PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff

What Do You Add To The Talk?: by Claudyne Wilder

It is the day of your talk. You’re ready. You stand up and reel off all the statistics on the slides you so carefully created. As you point out the numbers, you begin to feel uneasy. You don’t know what’s wrong, but your audience seems a bit detached. What’s the problem? You’re telling them the information on the slides — what more could they want?

What they want is something that is not on the slide. Because they see the information faster than you can read it, they need some extras. Otherwise, why listen to you? Remember, do not read every word and number on each slide. Highlight and discuss the key points using the PowerPoint features at your disposal (shapes, callouts, colors behind the numbers, animations).

What else should you tell your audience?

  1. Add your insights to the information on the slide. That’s why you’re there.
  2. How do you do this? Begin with a one-sentence overview of the information on the slide. Then lead off with phrases like:

    • What this means for our profession….
    • How this affects our work…
    • Based on this information, we plan to do x….
    • What’s interesting to note on this slide is…
    • This information contradicts what we thought, which was…
  3. Use transitional phrases from slide to slide so your audience understands how the information fits together.
  4. You can ask a question and then answer it yourself. “Now what would be the next steps based on these findings?”

As always, talk in shorter sentences, pause between sentences, and use a conservational tone. These behaviors will help you eliminate “um’s.”

Claudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.

Do visit Claudyne’s site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.

Categories: guest_post, opinion, powerpoint

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