Advice for enterprising speakers
Is There Power Behind
Have you ever seen an average speaker “wow” an audience with an extraordinary PowerPoint® presenta- tion? Emerging speakers
on today’s platforms and stages may
not have the expertise of long-time
professionals, but they can give them
a run for their money with technology
support that’s engaging, effective and
entertaining for all audiences.
Audiences are younger, smarter, faster,
and more difficult than ever to keep
engaged. “Wow” is the new norm and if
your technology support doesn’t match
what you are doing on stage, you may
be missing an opportunity for maximum
impact. During the past two years, I’ve seen
speakers struggle by including poor quality
PowerPoint in their programs. It’s time to
face facts: Some PowerPoint presentations
don’t measure up to the speaker’s caliber
and become a distraction to the speaker
and the program’s credibility.
In Joe Calloway’s, CSP, CPAE, “Let
It Go” keynote at the 2004 Annual NSA
Convention, he asked speakers, “What
can we let go of that will improve our
business?” By comparing the success of
Nido Qubein, CSP, CPAE, to other speakers, Calloway stressed that speakers need
to create a “let-go” list similar to Nido’s.
Today’s speaking pros need to abandon
old PowerPoint techniques and start thinking like designers. By incorporating five
simple design techniques, speakers can
move their programs from good to great.
the latest in design trends from layouts
and color palates to images and fonts.
Become the creative speaker that provides aesthetically pleasing visuals
that enhance message quality.
2. Turn data into
Audiences don’t want to
see slides with charts, tables and
diagrams. Speakers need to turn data
into stories that provide meaning. Save
detailed charts and tables for handouts.
3. A picture is worth a
Use high-quality, full-bleed images that
help deliver your message. Stay away
from “postage stamp” images, clip art
and cliché images.
5. Use animation that serves
Only use animation that advances the
cause of your message. Save every-
thing else for Pixar or Disney!
If you are still not con-
vinced that you can design
a more trendy, eye-catch-
ing, cutting-edge PowerPoint
presentation that supports your
messages, you have three choices: 1)
find a PowerPoint designer, 2) stop using
PowerPoint, or 3) start losing bookings
to neophyte speakers who have great
1. Find inspiration around you.
Magazine advertisements, television commercial graphics and billboards provide
4. Create slides, not “slide-uments.”
Don’t put your document on a slide.
When audiences read a slide, they’ll
forget you. Avoid bullet points by
turning text into a graphic.
John Fallon is a speaker, presentation skills consultant, vocalist, educator and PowerPoint expert. He also is the creator of “PPT4Teachers,”
a website of free resources for teachers and
educators that promote “Designing
Presentations That Sing.” Visit www.johnfal-lonpresents.com and www.ppt4teachers.com
or email at JCFallon@gmail.com.