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Really Bad Powerpoint

Really Bad Powerpoint
I wrote this about four years ago, originally as an ebook. I figured the idea might spread and then the problem would go away--we'd no longer see thousands of hours wasted, every single day, by boring PowerPoint presentations filled with bullets. Not only has it not gone away, it's gotten a lot worse. Last week I got a template from a conference organizer. It seems they want every single presenter to not only use bullets for their presentations, but for all of us to use the same format! So, for posterity, and in the vain hope it might work, here we go again: Really Bad Powerpoint It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to champion at a church or a school or a Fortune 100 company, you’re probably going to use PowerPoint. Powerpoint was developed by engineers as a tool to help them communicate with the marketing department—and vice versa. Powerpoint could be the most powerful tool on your computer. Communication is the transfer of emotion. Our brains have two sides. Related:  Presentations

What is good PowerPoint design? Occasionally, I'm asked by colleagues or clients to send samples of "great slides" or "good PowerPoint." I usually hesitate to send examples of slides since my answer to the question, "what does a great PowerPoint slide look like?" is " depends." In a world which often thinks in terms of absolutes — this is good, that is bad — "it depends" is not the most popular answer. Context mattersHowever, as far as design is concerned, it is useful not to think (judge) in terms of right or wrong, but rather in terms of what is appropriate or inappropriate. Simple but not simplisticIf there is one important precept worth following, it is the idea of simplicity. Simplicity is often used as a means to greater clarity. (Click for larger view of this slide) In Living Zen, author Robert Linsen (in speaking on the simplification of needs in everyday life) says that a "simplification of existence" is a consequence of an "effective experience of Zen." BEFORE. Before After Before After

Ask E.T.: Cleaning up Excel's poshlust graphics Hi - I'm a Senior Economist tasked, besides my forecasting work, with increasing production efficiency for a number of products we sell (we're in the credit risk rating business, among other things). A typical product (industrial models for, say, Austria, covering 150+ industrial sectors (NACE rev 1.1), which contain, all told, around 4200 charts, 600 tables and assorted texts) must be producable within a reasonable period of time, which really means absolutely less than 1 day, preferably less than 4 hours for the pure production process. We do it all in Excel once the forecast and ancillary work is completed externally. Now, I've been a long-time admirer of Dr. That said, we really haven't found all that much that we can't do with Excel's charting engine, but dread the day that we have to convert to Office 2007, since the chart engine is the chart engine that you find in .NET from MSFT. John -- John F.

For Presentations, Half As Long Is Twice As Good Here’s a New Year’s resolution that’s a lot easier than losing 10 pounds--and with the tough marketplace we face in 2013, it will make your business more competitive. Are you a team manager or a sales director responsible for delivering weekly presentations to your teams? Do you lead conference calls with hundreds of employees listening in? Most business presentations stink. Half as long is twice as good. Today’s attention spans are shorter. About the only place where audiences of any kind sit in one place for more than an hour is the movie theater. With that in mind, I constantly tell clients to “cut it in half.” Grab the audience like Spielberg. Your presentations should start the same way. Instead, cut right to the “shark,” the key challenge that faces your listeners and your business. Make the body of your presentation pass the $300,000 challenge. If those are the conditions, you will limit your presentation to a few key messages. Leave lots of time for Q&A. Presentation boring? 1.

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint I suffer from something called Ménière’s disease—don’t worry, you cannot get it from reading my blog. The symptoms of Ménière’s include hearing loss, tinnitus (a constant ringing sound), and vertigo. There are many medical theories about its cause: too much salt, caffeine, or alcohol in one’s diet, too much stress, and allergies. However, I have another theory. To prevent an epidemic of Ménière’s in the venture capital community, I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. Ten slides. So please observe the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

15 WordPress Mobile Themes for Mobile Devices 15 WordPress Mobile Themes for Mobile Devices Details Category: WordPress Hits: 19780 Why people have started creating WordPress Themes for Mobile Devices / Smart Phones. because of browsing the web and blogging over your mobile phones is becoming more and more popular. They can be seeing and navigated much more easily on the smaller screens as well as some even have special support for the various touch screen functions. Free Mobile Themes For WordPress 1. iPhonsta WordPress Mobile Theme | Demo | Download {ads1} 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Commercial WordPress Mobile Themes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. iWorld - Mobile WordPress Theme 7. 8. 9.

How to Present to Senior Executives - Nancy Duarte by Nancy Duarte | 11:00 AM October 4, 2012 Senior executives are one of the toughest crowds you’ll face as a presenter. They’re incredibly impatient because their schedules are jam-packed — and they have to make lots of high-stakes decisions, often with little time to weigh options. So they won’t sit still for a long presentation with a big reveal at the end. They’ll just interrupt you before you finish your shtick. It can be frustrating. Here’s how you can earn their attention and support: Summarize up front: Say you’re given 30 minutes to present. Set expectations: Let the audience know you’ll spend the first few minutes presenting your summary and the rest of the time on discussion. Create summary slides: When making your slide deck, place a short overview of key points at the front; the rest of your slides should serve as an appendix. Rehearse: Before presenting, run your talk and your slides by a colleague who will serve as an honest coach. Sounds like a lot of work?

