I received a question via Twitter about #presentationskills and where I might focus beginning the journey of improvement. As with so many things, the more I considered the issue the deeper the answer became. I think a good place to start is by deleting your slides (p2).
@ffolliet if you’re coaching a complete beginner in #presentationskills do you have one aspect that you tend to focus on improving?
— Edward Snelson (@sailordoctor) June 15, 2015
If you want to improve, get rid of your supportive media. Just delete it. It is terrible. Your presentation would be better without it. You know it, your audience knows. Just delete your .ppt file. A good presentation does not need a slide set. A great presentation is made better by its supportive media: the vast majority are made worse. The best place to begin improving is by deleting your slide set.
No? The reasons you have already listed in your head as to why you won’t do that show you the purpose you assign to your supportive media. Is it your script? It shouldn’t be. Is it for the audience to read? That’s a handout. Is it in case you forget where you are going or what you will say? That’s lack of practise. Is it because everyone else does it? That’s conformity. Is it because you think you need it? That’s wrong. The purpose of the media is to illustrate what you have to say not a slideument.
To improve your #presentationskills you need to re-consider the purpose of p2, not its design. Adding media (p2) to a presentation will improve the story (p1) and its delivery (p3). Once you have changed that aspect and re-established the very purpose of the media, then we can improve it.