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It’s horrible… but you can save it.

As a professional motivational speaker and comedian 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 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, who ever 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.

 

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Preparing a speech or presentation? Looking for some tips that can help you today? Need some ideas about how to add humor to your program? Find tons of articles, tips and tricks on presenting a live program.

•  Check out articles about How to Be a Motivational Speaker on Brad Montgomery’s blog.   How To be a Motivational Speaker

•  Sign up for a bunch of free audio from Brad about how to be a motivational or professional speaker here.  (Ok…. Warning, this is a series of emails.  A couple of them offer stuff for sale.  But if you just hang out, you’ll get stuff for free too.  Cool!)  Brad Speaks Newsletter Sign up.
How to Be a Motivational Speaker (Part 1) | Get a Mentor

•How To Be A Motivational Speaker (2) Choose the Right Topic

How To Be Speaker (3) Format of a Keynote. A Template!

•Adding Humor (1) The Act Out

Adding Humor (2): Give the Audience a Voice

Adding Humor (3) What to Do When Your Humor Bombs

•Part 7: How to Be a Motivational Speaker — Find A Niche to Make you Rich

Part 8: Be a Professional Speaker — Be Authentic On the Platform

Brad’s made learning easy…. Here are some short cuts that will shave tons of time and effort off your learning curve:

• Brad put together a 7 CD set about humor skills “for the rest of us.”  It’s called Humor College, and we’re mighty proud of it.

 

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How to be a Comedian

•  Interested in learning how to use humor in your presentation? Check out Brad’s Got Mirth: Milking Your Presentation for all the Humor It’s Worth.

•  Learn more about How to be a motivational speaker with Brad’s how-to audio here.  This is the exact 70 or 80 minutes of info that you would get from Brad if you could get him to sit down with you for 90 minutes.  (Weird math, but if you count you asking questions and Brad cracking jokes, you wouldn’t get a full hour and a half of content. :)     Want to know the ho-tow, the down-and-dirty secrets about how to get started as a professional speaker and how to do it the easy way?  Then this audio is for you.be-a-speaker-labelweb
On YouTube
Part 1. Find a Speaker Mentor
Part 2. Choose a Correct Motivational Topic (on YouTube)
How to be a Motivational Speaker
(3) on YouTube
Adding Humor (1) The Act Out (On YouTube)
Adding Humor (2): Give the Audience a Voice (on YouTube)
Adding Humor (3) What to Do When Your Humor Bombs (YouTube)
Part 7: How To be a Speaker — Find a Niche
Part 8: How to be a Motivational Speaker — Be Authentic on the Platform

 

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