Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Ways The Presenters Brain Uses a Theme Model

To so many presenters in the world today, the term "visual aid" means PowerPoint. The minute they are told that they will making a particular presentation, they run to their computer and open up PPT and then one of its templates, and they start "filling in the blanks."

A few days later and they wind up with what I call "a slide a minute" slideshow with an average of 5.6 bullet-point elements on each slide.

What a pity!

According to the world's best mind (that's my opinion), , , in the presentation industry, Dan Roam, author of the best-selling book, The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, "people only pay attention to the first five or six slides."

And I believe that. I've watched it happen many times.

I'm going to say this, , , and I'll probably say it again, , , "Using a many-slide, bullet-point riddles slideshow is a third rate teaching method." All the hard work of putting such a program together is simply "lots of time wasted."

Today we are going to look at this whole ordeal, strictly from the presenters point of view. The title of this article says 10 Ways The Presenters Brain Uses a Theme Model. I'm going to break this writing into two sections (Part One and Part Two).

When you go the PowerPoint direction, you pass up on several benefits you gain as a speaker. Some of them are,

1. Organize. When you follow someone else's template, you seldom crystallize your your presentation like you do if you were fine-tuning it to three, five or even seven key principles.

You simply keep generalizing, , , and never focus on what is critically important to your audiences.

And you wind up reading the slides to your learners. Bad!

You'll never get really organized for a presentations until you can put your whole pitch into a handful of principles that can be illustrated in a simple and understandable graphic. It's the preferred method of teaching of world-class presenters like Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki, Micheal Porter, and Peter Senge.

2. Clarify. One of the biggest flaws in a typical business presentation is clarity. Everything is "up for grabs." Audiences don't know what's important and what is not.

It's only when your whole topic is reduced to it's simplest form, does the reality of ease of understanding come into play.

3. Evaluate. When I just mentioned "clarity" I was speaking of the clarity of the message to the presenter. As a clear understanding of what you are going to be teaching strikes you, fuzzy and confusing points may come to your mind.

At this point you may want to re-think parts of your message. And seeing it in a simple hand-drawn theme model will certainly bring this point home to you.

4. Prioritize. One thing that I teach is the concept of hierarchical thinking. People must know what is vital and what is not so important. And a whole bunch of slides will not underline what is key and what is not important at all.

And, again, having your whole message condensed into a quick and easy diagram will help you pass it on to your audience in the most usable fashion.

5. Patterns. One thing that will work as your partner while you are teaching is when your audiences begin to see patterns in the elements of your message. And nothing can illustrate that like a strong, well designed theme model.

The problem, in almost all of the above cases is that PowerPoint just doesn't really prepare you to teach these many details and inner workings of a typical business or behavior presentation.

Look for Part Two of this presentation, , , or the "second five" ways the presenters brain uses a theme model.


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