaPow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
March 2008 - The HARD Slides
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist PowerPoint® Presenters communicate clearly with audiences.
In my effort to please the widest range of readers and knowing that adult learners acquire new skills in different ways, you may find typographical or grammatical errors in this newsletter. No need to point these out to me. These errors are purposely selected to serve diverse audiences, and prove that I practice what I preach in communicating my message through all available channels.
Also, depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be, well let us just say "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2008
Powerful Presentations Alliance.
First things first - you may be wondering why I did not publish newsletters in January and February of 2008. Well, for the past two months I was crazily doing what I love doing - namely making presentations, coaching and consulting.
As Area B2 Governor for Toastmasters I trained our club oficers, prepared for the District 53 Spring Speech Contest, held club contests, and coached clients to drastically improve their marketing presentations. Couple these activites with the formation of the Powerful Presentations Alliance, the launch of our new website, and the result is the first newsletter of 2008 being published in March.
You, as the reader of this newsletter benefit from the Powerful Presentations Alliance, because I am excited to announce that my partners in the Alliance are the best of the best PowerPoint®  Presentation Practioners. We have years of presentation experience and advocate the same philosophy when using PowerPoint®. This means that you get the benfit of our combined experience.
To demonstrate the tremendous value created by forming the Powerful Presentations Alliance, this newsletter focuses on the "Hard" Slides.
The HARD Slides

What is "Hard" slide? Let me first explain an "easy" slide. An "easy" slide is a slide where you can easily communicate your message with a photo. For example, when you want to impress your audience with the likelihood of future college graduates, you can use the slide above.

When you display this slide, every parent is paying attention and thinking "how cute". This slide is "easy" because it is easy to find a photo that conveys your message.
However, when you are faced with conveying statistics and trends, you are faced with "Hard" slides. The natural tendency is to put up a chart or a data-intense spreadsheet which leads your audience straight into snoozeville.
Craig Strachan (founding member of the Powerful Presentations Alliance) solves the problem of the "Hard" slides in his newly published Putting the Power Back into Power Point ebook, which you can download for free.

The key to communicating statistical information is to keep your slides simple. Only display the important information and nothing more.

Answer this question before you create your slide "What point am I trying to make with this slide?" This answer will guide you through a slashing process to eject the less-relevant data and focus on the data you need to support your point.
Also, be constantly aware that colors don't always display through a projector the way you see them on your computer monitor. Always test your presentation through a projector first, otherwise your green and yellow contrasts may surprise you and confuse your audience.
In summary, when you are faced with designing the "Hard" slides, follow these pointers:
1. Answer the question - What point am I trying to make with this slide?
2. Keep your charts simple.
3. Fewer data points and less information helps your audience understand your point.
4. Rehearse your slideshow through a projector, just in case your projector changes your color scheme.
More next time!
Wayne Botha
© Wayne Botha 2008

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