science of fail

Presentations in their current form fail. This failure is due to construction and delivery. They are the result of a failure to understand psychological principles.


Hysteron proteron

The slideument

Can you send me your presentation please?

Chicken or egg?

Hypnotised, like a chicken




Guns don’t kill… bulletpoints do.

Tedious slide after tedious slide, read out almost verbatim with accompanying data slides that are too complex, don’t project well and are impossible to understand. There’s a random cartoon culled from somewhere but we can’t read it because it’s distorted…
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Read these.

33 blog posts, about 80 page views a day and over 6500 total views suggest that some folk are interested in what is being written about here. It is a huge disappointment that there has been no discussion raised yet and actually…
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I’m not bad; I’m just drawn that way!

Jessica Rabbit, wife of the famous actor Roger, film star and blues singer in her own right, famously tells Eddie Valiant, the gumshoe that, “I’m not bad; I’m just drawn that way.” The same is true of PowerPoint and other…
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scientific bulletpoints

There is a feeling that a presentation can’t be “scientific” unless it has bulletpoints, that transfer of information requires a list of facts on the board and that these should be worked through in order. There is no justification for…
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Download complete?

In considering the audience and what they expect from a speaker, too often the implicit understanding of the purpose of the presentation is of an information download. This directly affects the construction of the presentation with the speaker attempting to…
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When a small step is a giant leap

Helping colleagues with their presentations is a privilege. Rather than telling what to do, I usually direct them to Garr Reynold’s helpful pdf, suggest they buy at least one of his books and probably one by Nancy Duarte. Then, working…
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One change for dramatic improvement. (you won’t do it!)

I’m rather hoping that frequent visitors to the blog will have taken to heart some of the important concepts of presentation. Perhaps my deepest insight has been the p3 concept. The success in delivering the message of “the presentation” can be…
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Don’t put the cart before the horse.

To develop presentations, one must move away from the concept of looking at the text on a slide and asking how can this be improved by reduction and illustration. This is putting the horse before the cart. Change will only come…
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It’s not a powerpoint, it’s a presentation

When we talk of hoovering the lounge or of closing a package with selotape we are (frequently) using the generic name instead of the specific product;  it might be a vacuum cleaner made by Dyson or the ubiquitous “sticky backed…
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Welcome to the 21st Century

Holding the door for a lady, dial up internet access, travellers’ cheques and a limited number of slides in your deck are definitely remnants of times past. Some of the behaviour of the 20th Century however still persists in 2013…
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