The seven deadly sins of presenting with slides | by Dominic Wells

There is an increasing expectation for organisational professionals to communicate using slide-ware technology such as PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezzi, all great tools for enhancing our message. Yet we have all sat through presentations where technology takes over working against the presenter and amongst the fumbling and mumbling the message is lost.

Enhance your message, improve credibility and connect with your audience by avoiding these seven deadly sins of presenting with slides:

1.  Rely on technology
Batteries go flat, software crashes, lights go out and speakers breakdown, we all know it and yet we rarely give ourselves enough time to set up, test and re-test our presentation tools.

2. Read your slides
Slides are fantastic, we love them for their ability to enhance the spoken word but they are not The Message itself. Reading your slides will kill your, credibility and engagement, please don’t do it!

3. Dim the lights
Low light sends us a subconscious signal to relax and prepare for sleep, probably not the emotional state you want your audience in! Wherever possible set your room with natural light that doesn’t glare the screen.

4. Appoint a ‘Slider’
A Slider is a person who is asked to press the ‘enter’ key to move the slides on your behalf.  Lovely people but a complete distraction and incapable of working in sync with your natural rhythm. Insist on a wireless slider clicker, discreet and highly effective.

5. Deliver a monologue
Effective communication is a two way street.  Where possible move away from your slides, even blank the screen to engage with your audience.

6. Get stuck in the mud
Being conscious of the projector light is a good thing but don’t get physically stuck in one position while trying to avoid a shadow on the screen.

7. Using your slides as a prompt
If you don’t know what slide is next you will fall into the ‘click, pause, deliver’ trap where you are reliant on your slides for what to say next. Know your stuff and create verbal segways between slides to deliver consistency and flow.

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