5 Ways to Prevent Death by PowerPoint

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As you can imagine I go to see a LOT of speeches. The other day for example, I went to see an association executive speak to a packed ballroom. He stepped up to the podium, began his speech and then said “I have a PowerPoint”. You could literally feel the energy suck out of the room and hear a collective “UGH…” because there is something you need to understand people really dread presentation slides! PowerPoint itself is an incredibly powerful and dynamic application that I use all the time, but sometimes it’s just not used in the most effective way. So here are five ways to avoid death by PowerPoint in your next presentation or speech:

Remember technology can sometimes act as a barrier between you and the audience. So take away the technology and you’ll have a much better connection. ~ Narges Nirumvala

  1. Don’t use it! I know it sounds too simple right? Really just don’t use it. Be brave and go without! Remember technology can sometimes act as a barrier between you and the audience. So take away the technology and you’ll have a much better connection.
  2. Edit, edit, edit. Cut down on the number of slides and even the number of words per slide. Less really is more when it comes to presentation slides. If you’re an executive you might be using a ‘canned presentation’ given to you by your Communications Department or HR Department – so YOU should do the editing since you are the one speaking. Don’t delegate this!
  3. Use more images and video. You’ve seen TED and TEDx speeches right? They often have just one or two powerful images or photos. You can use the same technique. Images and video are more engaging and less boring for your audience. You can buy great stock images and video online now.
  4. Don’t use too many (if any) graphs and charts. The number of times I’ve had to squint to see the numbers on a chart or graph on a presentation slide. It’s better to have details like this on your website or on a handout or report that your audience receives and not on a large complicated slide that no one can read anyway! I know this is easier said than done.
  5. Step up your speaking game. If you can’t do anything about your presentation, then you need to become an outstanding speaker (in terms of your delivery skills) to compensate. So do what you can to improve your presentation skills and public speaking ability. That way people won’t notice the hideous, boring slides because they are too busy listening and enjoying your amazing speech. Now if you need help in this area, think about working with an executive speech coach like yours truly. You can read about my executive coaching packages here.

The next time you’re faced with making a keynote speech at a conference or even something more intimate like a boardroom presentation, go through this list and take your engagement to the next level.

If you’re an executive or leader and need help with your speech or you’re in the media and want to interview me as an expert contact me here.

Called ‘The Secret Weapon’ by one journalist, Narges Nirumvala is a world renowned leadership communication expert and international speaker. She is the CEO of ExecutiveSpeak Coaching International and author of the bestselling book “Capture the Spotlight”. Narges works with executives and leadership teams to help them find their authentic voice and speak the language of leadership. Narges has received numerous accolades; most recently she was nominated for the 2016 Wendy McDonald Awards as Community Catalyst.

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