10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations “Oh no! Not another boring PowerPoint presentation! My eyes, my eyes…!!!” How much does it suck to be in the audience for yet another drawn-out, boring, lifeless slideshow? The truth is, bad PowerPoint happens to good people, and quite often the person giving the presentation is just as much a victim as the poor sods listening to her or him. Here are ten tips to help you add a little zing! 1. A little planning goes a long way. That’s bass-ackwards. And make sure your script follows good storytelling conventions: give it a beginning, middle, and end; have a clear arc that builds towards some sort of climax; make your audience appreciate each slide but be anxious to find out what’s next; and when possible, always leave ‘em wanting more. 2. At any given moment, what should be on the screen is the thing you’re talking about. Plan your presentation so just one new point is displayed at any given moment. 3. Congratulations. 4. Use a sans serif font for body text. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Edward Tufte on Excel Dashboards Another excellent tidbit from is this excel dashboard. Edward Tufte, noted guru of information presentation, expressed the opinion that the first report below had too much color. The second dashboard is the result of the change. So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? Structure Your Presentation Like a Story - Nancy Duarte by Nancy Duarte | 8:00 AM October 31, 2012 After studying hundreds of speeches, I’ve found that the most effective presenters use the same techniques as great storytellers: By reminding people of the status quo and then revealing the path to a better way, they set up a conflict that needs to be resolved. That tension helps them persuade the audience to adopt a new mindset or behave differently — to move from what is to what could be. And by following Aristotle’s three-part story structure (beginning, middle, end), they create a message that’s easy to digest, remember, and retell. Here’s how it looks when you chart it out: And here’s how to do it in your own presentations. Craft the Beginning Start by describing life as the audience knows it. After you set that baseline of what is, introduce your vision of what could be. What is: We fell short of our Q3 financial goals partly because we’re understaffed and everyone’s spread too thin. Let’s go back to that Q3 update.

4 Effective Presentation Techniques Every once in a while, we are entrusted with the task of presentation. It may be to demo a new product, to present a plan or to explain a new process that you’ve helped create. Whatever the reason and however many presentations you’ve given before, it’s something that not everyone is comfortable doing. Here are some of the presentation techniques that I’ve learnt in my experience to help you conduct an effective presentation. Setting the stage Always start with an intro. Do a brief intro on the subject of the demo. Reserve a minute to explain the structure of your presentation. Setting the stage should take you around 5 to 10 mins, depending on the number of people attending. Force a pause When you dive into the meat of your presentation, do not talk away as if there is no end. In the beginning, I know it will be tough to implement this but trust me: you will get used to it. Don’t do all the talking Make it interactive. Ice-breakers

The storytelling imperative: Make them care! Pixar Studios filmmaker Andrew Stanton gave a good TED talk about a year ago where he states that one of the key aims of any good story is that it must make the audience care. "Make me care," he says. If you research the advice of famous directors and screenwriters of today and of years gone by you will find this is a common refrain: You have go to make the audience care. Presentations in all their many forms are never just about transferring information alone. On the TED stage Stanton does a great job of getting the audience's attention and engages them immediately with a relevant short story in the form of a joke, a joke that gets a big laugh (strong emotional connection). Below I highlight some of the more salient points Stanton makes concerning story. • Make the audience care.The greatest story commandment of all says Stanton is: "Make me care. • Make 'em work for it. • Story is about change. • Have a clear theme." • Look inside yourselfWhere do you find material for storytelling?

Michael Bay's Meltdown and How fo Overcome Fear | Tom Alderman By now you've probably seen Academy Award-winning director Michael Bay's most uncomfortable meltdown at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. And if you watch ABC News you may also have seen their piece on people who are crippled by stage fright. Not a pretty sight. There aren't too many of us who don't get some level of debilitating schpilkis when asked to talk in front of people. It can be truly unsettling. But the reality is, in business -- as in relationships -- HOW you say things is more impactful than WHAT you say. The name of the game here is CONTROL -- control over the three components that make up public speaking: WHO, YOU and the WORDS. WHO are you talking to? YOU. The first move towards control when speaking is understanding. THE WORDS. But core messages alone won't do it. You also have to ask yourself, are you talking from notes, an outline, a verbatim script?

gyroVoice: Five Ways to Avoid a Michael Bay Meltdown I can hear it now: “Wow, I almost did a Michael Bay in there!” It’s too bad that the exceptionally talented movie director Bay got caught in the social media blender with his Jan. 7 on-stage freeze-up at the Consumer Electronics Show when his TelePrompTer failed. He is likely to be forever associated with presentation paralysis. In reality, it’s just a blip for him. After all, he’s one of the top-grossing directors of all time. But what if stage fright were to happen to you? For those of us who have done a lot of presenting, we know that it’s not a question of if you will encounter your own potential meltdown moment but rather when. The first thing needed is a prevention plan (we’ll get to the recovery later). Don’t Rely on Technology to Tell Your Story – You should be able to stand and deliver your presentation like you are telling a story to a friend. Meltdowns, technology glitches and memory lapses are part of presenting. “Mr. Next up: The Recovery Plan