Seth’s Nine Steps to Powerpoint Magic

A must-read/file/review on presentation voodoo by the master. It’s all good but these ideas jumped on my face like the Alien monster:

  • Don’t use Powerpoint at all. Most of the time, it’s not necessary. It’s underkill. Powerpoint distracts you from what you really need to do… look people in the eye, tell a story, tell the truth. Do it in your own words, without artifice and with clarity. There are times Powerpoint is helpful, but choose them carefully.
  • Check to make sure you brought your big idea with you. It’s not worth doing a presentation for a small idea, or for a budget, or to give a quarterly update. That’s what memos are for. Presentations involve putting on a show, standing up and performing. So, what’s your big idea? Is it big enough? Really?
  • The minute you put bullets on the screen, you are announcing, “write this down, but don’t really pay attention now.”) People don’t take notes when they go to the opera.
  • Ten minutes of breathtaking big ideas with big pictures and big type and few words and scary thoughts and startling insights. And then, and then, spend the rest of your time just talking to me. Interacting. Answering questions. Leading a discussion.

Life is too short to waste a precious minute watching a lame-ass ppt presentation by the the clueless and lazy. If it looks like I’m not paying attention, I’m not.

“…words belong in memos. Powerpoint is for ideas.”

2 thoughts on “Seth’s Nine Steps to Powerpoint Magic

  1. Steve: a war-story: Ran across a buddy on the way to make a big-biz presentation in Chicago where he was again a finalist. Over lunch he confided he’d failed on a number of pitches recently and asked me to evaluate his effort. I advised him to dump the Power Point and simply answer questions–listening intently to those questions before answering. He was victorious that day…and for many others.

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