We’ve all had to watch a presentation where the presenter was clearly not prepared, and was using their PowerPoint deck as an elaborate set of notecards. Each time they would click to a new slide, it would jog their memory and they would prattle on for many minutes about whatever was on that slide (which we all had read in just a few seconds).
The result: boredom. Phone checking. Texting. Email. Disengaged audience.
If there were bullet points on the slide, it was even worse. I remember seeing a presentation where the presenter went 20 minutes over into lunch (another please don’t do that). There were 8 bullets on the slide, and he took four minutes to discuss the first one. Quickly I, and the entire audience, calculated that that slide would be up there for 32 minutes. And it was.
So, let’s commit to stopping “bullet point torture.” It disrespects the audience, bores them, and shows we’re not prepared.
PowerPoint is the cheapest theatrical reveal tool there is. You can create elaborate, interesting visuals that punctuate points, pay off setups, reveal surprises and dazzle your audience. You have a simple technology that enables you to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Why put the rabbit up there for 32 minutes, describe every aspect of it, and make us hate the rabbit?
If your PowerPoint slides don’t surprise, delight, provide a punch line, payoff a setup, amuse or touch your audience, they’re just huge, boring notecards. And we can read them to ourselves a lot faster than you can read them aloud.