Tuesday, May 09, 2006

content only matters if the audience is listening

I have an office job and I attend a lot of conferences. Those two things mean that I end up seeing a lot of presentations. A few are very good. Some are very bad and lead many to the belief that slideware is evil. Most are mediocre. So I’m only going to say this once: if you are giving a presentation you owe it to your audience to stop hiding behind the ‘I’m an engineering geek who can’t make a slick slide deck or speak to people engagingly’ excuse. I’m not saying you need to go get an MBA and have m4d ppt skillz, but for gods sake don’t read the damn slides to me. I am capable of reading on my own, and if I feel like I could have given your presentation for you with the deck and 20 minutes prep time, then you are wasting the time of your audience and insulting their intelligence.

Now I’m not claiming to be a slidedeck guru, but here are a couple links to things I’ve found useful, and suspect most presenters could learn from.

Presentation Zen (humorous AND educational, a virtual treasure trove)

Making a (Power)Point of Not Being Tiresome

And to lighten things up a bit more…

The Many Uses of Power Point

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/26/public_speaking_advice/

yeaaaah, that last one, I’m not sure what to call it so the URL will have to do. But trust me when I say it is pretty damn funny, and advice everyone I know would love to take regardless of whether they do any public speaking or not. :)

~Elphie

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3 Comments:

Blogger Vinnie said...

That was awesome. Great links and I totally agree with what you and they are saying.

Every business tard who squeezes reams of text onto a slide should be forced to eat paper copies of their deck, single-sided print.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Elphaba said...

If you check out Presentation Zen, you'll see that described as the Darth Vader presentation style.

Together We Can Bring Order To The Galaxy
If only you knew the power of the Dark Side

hee hee hee

http://presentationzen.blogs.com/presentationzen/2006/01/contrasts_in_pr.html

~E

10:05 PM  
Blogger Elphaba said...

I got a good comment in email from someone who morally objects to registering on Blogger to post comments. This reader asked: "what about the value of slides as take-aways?"

I guess my response would have to be: "is it a presentation or a whitepaper?" A potential solution is for speakers post slides with notes and back-up content online after their talks.

~E

10:07 PM  

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