Forget Your Title, We're All in Sales!

By: David Greenberg
Posted: 08/29/2007

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

How do you rate the presentations in your organization?  

Here are a few tips you can apply immediately
to spice-up your presentations.

Tip #1. Avoid Data Dumps.
Don't overwhelm audiences with a dizzying, high-speed slide show. It's
better to clearly convey a few points than to race through and overwhelm
listeners with a "data dump." While preparing your presentation and even
during your talk, ask yourself, "Is this something they need to know or
something that would be nice to know?" If they don't need to know it,
skip it.

Tip #2. Keep Text to A Minimum.
Don't put everything you plan to say on your slides. No one wants to watch
you read, and long sentences on slides force listeners to choose between
reading and listening to you. This is frustrating, and frustrated listeners don't
make for an effective presentation.

Tip #3. A Picture Still Equals 1,000 Words.
One chart, cartoon, diagram, drawing, graph or photo can express more than
words alone. Think of yourself as a television news anchor. The story of a fire
is told while only the words "3 Alarm Fire" or a picture of flames appears in the
background. What one word or picture will help your story?

Tip #4. Spice-Up Your Stats.
Display one or two numbers and ask people to guess what they represent.
You're bound to get some interesting answers. For example, display the numbers
15 and 26% and ask for guesses. The interaction is what brings the presentation
to life! In this case, 15 is the number of years Kathie Lee Gifford sat beside Regis
Philbin as co-host of their morning talk show in America. 26% is the increase in
the show's ratings the first three weeks after she departed.

Tip #5. Fill-In-The-Blanks.
Use a fill-in-the blank format for statistics and solicit guesses from the audience.
Again, the interaction makes the statistics memorable. For example, display a slide
that reads: "___% of our clients say we offer excellent customer service. ___% say
we offer poor service." Offer a prize for the person who comes closest to the right
answer.


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- Joseph I. Kessler, President
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