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The Power is Not the Point!
By Scott Stratten   Printer Friendly Version

There are two ingredients to being a successful speaker. Good speaking skills and good information. Without those, you will lose your audience. But what happens when you cloud your presentation with visuals that aren't up to par? Simply put, you distract your audience from the information you are there to present.

The overuse of technological bells and whistles in presentations is an under-rated problem. Many presenters think, "If it's new and dynamic; it will make my presentation much better." Truth is, there is nothing better than a presentation that is done professionally with only limited effects.

A common mistake is the overuse of PowerPoint animations and transitions during a slideshow. I'm sure you've seen what I'm talking about; the presenter that animates each sentence so it flies in, drops down, and explodes on the screen with an accompanying sound effect.

What happens after that? Do you lose track of what the presenter is saying? Forget within 3 seconds what the point was because you were so focused on the effects that you missed the content?

While the thought process behind these special effects is, "This highlights my point and emphasizes the importance," the outcome is often the opposite. People tend to get distracted by the effects.

A good rule when using PowerPoint, or any other presentation software, is to only put up your main points and use the screen as a reference.

If only the main points are on the screen, the audience will realize the importance of them. Don't overwhelm your audience with techno-fluff. The power of technology is neither the point of your presentation, nor the strength of it. The technology should only be used sparingly or subtlety to reinforce the information you have to share. After all, what you are really there to do is share information.

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