You’ve heard the phrase “death by PowerPoint.”
Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself, sitting in a meeting and watching a bunch of slides that made you lose the will to live. How did slides become so bad that we’re killing people with them?
There’s a better way to connect with one another and it entails turning off the projector.
If the very thought of giving up the screen for your presentation makes your entire body seize up, don’t panic — you’re not alone.
While teaching a presentation class for a client, I walked in and asked for the projector and screen to be removed from the room. The client thought I had lost my mind.
“How will you teach us to give a presentation without any slides?” she asked.
All too often we rely on visual aids to give the presentation for us. Or many people use slides to remind them what to say.
BUT IT ISN’T POSSIBLE FOR AUDIENCES TO TAKE IN HUGE AMOUNTS OF TEXT WHILE ALSO LISTENING TO YOU TALK.
By simplifying your visual aids, you put the focus where it belongs — on you.
1. Delete Text
There’s a lot of conflicting information about how to design slides, most of which is unhelpful.
In fact, just yesterday, I met a lady who proudly told me she knew all about the 1–7–7 technique for slides. This teaches you to have one title, then seven bullets, with seven words per bullet-point.
This means having a minimum of 50 words on a slide! If you have 100 slides then you are asking people to read a 5,000 word document while you talk to them.
It isn’t going to happen.
Limit the number of things you’re asking people to focus on.
That means deleting all the extra text from your slides.
Your audience can’t read, listen to you talk, and comprehend what you’re saying at the same time. That’s just too much.
Reducing the stimulus people take in during your presentation will allow them to take more away from their time with you.
2. Add Images
People can’t read and listen at the same time.
The parts of the brain required for this are too close together. However, we can look at images and listen. In fact, one study showed that people who watch a presentation with bullet-points will only remember 10% of it three days later. But an audience that sees the same presentation with great images will remember 65%.
THIS IS WHY YOUR PRESENTATION NEEDS STRIKING VISUALS TO ACCOMPANY YOUR TALKING POINTS.
You want to keep your audience engaged, but you also want them to have a visual representation to stake in their memory — not to mention good visuals can help people sit still longer.
Think about the Lord of the Rings movies. They’re several hours long and most people sat through them without having to get up for a bathroom or coffee break every forty minutes. The images and the characters talking were enough to keep viewers engaged for upwards of three hours in one sitting.
That’s the power of images.
I’m not saying your presentation needs to have elves and wizards and epic battles with orcs. But you want your visual aids to be just as memorable, helping people focus on the topic you’re talking about.
3. Remember: You’re Batman, Your Visual Aids Are Robin
Everyone wants to be Batman.
When it comes to presenting, you are Batman. Your visual aids are Robin. You need to be the main focus of the moment.
Because when you’re presenting, you’re the expert — the smartest hero in the room.
And if you need support, your visual aids are right there to swoop in and assist.
By simplifying your visual aids with less text and more images, you’ll make them 550% more effective. You’ll only be asking your audience to listen to you while you present, and in tandem with strong, supporting imagery, you’ll have a presentation that’s memorable on an epic scale.
And you can do it all without a cape.
To learn more about how we can help you please contact our team.