How many times have you experienced “Death by PowerPoint”?
The record for me was seeing 75 slides in just 24 minutes – that’s a new slide every 19.2 seconds!
Needless to say most people in the audience, including me, were very,very bored………
PowerPoint has been around now for over 25 years and if you are in business you will probably have sat through many PowerPoint presentations.
In fact it is reckoned by some that there are 30 million PowerPoint presentations done every day which means that there are about twice as many PowerPoint presentations a year as there are people on the planet! They are everywhere and it is often regarded as a critical tool for interview presentations.
We’ve asked many people involved in procurement how many PowerPoint presentations they’ve seen that have been inspiring, engaging, enthusiastic.
Most struggle to come up with even one example and the most optimistic answer I’ve heard was “two”.
In fact some have actually said that they wish it could be banned altogether!
PowerPoint has become the default for presentations and it is used just because it has become the norm and consequently in general in bid interviews and formal presentations it is used badly and inappropriately. It can seriously damage your professional credibility and can be really detrimental to the outcome.
When you need to create an interesting and engaging presentation you have plenty of options to get the job done and many people would argue there are better tools for the job anyway.
Although many use it because it seems professional, you can often make much more of an impact if you don’t use it.
Here are five alternatives you could use instead…..
Prezi focuses heavily on images, graphics, and motion to draw attention to text. It’s “zooming user interface” takes presentations in a different direction from the static slides on a screen with text on them that constitute most PowerPoint presentations. It puts entire slides into motion. If not used carefully it can be distracting for the audience and you may find it bit overwhelming but Prezi’s tools make it easy to create presentations that are truly interesting and a world apart from the dull slideshows we’re all used to.
- Google Docs
The presentations module of Google Docs has been recently updated to make it more compatible with Microsoft Office. It offers a wealth of templates and presentation creation tools that are easy to use. There is the facility to add animations and slide transitions to make your presentation interesting to watch, and you can have collaborative presentation editing with other people on your team. It provides a fast, free way to create good-looking slideshows on any system.
- Haiku Deck
This is a simple, fast and fun way to create presentations on your i-Pad. It is free to download and install and they are adding additional paid features in the future. It provides the facility to use their gallery of photos and you can also upload your own. You can show the presentation via a projector in the same way as PowerPoint using an iPad to VGA adapter. You can also share your deck via email.
This is the brand new Do-It-Yourself animated presentation tool that allows you to create animated videos and presentations at a fraction of the usual cost. You can create Presentoons to illustrate and convey your message in a way that is different from the usual product demos and business presentations.
- Just You.
No, this is not the name of another piece of presentation software…..
I mean just you talking to your audience without any visual aids. It’s about you using engaging stories about how you have helped your clients to achieve their success and how you will help others to do the same. We all love listening to stories but we have got away from being able to connect with people in this way as we have become more reliant on slides to do it for us. When you present in this way it is really powerful – look at the success of the TED videos. It does take practise and planning but no more than using any of the software programmes. When you take the plunge and do this you automatically stand out from your competitors because you will make a lasting impression and they will remember your stories long after the visual presentations have faded.
Here’s to no more “ Death by PowerPoint”!
About the Author …..
Cath Daley is a highly successful and sought after Persuasive Communication and Presenting Expert, Speaker, Author and Persuasive Leadership Coach whose clients have 100% presentation success rate.