PowerPoint supporters insist that “it’s only a piece of software, , , it’s the users who are coming up with all the Really Bad PowerPoint.”
I say differently. Right out of the box, implications are made, , , “anyone can do it.” Bluntly, I proclaim, “no software program can make you an instant public speaking success.”
I am 74 years old, , , and I’ve made thousands of up-front pitches. (I made my first one when I was 14.) And I have a dirty little secret I need to share with you, , , “It is not that easy!”
Everything I know about speaking, teaching and presenting, I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Over 200 books, well over 12,000 hours in front of critical audiences and a lifetime dedicated to the study of how visual aids work in public presentation.
And, I work my butt off in preparation and practice for every new presentation I make. I can honestly say that a great majority of my speeches have been well received.
Maybe, , , all except one! And WOW, did it bomb.
It wasn’t the quality of the material.
It wasn’t that I did a lousy job. I had presented all the stuff many times before with great success. I knew what I was doing.
It was because of my visual package, , , I used PowerPoint. My very first PowerPoint. So, I can easily say, “I’ve had my own bad PPT experience.”
As I have studied that presentation, I read far and wide. And I discovered that, like me, everyone was not pleased using PowerPoint.
Cliff Atkinson knows presentations like few in the world today. That’s why he wrote the book, Beyond Bullet Points.” Instinctively, he knew that the “out-of-the-box PPT” suggestions about using a lot of bullet points was a bad idea.
(One of his consulting clients’ presentations won a $253,000,000 settlement with a huge pharmaceutical company.)
Seth Godin is the best-selling business book author in the world today. (Number One!) And he’s a very prolific seminar leader and professional speaker.
And he wrote the book, Really Bad PowerPoint.
Tom Antion earns well over a million dollars a year as a professional public speaker. He has literally taught the public speaking industry how to sell their wares on the Internet.
And he maintains a website called, PowerPointStinks.com.
(Tom has a cute little alternative to using PPT. I’ll share it with you some day on this blog.)
Dan Roam is the hottest speaker in the world today on the topic of Presenting. His book, The Back of the Napkin, has opened the presentation world’s eyes to what works and what does not in the realm of using visual aids.
He made a comment in one of seminars that triggered my thinking for this article, , , “after five or six slides, no one pays any attention, , ,” speaking about large, multi-slide PPT slide shows.
The reason this comment rang a bell in my thinking is that for the last few years that’s been my exact observation. I’ve thought many times, “Five slides and they're loosing ’em.”
And if most audiences are “good” for five or six slides, why not build PPT presentations with only six slides. Result; I’ve developed the Six-Slide PowerPoint Presentation concept.
I am including two “six-slide” presentations for you on this blog. I hope you learn from them and can put the idea to work in your presenting.