Very good article over on Presentation Zen: Is it finally time to ditch PowerPoint?

The actionable take aways and triggered thoughts for me:

  • The research referenced is a good confirmation that it makes sense to draw a diagram (or create something visual) when talking with people. It helps to create focus. It also assists people who work visually rather than verbally, and speeds knowledge transfer.
  • PowerPoint slides full of words are counter productive. I so often see PowerPoint used instead of a real document, when people are too lazy or scared to produce one. Text heavy slides take people’s attention away from what is being said…
  • Never loose your audience to the slide, by putting up a screenful of text! I see this happen over and over. Huge slide of text. Audience lost READING, no longer LISTENING.
  • Don’t read a word heavy slide to you audience. It can come across as insulting. Remember…
  • The slides are there to support the speaker. The speaker is not there to support the slides!

I love the picture of a slide at a conference half way down the page. It is used as an example of poor PowerPoint use – I think might have I sat in on that presentation! Much of what is written there applies to communicating even when you are not the kind of person who uses PowerPoint.