For whatever reason, I recently came across two articles discussing how not to use Powerpoint, including the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. Presumably, it’s much easier to post about how not to do something, rather than giving compelling guidelines how to pull it off beautifully.
In the same vein, there seems to be something alluring to post titles stating how not to do it. Makes more people wonder what it is they aren’t supposed to do. Seth Godin, marketing guru, certainly knows how to write copy – here’s his take on Really Bad Powerpoint:
“Powerpoint could be the most powerful tool on your computer. But it’s not. Countless innovations fail because their champions use PowerPoint the way Microsoft wants them to, instead of the right way.”
Communication is the transfer of emotion.
Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.)If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the meeting and send in a report.
Our brains have two sides. The right side is emotional, musical and moody. The left side is focused on dexterity, facts and hard data. When you show up to give a presentation, people want to use both parts of their brain. So they use the right side to judge the way you talk, the way you dress and your body language. Often, people come to a conclusion about your presentation by the time you’re on the second slide. After that, it’s often too late for your bullet points to do you much good.
You can wreck a communication process with lousy logic or unsupported facts, but you can’t complete it without emotion. Logic is not enough.
Champions must sell—to internal audiences and to the outside world.
If everyone in the room agreed with you, you wouldn’t need to do a presentation, would you? You could save a lot of time by printing out a one-page project report and delivering it to each person. No, the reason we do presentations is to make a point, to sell one or more ideas.
If you believe in your idea, sell it. Make your point as hard as you can and get what you came for. Your audience will thank you for it, because deep down, we all want to be sold. (…)”