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Dec 06

Effective Presentations

Through one of my agencies I was recently put forward for a job working for the U.K. programming department of an international television company. They were looking for a research assisstant who could research and put together presentations.

It sounded relatively ideal, but unfortunately the job got cancelled. When I spoke to my agency about other similar roles they informed me that my PowerPoint skills aren’t up to scratch. Which, if I am honest, is completely accurate.

I’ve spoken elsewhere on this blog about structuring a speech and the same is applicable to presentations too.

But it got me thinking. From my experience of various slide and PowerPoint presentations, it doesn’t matter how well you are able to use the equipment or software because if your ability to present isn’t up to scratch then no amount of clip art graphics or cool animation is going to be able to help you.

People who have to give presentations in the business world often lack these key fundamental skills. I was reminded of this when I was writing an article on the subject earlier today.

You need to be able to structure your presentation away from PowerPoint first. You need to understand your message and the points that you have to convey.

But don’t just fill up slide upon slide with text and images.  Information overload (which is quite common in this day and age) can turn your listeners off. Or, at worst, send them to sleep.

I came across a PowerPoint slide show on the blogosphere called “Death by PowerPoint“, that for me nicely sums up some essential dos and don’ts when it comes to using Power Point.

By the way, I did end up doing a full day’s training with PowerPoint version 7 (not sure how useful that would be) and I went through the software from basic to advanced. But now I just need to have a play around with the software in my own time to increase my familarity.

Here’s that link again: Death by PowerPoint