If I had one tip for presentation-makers

It’s that there’s a reason we’re listening to someone speak instead of reading (at 3x the speed). That reason has everything to do with the presenter, not the presentation. Whether we know it or not, we expect presenters to do the human job of filtering, curating, prioritizing, and adapting to us.

I found it helpful long ago to embrace Steve Job’s famous quip: “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”

What you brought is supporting material, sure, but you could describe it if the screen went down. You probably know what your product does by now and could demo it without a script. You probably know why people should try your dance course by now and could just tell them.

Making the presentation, the exact words, front-and-center reduces everything to an essay.

How much do you enjoy reading instruction manuals?

There are many ways to help a prospective presenter see this.

  • What would happen if you left the deck at home? Do you think they’d engage more or less?
  • When was the last time you went into any meeting hoping you wouldn’t laugh or smile?

Let go and be human.


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