You’ve probably seen a million powerpoint presentations…and almost all of them are pretty boring.
But because you’re nice you don’t say anything and you sit through the torture. You never tell the speaker how boring their powerpoints were, you just silently think about how sucky they are.
Of course, your powerpoints are much better. Nobody sits through your presentations feeling like they’re being tortured. You have the best powerpoint presentations in the world. But if you want to make your powerpoints a little better then here’s what you can do…
1. It’s not the powerpoint, it’s the presenter
There are tons of people out there who think the powerpoint is what makes the presentation great.
They think that they can have some presentation guru make a powerpoint for them, and their presentation is going to instantly become great. But that’s not how it works.
Your powerpoints can look amazing but that doesn’t mean your presentation is going to be amazing.
The first thing you need to do to make better powerpoint presentations is to become a better public speaker. If you can’t make a great presentation WITHOUT the slides, then you can make a great presentation WITH the slides.
Take any great speaker and give him horrible powerpoint slides, and he’ll still have the audience eating out the palm of his hand. But if you give great powerpoint slides to a sucky presenter then you’re still going to see people sleeping in the room.
2. Interact with the slides
Lets say you’re the speaker and they ask you to give them a copy of your powerpoint presentation.
Most speakers think, “Oh hell naw! If the audience has a copy of my slides then everyone’s going to look ahead and that’s going to ruin it.”
But here’s the thing…
Your powerpoint slides should be useless without you. Without you there to explain the slides, the audience should have no idea what the slides mean.
You want to interact with the slides.
Lets say you’re giving a presentation on “How to become a great communicator.”
And lets say that one slide has the word, “Pimp Slap.”
If someone were to read see that slide, they would think, “Hmm…I wonder what he relates pimp slapping to communication. Does he really get the baby powder out and slap people?”
Ok…maybe they won’t have those exact thoughts but they’re going to wonder what you mean by it.
Then when you get on stage to speak and that slide pops up. You say something like, “When you’re talking to people, if you want to capture their minds then you need to create a pattern interrupt. These pattern interrupts pimp slap the mind and grab their attention.” etc etc
Your slides shouldn’t tell the whole story, it should be a play between you and the slides.
3. Use normal people language
Listen very closely…because nobody’s going to tell you this, especially if you’re creating a business oriented presentation…
Use normal language. Don’t use business lingo. Don’t get all professional and try to speak eloquently and sophisticatedly. You don’t need to be proper.
Your presentation has a purpose and if you lose sight of that purpose then you start doing things that just don’t make sense.
You’re always communicating an idea in your presentation so you need to figure out the best way to get that idea across.
The way the mind works is that it likes to take the easiest path possible. The more complicated you make something, the less likely the mind will engage with it. So when you’re creating powerpoints, make the language very simple.
This is why everyone talks about the presentation skills of Steve Jobs.
He didn’t get on stage and focus on the gigabytes and all the complicated stuff. He just said, “This iPod can hold 1,000 songs in your pocket.” Bam! Plain and simple…it communicated the idea he wanted.
4. Use PowerPoint to create an experience
In the end, nobody’s going to remember your powerpoint slides…not a single one.
How many powerpoint presentations have you seen in your life? One? Two? A million? Now think about how many slides you remember in the powerpoint.
I bet you can’t even remember two slides.
You might have an idea of what the speaker was saying, but you definitely don’t remember any specific slides.
It’s because in the end, your powerpoints don’t even matter.
It’s not about the powerpoints, it’s about how you make the audience feel as you’re giving the presentation.
Don’t get caught up in building the perfect powerpoint slides because nobody is going to remember your ‘perfect creation.’
The only thing people care about is them.
If you’re motivational speaker then people just want to be energized. If you’re making a presentation to your boss then he has a specific goal in mind. If you’re making a presentation to venture capitalists, they just want to know if they’re going to make money.
Nobody cares about your slides.
Figure out what your audience wants and give it to them. Your powerpoints are a means to an end, not the end itself.
And that’s how you create a powerpoint presentation that rocks.