Can you remember a time when you were trapped in a room being force-fed an almost never-ending series of overpoweringly dull presentation slides?
And do you recall these slides being relentlessly thrust before you by an overpoweringly dull presenter?
Alas this seems have become a near-universal experience.
It should not have to be like this!
One suggested cure is to bring in a new law which only allows presenters to use a maximum of three slides?
Such a law would certainly rescue countless worn-down audiences from their slide-inflicted misery.
But it would, of course, be so much better if presenters everywhere just came to realise that by reducing their excessive slide numbers they would be acting like a giant surge of fresh air.
On behalf of audiences around the world, I’m here to help you make this happen!
So if you or your colleagues ever feel you’re possessed by an un-fightable urge that you must present with at least some slides, here’s what to do.
After you’ve cut your slide plan to just three:
“Think movie posters; not documents!”
Be inspired by recalling graphic movie posters which have stuck in your mind.
Here’s one which is powerful, memorable and rather scary.
Here’s another which captures imagination – and a woman in a nice pink dress!
And here’s a more modern movie poster…
Now compare these movie posters with the dull overcomplicated document below which typifies a seriously bad slide.
Do the movie posters – or this document – make for a better presentation slide?
Hopefully you’ll find this an easy question to answer!
If so, please put the same question to the next bad slide inflictor who shows too many document-like slides.
In this way, you can do your bit to help me save the universe from mind-numbing slide presentations – before everyone falls asleep!!!
Remember that slide-free presentations can be sooooooo much better when vivid pictures are placed into the heads of the audience with the use of simple colourful words.
These are pictures which are effectively painted in the minds of the audience members by the presenter.
Here’s a short video demonstrating how you can do this – without a single slide!
One of the aims of the video is to bring alive in your mind a group of young Americans in Alabama asking questions about kangaroos hopping over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This may sound far-fetched, but long after I first told this real-life story, there actually was rare case of a single kangaroo doing just that.
Here’s photographic evidence from one of the New South Wales police officers whose job it was to rescue the kangaroo.
If needs be it could even potentially serve as a single effective slide!
And here’s the police video of the kangaroo chase – which could form the basis of a relevant presenter’s captivating story!
This leads on to another thing you can do to enliven your presentations.
It’s to interact with selected members of your audience – in a way that’s well-planned but seemingly spontaneous.
An excellent example of this took place this past weekend when a presenter at a big internationally-televised event at England’s Windsor Castle interacted with two members of the audience.
One was a smartly dressed frog and one was a blonde pig!
The presenter – performing on a temporary stage built inside the grounds of the castle – is an actor from the Harry Potter and Paddington movies and the historical TV drama series, Downton Abbey.
Hugh Bonneville discovered that the pig and the frog were seeking to join the special guests sitting in what was called the “Royal Box”.
One guest in the box had just become particularly prominent after being officially sworn in to do his new job.
But the interaction between man with the microphone – and the pig and frog – was far more engaging than any presentation slide could hope to be.
And even if you aren’t able to attract big TV stars like Kermit and Miss Piggy onto your stage, then interacting with lesser known figures in your audience can help you enliven your message.
Here’s a presentation – without a single slide – which deploys the talents of a colourful audience member to demonstrate how bad answers to blowtorch-on-the-belly questions can be transformed into great answers.
There’s information about sessions on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact & Pizzazz” at:
Remember that becoming skilled at planning and utilising slides which resemble movie posters is a learnable skill.
So, too, is learning how to interact with your audience.
And it’s the same with learning how to put colourful images into the brains of your audience.
Pictures painted in the minds of your audience members – without needing a single slide – can be way more colourful, way more persuasive and way more memorable!
And if you ever get that overwhelming feeling that you just have to use some slides, which three will they be???