Ah, the good old days. For me, those were the days before PowerPoint slide shows became the norm for virtually every business presentation given in corporate America. I fondly remember the days when presenters spoke passionately about a subject near and dear to their heart without having to
display every single thought on a slide. I reminisce back to the time when 80 slides for a 20 minute presentation was NOT the norm, when presenters weren’t just slide narrators, when preparing for a presentation meant more than putting together your slide show.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know the advantages of using slides, however, I also know that too much of a good thing is NOT GOOD. I subscribe to Bill Wheless’ philosophy about PowerPoint “It’s like alcohol in the hands of a drunk. What we need is moderation.” Somehow, we must learn to use, but not abuse, the positive attributes slides bring to our
presentations. If we don’t, we risk looking and sounding like every other boring business presenter. Worst of all, we become forgettable.
Think about the last presenter who strongly affected you. More than likely that presenter used very few, if any, slides. The most memorable presenters rely on their delivery style to make their point, rather than a well designed slide deck.
When I first began teaching presentation skills more than 20 years ago, I struggled to convince presenters to incorporate the use of visual aids. My how the world has
Today, I have to work twice as hard to convince presenters to rely less on their slides and more on their dynamic
communication skills. It’s almost as if presenters believe that all it takes to deliver a successful presentation is a good slide deck. The truth is, when asked to prepare a
presentation, presenters spend the vast majority of their time working on their slides, rather than their delivery style.