Rantings: Your Presentation Sucks!

In today’s ranting session, I talk about presentations. In the past ten years, I have sat through many horrible presentations. It seems that too many are still relying heavily on Power Point (gross!) and others believe Prezi is the second coming of software. We often use catchy graphics and interaction to make our presentations look more visually stunning. While some may look nice, nobody wants to see 300 leaves falling on your presentation one by one. It’s distracting!

Also, I cannot sit through one more slideshow with 75 slides! It is physically impossible for me to pay attention. My advice for a killer presentation of any kind is to focus on the message. Omit all fancy graphics and keep it clean, kids! Make your content and your words the fascinating piece of the pitch. Some of the best presentations I have seen involve one person, a message, & a whiteboard.

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2 thoughts on “Rantings: Your Presentation Sucks!

  1. Also, remember cognitive overload. The brain can only process one type of visual or verbal processing at a time. If you are giving a presentation and have large amounts of text on you PPT, then either people will stop listening to you and read the text, not read the text and listen to you, or just space out entirely. Supplement your talk with visuals that help people understand what you are talking about and contextualize the information.

    Few resources to help on this point:
    Dan Roam’s work: http://www.danroam.com/
    Mayers Principles of Communication: http://designerelearning.blogspot.com/2005/09/mayers-principles-for-design-of.html

    On a final note, Prezi can be REALLY distracting. The flipping and swooshing can be worse than a major text filled powerpoint. POWtoon (http://www.powtoon.com/) is a cool tool I have been using lately, or just a PPT with load of pictures and no text is good. Less is more, and focus on key take away that people can understand and bring back to memory.

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