Archive for PowerPoint presentations

Seth Godin’s 5 Rules for PowerPoint Presentations + 1 = 6

It took Seth Godin to write the rules for a powerful PowerPoint presentation.  I saw these first on Slide Rehab’s website (they are kind of like PowerPoint doctors).   The majority of presentations are made to persuade someone or an audience to take some action:  buy your service, approve your budget, open a new office, close an office, hire people, fire people, and so forth.

I’m going to start with my #6 first:

GAIN COMMITMENT TO THE NEXT STEP!

This is the rule so often overlooked by presenters. After you’ve made your presentation, how do you move the audience to the desired action?  The period following the presentation should not be viewed as only “the Q&A,” something to be gotten through as quickly as possible.  Look at this time as an opportunity to direct the discussion so that you gain commitment to the next steps, i.e. getting the business, scheduling another meeting with a decision maker, scheduling a product demonstration.

Here are Seth’s five rules you need to remember to create amazing PowerPoint presentations:

  1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER. There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken.
  2. No cheesy images. Use professional stock photo images.
  3. No dissolves, spins or other transitions.
  4. Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation, but never use the sound effects that are built in to the program. Instead, rip sounds and music from CDs and leverage the Proustian effect this can have. If people start bouncing up and down to the Grateful Dead, you’ve kept them from falling asleep, and you’ve reminded them that this isn’t a typical meeting you’re running.
  5. Don’t hand out printouts of your slides. They don’t work without you there.

And it bears repeating, #6:

GAIN COMMITMENT TO THE NEXT STEP!