The Art of Power-Point Presentation

How many times did you have “butterflies in your stomach” just because you were told to be present in the auditorium/seminar hall where your attendance was compulsory for something more precisely called “Power Point Presentation”. You especially need to take care that it is referred to as PPT and not just a presentation, the former probably stands for “Powerpoint”.

PPTs are probably one of the most hated things in this world, due to one simple reason-They are usually boring. The person giving the presentation considers it a liability and the audience feel attendance a compulsion. The audience resist from asking questions as it will prolong the event to unbearable lengths. The presenter just wants to get rid of his responsibilities either because he is not interested or he knows no one cares to listen.

political pictures for your blog

Essayists

Nothing is more torturous for me than attending a presentation, where the dude has copied the whole content on the slide and is reading  it aloud for the audience! Like we are illiterates.

Body Language

Would you like to attend a presentation where the person uses his hands, eyes, face for communication or in a presentation where the person speaks like a robot? We have enough text-to-speech converters. Humans need not take the pains for the same.

Animations on the slides

Probably many people might disagree with me on this topic, but I hate those presentations where the slides have tons of effects like fade-in, swirl, zoom-in etc. To add more insult those effects have sounds effects like brake,gunfire,coughing, sneezing and what not.

One-Phrase Focus

This solution is probably for all the essayists. I have seen many people who can capture the attention of the audience by focussing on one-phrase at a time. If a person is speaking on say “Memory Management”, then keep this word/phrase on the slide and nothing else. The slide is just to keep the audience alert on which topic the talk is going on. If there are many sub-topics, probably all of them can be shown on the screen, but only one of them should have focus and rest should be grayed out.

PPT

Presentation is not a “Power Point presentation”. You don’t need Power Point for putting forward your views. I don’t know who coined this horrible term called “PPT” which most probably stands for “PowerPoint”. I use OO.org, so it means I am unfit for giving a PPT?

Steve Jobs

If everything else fails, turn towards one of the biggest visionary and orator of this time for more suggestions.  Have a look at the keynotes delivered by Jobs. Learn from them. Do you find his whole speech written on the background?

In fact presentation should not use PowerPoint. Ideally, every so called PPT should be like a Steve Jobs keynote.

Conclusion

I am also not an expert in delivering speeches or presentations. Since I have to attend some of the other presentation every forthnight, I do notice some of the other mistakes committed by others, make a note of it. Next time when I prepare for any speeches, I keep those points in mind. The above points are taken from that list. This list is from an audience perspective.

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11 thoughts on “The Art of Power-Point Presentation

  1. Ha ha nice, we had a subject called presentation skills at MIC. More than what we should do, we were told what not to do during a presentation. The animations, sound effects being few of those =D

    1. Well, the problem these days is that people pay more attention to fancy and effects more than the content itself. Probably this is the reason you people were taught “what not to do”.

      Keep the presentation simple and to the point. Don’t allow the user to shift his focus from you to the slides.

  2. Great post. As a person who does this as part of his profession, I see a lot of these problems in business, no matter the position of the individual in the organizational chart, or the department.

    I think that the big problem, especially in technical fields, is that public speaking (and interpersonal communication in general) is a very much ignored. Yet, in most cases, technical ability gets you in the door. But your interpersonal skills are what create a great and rewarding career.

    I hope that as faculties see the importance of communication, they will put more emphasis on developing well-rounded individuals instead of churning out techies who can be easily replaced by lower-paid people who can’t communicate.

    Let me add a few more points to your post:

    – Don’t be afraid to use humour, but don’t use it to insult or put down your audience.

    – Instead of words, use pictures on your slides.

    – If you aren’t referencing what you see on the screen, blank it using the “B” key. Press the B key again to see the screen content

    – Work with a remote control instead of standing behind your computer all the time.

    There’s a bunch more on my Web site, if you’re interested.

    L

    1. Instead of words, use pictures on your slides.

      I would say. Use one-line title and diagrams or descriptions to put forward your point. In no case should be a block of text shown up. It’s distracting.

      If you aren’t referencing what you see on the screen, blank it using the “B” key. Press the B key again to see the screen content

      Perfect! It just skipped out of my mind.

      Work with a remote control instead of standing behind your computer all the time.

      A remote control is not available all the time.

  3. “I don’t know who coined this horrible term called “PPT” which most probably stands for “PowerPoint”. I use OO.org, so it means I am unfit for giving a PPT?”

    Hell yeah you are, crybaby! I also don’t know who created the horrible term xerox so that its even part of the freaking dictionary now. I think i am unfit to copy on a gestetner. It’s what most people call it that counts. Even your linux loving wikipedians have that mentality when it comes to terms in articles. “Use the most common and widely accepted term. Else I will block your redlinked n00b butt for 24 hours”. Hell, even you of all people call the OS “Linux” instead of the correct term “GNU/Linux”. Even Linus Torvalds says, “since its widely accepted, the whole issue is nonsense and RMS can kiss my open source butt” Convenience? Popularity? Or just plain old typical-of-FOSS-fans: hypocrisy?

    1. Lol troll. You again lived up to your name. Have some guts and
      disclose yourself.

      Looks like you didn’t understand what I was trying to convey. —
      Whenever people have to give a presentation, the first thing which
      comes to their mind is ‘Powerpoint’. I am criticising that mentality.
      Presenting should be a art and you should not be crippled by
      powerpoint.

      Yeah. Xerox name is a misnomer and should get corrected. Even ‘Cello
      tape’ is a misnomer. These two misnomers are harmless, but a misnomer
      called Powerpoint is a social tragedy.

  4. You’re right on with this post, especially for someone who is not a presentation expert. I think this goes to show that it’s painfully obvious why presentations are so bad, but few presenters make the conscious effort to learn effective presentation design.

    Too much text; Body language; Bad animations…we know the problems. It’s easier said than done though. When the tables are turned and we’re the ones on the stage, it’s difficult to trust in our presenting skills enough to use restraint in our presentation design. We tend to add some extra sentences to make sure we don’t forget our important points.

    Great breakdown. This is a list that any presenter should keep in mind when they prepare.

    1. Thanks! Actually this list is compiled from my personal experience of
      attending uncountable number of presentations.

      Believe me, I try my best not to make my presentations boring. I write
      only one word on each slide or a phrase. Probably you wont succeed in
      one attempt, but keep trying. It’s all practice.

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