It’s horrible… but you can save it.

As a professional keynote comedian motivational speaker for over a quarter of a century, I have strong opinions about the use of PowerPoint. And to point out the obvious…my perspective is as a presenter…not as an audience member.

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In my opinion is that 95% of you… No, make that 99% of you… abuse this powerful tool. And by abuse I mean absolutely, totally, and wildly fail.

But the good news is that I have two very specific tips and techniques that you can use to make your PowerPoint presentations not only better but quite good.

The first technique is to use fewer words. And by fewer words I mean you need to eliminate 90 to 95% of the words on your current slides. Your audience, whoever they are, is there to see YOU. Not your slides. They are not interested in JUST the information. They want some information and YOU.

If they needed JUST the information you could hand them an article. Or they could read the book. But they are there to see you and to get a sense of how you think. If you are having them read your slides – or heaven forbid if you are reading your slides for them – you are absolutely screwing up. You’re delivering information only. They could have saved a headache and just read your info at home

Answer: Put one or two words on the slide. (Yes you heard me right. One word. Maybe 3 or 4. That’s it.)

This means that if you’re talking about your mission statement you are not going to include your entire mission statement on a slide. There will be no bullets. No paragraphs. Instead you’re going to put the word “Mission.” Then the audience will turn from the screen and look at YOU, listen to YOU, and learn from YOU. And all of that is very good.

One word on a slide is a powerful technique for you to let the Farm-bureau-201271audience know exactly where you are in the program. They have a placeholder in your presentation to help them understand. But by only having one word they are forced to look at you and to listen to you; and of course that’s the purpose. You are the presenter. You are the star. If you make PowerPoint is the star just mail you might as well mail them your presentation, and stay home drinking hot chocolate in the privacy of your own jamies. (Coincidentally, that’s what I’m doing right now. Just sayin’…)

By the way, if you have bullets on your slide you have too many words. (I know that half of you reading this article just fainted. You’re ok. Get up. Shake it off. You’re fine.) Instead of the bullets put your headline with ONE word and then you’ll give the details — the stuff that would have been in the bullets — using the spoken word. You’re a presenter right? You can talk. And you should.

Trust me: you’ll put the focus back on you.

The second concrete technique you can use to improve your PowerPoint presentations is by eliminating most of your slides. Just like the number of words per slide, the number of slides per presentation has to be drastically reduced. Don’t cut out one or two slides. I’m asking you to cut out 70 or 80% of your sites. In my hour and a half motivational presentation I have exactly 20 slides. 90 minutes; 20 slides. Why? Because I’m a professional speaker; not a professional PowerPoint demonstrator. My clients hire me for me and my take on their world; they hire me because I have a unique voice and some great information; not for having a ton of slides.

Because my slides are rare they are very powerful. The audience remembers them, comments upon them, and they each add value to my presentation. My slides are good partly because there are so few of them. It’s a little like chocolate: one or two pieces is heavenly. A truckload of chocolate just makes it cheap. Over kill. (Though who among us wouldn’t like to know for sure?)

If you have so many slides that you are audience is just looking at your slides and not at you than you have clearly missed the point. Clearly your slides are more important than you are, and for my money that’s a huge mistake.

Don’t forget that people want to see you. They want your personality, your uniqueness, and your ideas. They do not want to see endless bullets and long paragraphs on your slides; they want to see you.

The main thing to remember as a presenter is to be reminded that our audiences don’t want us just for our knowledge or our information. They want us! If they want just our information they can read our website, read the article, or they can just read the stupid PowerPoint slides that we can email them.

But audiences are too hip and sophisticated now for this type of junk. It’s time to step up, put on your Big Boy Pants, and trim the number of words and slides in your presentation. (Replacing them with you and your voice and your words. I know you’re scared. Don’t be shy, be strong! You can do it.)

PowerPoint is a terrific tool. It can illustrate points, help your audience to understand where they are in your presentation, and even communicate information that is very difficult to communicate with just words. But it is nearly always used poorly. Horribly. Tragically.

But not by you.  Right?  If you use it correctly… Which means don’t over use it… You’ll be well on your way to being a master presenter.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Powerpoint Presenter, Funny Speaker
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Read another article by Brad about his ideas for Powerpoint success here:

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Brad Montgomery is a funny motivational speaker who speaks about happiness at work and how happiness can be used as a tool to increase profitability. (Oh, and he’s laugh-out-loud funny.) To learn more about Brad please visit his website https://www.bradmontgomery.com// Or you can visit his blog https://www.bradmontgomery.com///blog.

