Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Down with Boring Presentations!

I am just over sitting in a conference room listening to a 'lecturer' telling me what I already know and or what I don't have much interest in knowing more about. Or worse still, what I could read on their website!
I have attended 2 conferences recently, where I felt my eyes closing and it is time for presenters and trainers to take a leap in to interactive learning experiences.
What GREAT presentations are and what they are NOT:
1. Forget those Powerpoints that have so many words on them that I get a headache reading them. Great Powerpoints are filled with images that are memorable and tell a story.
We no longer have restrictions on the amount of information we can store on our computer drives or USB's. So why do I have to squint to read tiny font? Why not insert more slides that enable the telling of the story?
GREAT training has movement and is not static. We don't have to stare at one slide for 20 minutes because we are afraid of 'death by Powerpoint'. Yes, Powerpoint that is a summary of your presentation is dreadful, but in a session of 1 hour, nothing wrong with 40 - 50 great slides that move your key points forward!
If you need to include tables in the presentation and other facts and figures, think about how to do this with the key messages clearly displayed. No, no to excel spreadsheets on the screen. Print them out instead.
2. That podium.... Please, step out from behind the podium. Insist on a lapel mic so that you connect with the group. We can all read the slides, so tell us the stories behind them. Create movement and energy in the room and then the group takes their lead from you.
3. Voice - please, please: a monotonous voice is just a way of induce sleep. Create a different rhythm and get feedback from others so that you improve. Create some energy and step up your pace and slow down on the dramatic points. Find some up and down moments and surprise us.
4. Creating an interactive presentation does not mean that for 2 minutes you ask the group to discuss a point at their table. Then continue your presentation without any debriefing. A few minutes later, asking the group to discuss something for 10 minutes and again no debriefing, does not mean that your session has been interactive.
Interactive means that you use a variety of methods to invite the group to participate in the discussion. How about:
A debate between teams on different viewpoints
A competition between groups
Completion of a quiz
A template to complete at the table
Formulate questions at the table to ask the presenter
Use post-its on a flipchart to sum up the main ideas
Provide handouts for analysis at the table
5. Create a presentation that flows logically and can be completed in the time allocated. Practice and receive honest feedback before stepping up on stage.
6. Provide practical take-outs. We all want to know what we can do with the information and not what the theory is - we can read that. What does it mean to us back in our work environment?

No comments: