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The Power And The Point Of Powerpoint

Author : Vincent Stevenson

Submitted : 2007-06-17 00:00:00    Word Count : 580    Popularity:   319

Tags:   College of Public Speaking, Presentation & Communication Skills Training Courses, Vince Stevenson, Public Speaking, Body Language Awareness

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MS Powerpoint is a mature product in a mature industry and yet still it is the most frequently misused application on the market.

Why is this?

Well, the mistake that most inexperienced users make is that they think that Powerpoint is the presentation itself - whereas the truth is that Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist the speaker's key messages.

People spend hours creating scores of slides with large chunks of text in a small font size. They then waste the presentational opportunity by reading the contents of each slide verbatim in a monotonous drone. This is more a case of assisted reading rather than imparting key messages with impact.

Powerpoint is simply a tool to visually assist the speaker key messages.

Tips:

The presenter must take centre stage and take control. Do not be a slave to the PC or the projector.

It's vital to have a structure so that you can map out what is about to happen. This assists the audience enormously when you tell them what you're going to tell them.

Ensure you have only one key point per slide. Ensure that each slide serves its purpose and pulls its weight. Can your audience read the slide?

Consistently use fonts and font sizes. Use non-serif fonts. No more than 2 per page. If your company has a logo or brand, ensure it appears in each page (master slide - usually bottom right hand corner).

Know your audience - who are they and what's in it for them? Are you there to inform, persuade, inspire, motivate? Stick to your theme. We are all guilty of trying too hard to please. Sticking to the theme will help the audience enormously confusing messages or themes makes the audience feel uncomfortable and you will see them shifting in their seats if they are confused.

Know your PC.

Find out which type of PC you'll be using as the specification for each PC can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Email your presentation to the organisers and take a copy on a memory stick, just in case. Most modern laptops no longer use floppy disks. Find out in advance and always expect the unexpected.

Also, make sure that you address your audience and do not talk directly to the screen. As always your primary concern is your audience. Without an audience, there is no requirement for a speaker. When you deliver a key message or even a key line, make sure that you're looking directly at the audience and not at your notes. That will give that point added weight and greater impact.

Use a remote mouse - it highly distracting for the audience if you are hunched over the PC during the presentation. Being free to move around the stage and address individual segments of the audience will make certain that you'll look calm and professional. That, of course, is exactly what you want. Being invited to speak again is your reward for your hard work, preparation and delivery.

Vince Stevenson is one of England's greatest speaking enthusiasts, having competed for and won many prestigious competitions. Vince is involved with speaking at many levels and has just finished his year as District President of the South-Eastern District of the Association of Speakers Clubs having been involved in its educational development for many years. Vince is a founder and lead trainer at the College of Public Speaking, a business dedicated to improving effective communication skills in industry. He is also an in demand after-dinner speaker.

Author's Resource Box

The College of Public Speaking assists the Corporate Sector improve its communication skills. Utilising the tried and trusted research of Albert Mehrebian, we use cutting edge business scenarios to develop speakers capable of performing on the international stage.
http://www.collegeofpublicspeaking.co.uk



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