 

The beer industry is complicated with a three-tier system and fifty different laws in fifty different states.  To be successful in beer, you need to thrive in change. Because Brad helps individuals approach change-management with a positive attitude — which means greater productivity for them and their organizations.  And because Brad is funny, the message […]

soccer

Not a great picture, but this is a recent picture of me on the indoor field.

There is a term called Flow which positive psychologists have more or less defined as that state of mind where you are completely engaged and thinking about nothing else. You know, that feeling you have when you are totally immersed in an activity that a parade could march by and you wouldn’t notice it. Flow is important because it’s one of the components to happiness & well-being.

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My team in Mexico

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It’s amazing this team puts up with me.

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An outdoor league while living in Mexico. I’m the gringo on the sidelines.

flo

definitely not this Flo less

Flow is important; and so too is our own searches for finding activities that put us in a state of flow.

I experience flow when I am playing soccer. When I am playing soccer I am thinking about a lot of things: about how out of breath I am, about how that other guy is faster than me, about how the ball is coming right at me and I need to get my foot over to it in time, and how I need to look to my left because my teammate is open but he’ll only be open for a second.

What I am not thinking about is my email, my family, my health, my problems, my business, my income, or anything at all. It’s all soccer. I am in flow. And for me it’s heaven.

So what’s this got to do with you?  I found an activity that brings me to a state of flow; and now that I’m aware that soccer makes me happy I can work to play more soccer.  Easy, right?

Your Homework: think about what activity or activities bring you to a state of complete engagement. Think hard. See if you can find more than one. Now…do those activities more.  Also easy…or at least simple.

It will make you happier. Guaranteed.

Not this Flo either.

Not this Flo Either

And any of you who have seen me as a motivational speaker know that happier people are more productive and more successful than our unhappy counterparts.

If you’re looking for a business speaker who is not only very funny but can bring specific tactics about how to be funnier in life and at work to your organization please give us a call. I might even bring a woman named Flo. Get in the Flow, Flo!

 

Brad Montgomery
Motivational speaker, soccer player, lover of Flo (Flow?)

Can Your Motivational Speaker REALLY Create Change?

I just spoke for an amazing group of healthcare management administrators in Georgia. These are the good people who are behind the management side of healthcare. They hired me to be an motivational speaker, but they also needed a strong business message… They needed an outsider to help them face the incredible changes that are rocking their jobs.

I was flattered when my client — my meeting planner, David — told me that one of his favorite parts of the keynote was to see that his audience changed from the start to the end.

At the beginning they were tired… The night before they were out partying and… perhaps sharing some adult beverages. (Let’s be honest… Some of them were fine, but a couple had headaches.) So when they arrived for my keynote they were tired, suspicious, and anything but engaged. They had the look on their faces and with their body language that said, “Ok, Bud. Impress us. See if you can.”

But slowly and surely these business people started to come along, grow, laugh, smile, and really embrace my message about happiness at work working as a strategy for excellence on the job.

And because my program was interactive, it was fun to watch them start the exercises with absolute skepticism and proceed to — what looked like — absolute profound satisfaction.

As a speaker it was a pleasure to see this audience change from start to finish. But it was totally rewarding to know that my client was beyond satisfied.

How do you know if YOU healthcare speaker is any good? Check out video and testimonials about your speaker.

If you’re looking for a motivational speaker who is both funny and has a strong business message; if you’re looking for a keynote speaker to blow your healthcare audience away, I hope you’ll contact us now.

Brad Montgomery
Healthcare speaker, Motivational speaker, Georgia speaker

Health Care Speaker Testimonials On YouTube

A new litmus test for your PowerPoint presentation.

I have very strong feelings about the use of PowerPoint. In my estimation 99.5% of all PowerPoint presentations absolutely blow.

IS&GS National Leadership MeetingI mean they are horrible. Tragic. Embarrassing. But goody for you, based on my 25 years experience as a professional presenter and motivational speaker, I have a couple of tips to ensure you are in that tiny percentage of presenters who can create an interesting, relevant, and fun PowerPoint.

The two things you need to know about PowerPoint are One: you have too many words; and Two: you have too many slides.

First, when I say too many words, I don’t mean just a couple of extra words. I mean you need to erase nearly every word you have. Most of my slides have a maximum of three words on them. A short phrase, a single word.  Often my slides have no words; only a picture.

Slides with minimal words can use a very large font which sets your presentation apart.  Who likes to try to read tiny type covering the entire page, especially if you forgot your reading glasses.  Come on, people!  A lot of us are getting more far-sighted everyday.

