Using slides during your presentations is strictly a matter of personal preference. If you find them useful in a particular situation and you feel comfortable with the equipment, great. If you are frightened by your laptop or simply don’t care for the technology, keep it out of your repertoire. Here is a handy list of things to avoid when you make the conscious decision to use slides:
- Never assume you need to deliver a slide show every time. It makes sense is some situations, not in others.
- Never assume that people come to see your slides; they come to see you.
- Never show slides that are so dense or complex that your audience finds them incomprehensible.
- Never talk to the screen; talk to your audience instead.
- Never say “next slide please” if someone is advancing the slides for you.
- Never travel without a backup of your slide show; if your computer dies, you can borrow someone else’s.
- Never forget Plan B. When something goes wrong, plot out in advance how you will continue with your presentation.
- Never darken the entire room, only the area near the screen.
- Never use fonts that are too small to be viewed from the back of the room.
- Never leave home without your remote control device that allows you to advance your slides without being tethered to the keyboard.
- Never get carried away with animation and sound effects.
- Never leave home without a hard copy of your slides; when the technical gremlins attack, this is your backup.
- Never neglect to hold a technical run through in advance of your talk.
Tell us about your experience using presentation software. What other sage advice can you offer to The Media Training Blog community?