No-one sets out to be intentionally boring, so why is it that so many presentations are just that. I’m sure we’ve all sat through endless hours of powerpoint (or other software ) presentations, viewing slide after slide of dull graphs and slides cramped with far too much information. When boredom sets in, you lose your […]
No-one sets out to be intentionally boring, so why is it that so many presentations are just that. I’m sure we’ve all sat through endless hours of powerpoint (or other software ) presentations, viewing slide after slide of dull graphs and slides cramped with far too much information. When boredom sets in, you lose your audience and the messages and information you are trying to get across simply don’t get through.
So how can you avoid the B word? The answer’s a lot simplier than you think but it will take courage and a shift in mindset.
Use visual metaphors and or icons to reseprentation the messages(s) you are trying to convey. Many people tend to open Powerpoint and use it to dump their thoughts into a slide. The trick is to take a step back from this and think about the message deeply. Once you have done this you can use word associatation and search image libraries to use as a visual metaphor. Couple this with a strong headline and the occasional byline, you’ll have a much stronger slide that you can build a discussion around.
OK, so you have to use data and graphs in your slides. We get that, it’s part of business life but you don’t have to represent data the way Excel or Powerpoint guides you to. How about throwing in the odd big (and I mean visually BIG) number into one or two of your slides? Again couple this with a strong headline and perhaps a full screen image and you’re already keeping your audience on their toes, eagerly anticipating what you’re going to show them next. Another way is to use graphics to represent data. I’m sure you know about info-graphics. The principle is simple. Use real world imagery that’s related in some way to the subject matter to represent the data.
Be A Rebel
Now this one takes real courage and is more of a mindset shift. Think about how you would normally prepare a slide or how your colleagues would. Now, try to think about totally unique ways you can layout the slide and bring in surprising images. You’d don’t have to do this for every slide but the odd surprise will keep people on their toes. It’s not being unprofessional but it does mean taking a few visual risks. The odd unicorn in the middle of a financial presentation can do wonders for livening the whole thing up.
You are not a robot. Unless of course you are a BOT that’s devouring this page, in which case, you are! But seriously, humans related to humans so bring in your humaness to your presentations. Bring in human experiences and images to show this. Show vunerabilities, struggles, endeavours, celebrations, tradegedies, passions, love, loss, pride all of the things that we feel and experience that makes us humans, human. Show this in your slides and you’ll see and feel your audience come along with you on your presentation journey.
If you feel you could use some additional support to help you create more visually engaging presentations, we run a presentation design workshop online that will help you get to the next level.