Mike Parkinson (Microsoft MVP and APMP Fellow) is an internationally recognized visual communication expert, professional speaker, and award-winning author. Mike is one of 36 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the world. He regularly conducts workshops and creates graphics, presentations, and creative materials for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, FedEx, Xerox, Dell, and Boeing as well as at international learning institutions and organizations.
In this conversation, Mike talks about his new book, A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint: Best Practices for Master Presenters.
Geetesh: Mike, can you tell us more about your new book, A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint: Best Practices for Master Presenters. Does this book go to a place where other books haven’t gone? What according to you, is the biggest takeaway for a reader from this book?
Mike: This book is unique because it focuses on improved understanding, recollection and adoption using PowerPoint. Although the content in the book is applicable to all types of presentations, A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint is tailored for training and educational presentations. The solutions discussed in the book are practical and real world. I use an easy-to-implement process and demonstrate insider techniques that deliver measurable results. Readers get strategic and tactical solutions for the entire PowerPoint lifecycle—Discovery, Design and Delivery.
Readers also get these bonuses:
- 100 professional PowerPoint graphics (the link is on the bio page)
- 26 Pro tips from PowerPoint MVPs, masters and thought leaders
- Step-by-step instructions to make professional visuals
- The Solution Matrix to identify and solve the most complex problems
- Improved success rates using the LEM (Learner Empathy Map) and the LMM (Learning Motivation Map)
- Delivery hacks for live, virtual and hybrid presentations
- My time and money saving Graphic Cheat Sheet
By far, my favorite part of the book is sharing how to motivate learners (and most audiences). This is what the best-of-the-best facilitators, teachers and presenters know and use—and some do it instinctively. I share tips that I use to meet my presentation objectives. For example, there is simple way to structure most presentations that ensures the greatest success rate. When you see it, you’ll know why it works so well. The book is full of valuable PowerPoint insights, tips, tricks, and tools.
Geetesh: You distinguish between the tool and the artist right at the beginning of this book, and suggest that PowerPoint is the tool and the designer or the presenter is the artist. Can you share some thoughts about how this approach will help the reader?
Mike: If I gave you a paintbrush and paint, could you create the Mona Lisa? Most likely, you couldn’t. The paintbrush and paint are merely tools just like Microsoft PowerPoint is a tool. The software doesn’t make the art (the presentation), you do. If the tool was the only answer, every presentation made in PowerPoint would be stellar—but they are not.
Mastering PowerPoint is not just about making pretty pictures or the coolest looking slides. That is only a part of what makes a powerful presentation. Knowing how to make your content clear, compelling, and professional is critical. In the book, I book show you how to do it yourself.
PowerPoint is an incredible tool, if you understand how to use it properly. Readers will learn the right way to use its standard functions—and also uncover the software’s hidden gems. PowerPoint contains many features that casual users don’t realize are possible. Features that will take make their presentations more memorable and successful by maximizing what the tool offers.