More importantly, slides with few words let your audience know where you are in your presentation. They are like punctuation.  A placeholder. The headline. You still have your bullet points in your details.  On your podium!  You are the one who delivers them. Not your computer. If your slides are so detailed that people could read them like an essay in lieu of listening to your presentation, then you’re completely missing the point of the slides. The audience is supposed to be LISTENING!  Not READING!

The same holds true for the number of slides you have in presentation. It’s like packing for a trip.  Prepare your slides, then decrease the amount by perhaps 80%. In my 90 minute motivational keynote I have fewer than 20 slides.

Remember, your audience is there to see YOU. Not your “presentation.” Yes they want you to have valuable content and ideas. But let’s face it— if they wanted JUST the information, they can either buy the book or read an article. Or — heaven forbid — borrow your PowerPoint presentation.

So here’s the bottom line:  erase almost all of your words and almost all of your slides.  Talk more and click that power point remote less.

Of course, with every awesome rule there is an exception. To see if any one slide can meet the exception I’ve come up with a litmus test.

I just did a motivational speech for a group of insurance executives in Georgia, and then a similar speech again for some business people in Denver. After both keynotes I had people come up afterwards and ask for a copy of a particular slide. In both cases it was multiple people asking for the same slide.

The slide is of my Manifesto, and has about 30 words on it. (So as you can see I didn’t just break my rule about very few words per slide; I shattered it.) The fact that people are begging for, not a copy of my entire PowerPoint presentation, but for a copy of that particular slide tells me that this slide is compelling, interesting, and provides value. So now I have a new test for any exception to my very-few-words-per-slide rule.

If I’m going to have lots of words on any particular PowerPoint slide, it needs to have lots of value. So much value that people specifically request a copy. In other words, if you have a Title slide with five Bullets…and nobody cares, comments or notices … That slide sucks.

PowerPoint is an excellent tool for presenters. It can add value and meaning to your speeches, and if you use it right it can even deliver punchlines. So don’t dismiss it. What you need to do is to rethink its content.  Totally.  Now.  Start deleting.  Your presentation will be better, your slides will be more interesting, and your audiences will be thrilled.

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If you are looking for a motivational speaker with a unique use of PowerPoint then I hope you’ll give me a call. Or even better, if you just need a business speaker who has a unique way of delivering his message, uses PowerPoint, sound effects, music, and a crazy amount of audience interaction, then I definitely hope you’ll call us.

(If you’re looking for more ways to improve your presentation skills, including some cool stuff about how to be funny, you can check out our store.)

What are your best PowerPoint Tips?  What do YOU think?  (Leave a comment!)

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, PowerPoint expert, Very Funny Keynote Speeches
leave a comment

I recently worked as a healthcare motivational speaker for 250 nurses in a Colorado hospital. These nurses are doing a lot of amazing things dealing with change… And funny motivational speakerstheir leaders they asked me to come in to encourage them and help put all of the incredible changes our healthcare system in general, and their hospital in particular are going through into perspective.   And to give their nurses some concrete suggestions and tactics to be both better leaders and to better manage change.

We had a great time.  There was a ton of laughter in that room.  But what I think is more important is that all of us left that event with new ideas we will incorporate into our jobs.These are some amazing people that make a difference every single day. With their permission I am sharing a little bit of their email.

It was most definitely epic!  I loved every minute of it!  I will be passing your info along to a couple other organizations in the Northern Colorado area.  The questions were great and it was wonderful for you to have so much “insider” information into our organization.  I bet even Chief Nancy was surprised by how much you knew!  It was perfect!  Our next team meeting is the 3rd week of May….I’ll email you back then with the group’s feedback.

Diana and Ruth are correct.  I was shocked that Diana actually said anything.  She is usually pretty quiet and reserved in large groups, but she must have really felt that the feedback about Ruth was important to share.  It is those “little” moments in our days that can mean so much to patients and co-workers, and we seldom are aware of that.

Thanks again for your message!  I will be sending out occasional e-mails reminding the team of some of your content…especially the manifesto.  Loved it!!!!

Enjoy your weekend with your family!

R.B., RN, BSN, OCN, CN III
Longmont United Hospital

Aw Shucks!   If you are looking for a healthcare speaker; a motivational speaker who can fire up your troops, incorporate your message, and in the end, help your people to deliver better patient satisfaction, I hope you’ll give us a call.

Brad Montgomery
Health Care Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Funny Dude, Fan of Nurses Everywhere

 

 

 

Thanks for all of the inquiries. Here are the details and how to apply.

Thanks.

Brad Montgomery
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Part-Time Virtual Assistant for motivational speaker (to Work from Home.)

