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presentation tips

How to say more with less!

We’ve all seen seemingly ‘good presenters’ let themselves down when they open a PowerPoint Presentation Tips filled with graphs, bullet points and text. Pretty soon our eyes glaze over, we disengage, start doodling on our notepads…and usually leave bored and unmotivated to take any relevant action.

We took a survey and asked our clients to rank the biggest complaints they had about presenters and their slides. The greatest annoyance for a huge 70% of respondents was ‘when the presenter simply reads the slides to the audience’. Coming a close second place was a tie between “Too much text on the slides” and “No imagination – just standard bullet points”.

So how can you ensure your slides are going to bring a presentation to life, rather than ‘Death? (by PowerPoint)’

You just need to be a bit more thoughtful.

A slide should exist purely to support the key messages you want your audience to take away with them. That is, what you’d want them talking about over coffee once they’ve left the meeting.

So what then do you put on your slides? I’m glad you asked.

We have a saying: “There are things to be said, and there are things to be read”. It’s important to know the difference.

Put simply, ‘Things to be read’ (i.e. included on your slide) are things that are absolutely necessary to help your audience remember, or understand, your key message. Content that isn’t there for this reason can lead to information-heavy slides that are irrelevant and distracting and take the focus away from the speaker.

Which leads us to ‘Things to be said’. This refers to information delivered by the speaker, and frankly, this should be most of it! The speaker should always be the primary medium in a presentation. It’s their responsibility to provide meaning and context and bring to life the key messages.

Remember, the slides exist to support the speaker, not speak for them! Let’s face it – if it could all be written, cancel the meeting and send an email.

This a guest post by Fiona Campbell. Fiona is a producer who brings an international perspective to the Criterion team, with a background and experience in Scotland, Singapore and Shanghai. She is a foodie, a keen netballer and passionate about travel. Fun fact about Fiona – She survived cycling down ‘the world’s most dangerous road’! (In Bolivia, South America). For the hottest news, updates and industry content visit criterion blog

“Image source – Flickr , usage under Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)”

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