How to avoid “Kill Me Now” PowerPoint…
We’ve all been there. You sit down, pull out your note taking apparatus; ready for the meeting.
The presenter is introduced, steps to the front, clicks for the first slide, then proceeds to read the slide; all of it and everyone thereafter – the entire presentation. You realize 3 slides in that this guy (or gal) has written the entire presentation on the slides and is going to read the whole thing – all 45 minutes worth – to an agonized and gut-wrenched audience.
There will be no break from the torture. There will be no give and take. There will be no interaction between the audience and the presenter. There will be nothing but the knowing looks you give one another as you each mutter silently to yourselves, “Kill me now.”
Don’t get me wrong; I love PowerPoint. It’s a wondrous tool. It has the capability to enhance a presentation, give emphasis to a point, to paint a picture of a given situation. You can add music and animation. You can even have just words, but add enhanced graphics to keep the slide visually attractive and to keep attention.
But, it is not…let me repeat…it is not your presentation.
It is a pet peeve of mine. You show no respect for your subject or audience when you fail to prepare.
To avoid ‘KMN Syndrome’ do the following:
First, prepare yourself and your presentation like you were not going to use notes. You should practice. Your audience has taken precious time out of their day (even if it’s mandatory) to hear what you have to say. Put some effort into it so they feel they got something out of it.
I’ve yet to see a presentation that taught anyone anything or moved people to action by reading, have you?
Second, remember that your audience wants to hear from you. They want to look you in the eye, see you move, hear your voice inflection, understand your message and experience you talking to them. They’re perfectly capable of reading the material. After all, if all you’re going to do is read the presentation, why do they need you?
Third, remember that PowerPoint serves to enhance your material, not replace it. Slides that illustrate your main points and are visually appealing will help keep the audience’s attention and help you keep your place. You want your audience paying attention to you and your message, not reading the slides and ignoring you.
Finally, the next time you’re tempted to skip the preparation and read a “script” think about how you would react if you were in the audience. Professionals don’t put on sham presentations.
It’s difficult enough for someone to establish a connection with an audience without the added distraction of not being able to look them in the eye because you might lose your place.
Good to remember the next time you find “You’re in the Spotlight.”