Job Description:

Virtual administrative work involving a variety of office support for a small business. Basic duties include follow-up with clients by phone and e-mail, updating client database, maintaining and organizing the calendar, mailing packages, answering e-mail and phone inquiries, file organization, and fulfilling client requirements. A successful applicant will have the ability to be self-starting, self-motivated, and require little oversight after the initial training period.
Part-time only. Maximum 15 hours per week.

Requirements:

Work will be done virtually; however, must live in the Denver Metro area to be available for occasional in-person meetings.
Excellent people skills necessary.
Excellent phone skills required.
Excellent written communication skills required, including proper grammar.
Ability to work within firm deadlines.
Self-starter and independent worker.
Ability to keep on task without a lot of oversight.
Must be very organized and detail oriented. I’m serious. If you only see the big-picture, we won’t work well together.
Ability to take direction well.
Ability to handle many tasks that may be due at a similar time.
Ability to maintain a calendar and keep speaker on time and on task with engagements, and pre- and post-engagement requirements.
Creativity. A successful applicant will be able to create wine out of water.
Skilled with database entry. (Entering names and emails into our database.)
Some basic sales skills. The job requires some follow-up calls with potential clients. (Not cold calls; you’ll call people who have already expressed interest in our service, and have already spoken to our head salesperson.)
Other skills that would be a great bonus, but are not required: WordPress, photoshop, databases, OneShoppingCart, Sales

Pay: $13-18/hour depending on experience.

How to Apply:
Reply with…

•Resume
•Writing Sample
•A detailed explanation why you are the best person for this job. Convince us. You made include anything you like, including send skill sets, experience, references, computer skills, computer platform (Mac or PC), and anything else you think will impress us. This is an “out of the box” job for an “out of the box” person in an “out of the box” industry. This is a job for a person who can manage them self and reward for it. It’s a job that requires initiative. Be creative.
•Include the phrase “Yo, Pick Me!” so that we know you read the requirements.

Writing sample and resume required.

Today I got the coolest letter from the Chief Nursing Officer at the healthcare speakerhospital I spoke to last week:

Hi Brad,

I just wanted to thank you so much for your uplifting, inspirational and FUN presentation. We are ALL still smiling. I have received nothing but positive feedback about what a great experience it was to spend two hours with you. Most importantly, you left us with words to live by. Hopi Moore, one of the nurses you met after your presentation, promotes a kindness campaign by sending positive emails to all hospital employees. Today she sent the following:

Find Happy
Pick Happy
Lead Happy
Act Happy
~ Brad Montgomery

We all get to make the choice…….. choose HAPPY!

Thank you so much for choosing to “Lead Happy!”

(Name withheld for privacy)

ND, BSN, MHA, FACHE
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Longmont United Hospital

What drives you? What drives me are letters like this one. Thanks so much LUH.

Are you looking for a funny healthcare motivational speaker? I hope you’ll give us a shout.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Healthcare Speaker, Fan Of Letters.

I love my job as a motivational speaker, and I love all of my clients. But I have to confess that some clients are more fun than others. Such was the case when I was a speaker in Texas for a very dynamic and forward-thinking company who was holding their annual meeting.

The CEO asked me to make sure that my presentation was not only motivating, but high-energy, and had experiences incorporated into the program. It had to be more than just a talking head; it had to be fun, involved, and an experience from which they would learn.

So I decided to create a flash mob by them and for them. We took a few of their top salespeople out of their room and tricked them; the details aren’t important but the bottom line is that they had no idea why they were leaving the room.

When they returned and came to the stage with me, the audience made up of their peers erupted into a flash mob! It was extremely cool. The surprise on these top sales people’s faces was echoed by the excitement and joy from their peers while they delivered this surprise dance.

One of the things that I liked best about this flash mob was that the audience flash mob for hirethemselves are surprised. They cannot believe that they are actually doing this crazy flash mob, and they can’t believe that they are fooling some of their peers. And that joy translates into energy, fun, and… A powerful learning point about the power of levity, lightheartedness, humor, and fun in the workplace.

Why do you need to hire a flash mob from a flash mob company? Call us and we’ll talk you through how it works, how we can incorporate a flash mob at your meeting or convention, and how we can take your group from a low energy group of workers to a high energy team of top performers!

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

See this flash mob for hire on youtube.

More Flash Mob Videos For Hire from Brad

Brad’s Main Flash Mob Video
Flash Mob for Hire at a Florida Meeting
Flash Mob Company for hire at a Texas Event. (Not a company…it’s BRAD!)
Huge Corporate Flash Mob at an event in Indiana
Book a large corporate flash mob in in Florida (2!)
Flash Mob Edit on YouTube
Flash Mob for Hire at your corporate event.
Flash Mob Blog Post
Flash Mob In Texas Meeting