Are You a PowerPoint Goose?

Goose Eye extreme
Originally uploaded by david ian…

There are no shortages of "how to" guides for creating better, more effective presentations. A quick search on Google will yield thousands of results, from books to websites and blogs through to live examples on YouTube.

There are excellent presentation decks that can be used for inspiration on Slideshare, and simply watching one or two presentations on TED talks can drastically improve your in-person style and approach.

But despite all this, poorly structured, visually cramped presentations continue to dominate the business landscape. Presenters themselves continue to recite slide content without weaving a story between the bullet points or slide topic areas. This means that those "participating" in the meeting, turn their attention to also reading the slide content — focusing not on you, the presenter, but on the words on the screen.

This turns the presenter into a "PowerPoint Goose" — with no attention from the audience, your "speech" turns into non-representative "honking".

But what can you do if you have only a few minutes before your next presentation? How can you avoid turning into a PowerPoint Goose? Laura Fitton has this great post that steps you through the QUICK things you can do to improve a presentation. She identifies four steps:

  1. Review your audience and objective
  2. Get Darwinian and only allow the strongest slides to remain
  3. Reorder your slides
  4. Do a lightning round on your deck, condensing each slide to a single sentence

Even with only a few moments, you can improve your presentation. So before you go into your next meeting, take a quick look at Laura’s post and aim for the golden egg.

5 thoughts on “Are You a PowerPoint Goose?

  1. I’ve seen a few talks recently where people have spoken without notes or slides. It’s great because it forces them to be concise and fluent. It’s a dying art sadly but hopefully it will make a comeback.

  2. I’m a big fan of a presentations that have clear intent. Eg not a document dressed up as a presentation.
    But Gavin, that goose eye is totally freaking me out. It’s the thing nightmares are made of.

  3. Jazz … glad you like the goose eye — and the only nightmare worse than that is the presentation that I am making out of this blog post 😉

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