Required reading doesn’t have to be all work and no joy. As in the case of The Sower, Slide:ology I greatly enjoyed. Nancy Duarte gave me insight in how I can use Power Point to tell story, show data, and make impact. The case could have been made that reading this was unnecessary since I have been doing Power Point presentations for about eight years at my day job, but new techniques sharpen the mind.
So my top five takeaways?
- Pictures evoke emotion and tell a story. More pictures, less words was what she recommended.
- The presentation supports the person. The person doesn’t support the presentation.
- Font is important. Take the time to seriously consider the kind of font to use in a presentation.
- Data doesn’t all have to go on the one slide. Make the data easily manageable using simple graphs or simply a picture with a percentage.
- Mini-presentation. The one thing I plan on doing is creating a small presentation to keep on my phone and tablet so when people ask me questions on the spot, I can whip out my tablet or phone to show them pictures during the natural conversation. She relayed a story of someone wishing to raise money for building fresh water wells in Africa who had a short presentation ready on his phone to support his conversations.
The mistakes people make are too much text on a slide, the slide having too much information too quickly so the audience reads ahead of the presenter, and how people make the information hard to digest. Like writing a story, moving a paragraph makes all the difference sometimes, and in presentations, filing the information down to key words and pictures make a more emotionally appealing presentation.
During the reading of this book, I have folded corners, circled key things, and generally made notes on the pages. It will be in my reference library for future presentations.