07 Jul A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Remember the last time you saw a really powerful image, perhaps a photograph in a magazine of children in poverty. The picture is now etched in your memory – a powerful reminder of the facts surrounding the image. You should aim to do the same with PowerPoint slides. Use photos, pictures, graphs and cartoons as often as possible in preference to bullet points.

Seth Godin has a blog on PowerPoint (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog). In it he talks about the power of presenting your ideas visually rather than literally. He says: ‘If you’re talking about pollution in Houston. Instead of giving me four bullet points of EPA data, why not read me the stats but show me a bunch of dead birds, some smog and a diseased lung? This is cheating! It’s unfair! It works’

And he’s right, it does work! As a key note speaker myself I’ve spent a great deal of me, you should ensure that your slides are provocative and support your message. Even if you are using your mandatory ‘corporate’ template.

Case Study

The best corporate example of beautiful slides that I have seen was in one of my programs where an IT professional went back to his desk in the lunch break after learning about how effective pictures can be on slides.

He came back to the program without his corporate slides with the dark blue background and yellow or white writing.

He had replaced these slides with a picture of delicious chocolates and he talked about a ‘smorgasbord of choice’. He then went into the detail about his IT products that supported this idea of ‘choice’.

Then he showed a slide with a picture of a beautiful bridge and he talked about ‘bridging the gap for our clients from where they are to where they want to be’. Then he talked more about his technical offering.

He then showed a slide of a lush green rainforest where the stream ran down the hill and cascaded over some large flat rocks covered in lush bright green moss and he talked about ‘taking the clients on the stepping stones of the journey’. He added some more of his technical content.

He finished with a slide that had some bright smiley faces and his closing statement was ‘our customers will be delighted!’

It was excellent! Three weeks later I had the opportunity to speak with a number of the people who had attended his presentation. I quizzed them and they were able to recall exactly what he had said. What a wonderful example of the power of excellent PowerPoint slides. You can do this too!