Changing your slides won’t improve your presentation. (much)

Too often I hear people say, “I really liked your presentation, I’m going to change my slides.” Whilst on one level I rejoice, it is not that bulletpoints themselves offend but there is so much more than just that.

Our presentations, whatever their nature or purpose, are a combination of 3 parts; the story (p1) that you want to impart, the supportive media (p2) and your delivery (p3) of these. As  I have suggested earlier the ultimate value to your audience of the overall presentation is a product of these three (p3), the p cubed concept. The concept shows clearly that simply changing your slides to something less boring can only have a limited effect. To dramatically improve your presentation you must fundamentally reconsider the nature and purpose of your presentation.

It is clear from both experience and research that long presentations to deliver large amounts of facts simply do not work. It becomes a challenge to the audience to record every fact in a digital or analogue manner and this prevents listening, interacting and most importantly thinking. The very essence of information transfer is challenged. If your sole purpose is the information download then go ahead and do that. Most people call this a document and universally, as adults, we prefer to read rather than be read to. Print it off and save everyone the time.

What we need to consider is a new approach, a move away from machine gunning with facts. The Sensei (Garr Reynolds) discusses* (*start at 21:21 and listen to the end.) with my friend Phil Waknell the difference in thought around presentation. Lectures are not about teaching, they are about learning. We need to consider different ways of learning.

Read these for some ideas.

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