The next time you are at the grocery store, take a critical look at the magazines that assault your senses as you stand in the check out line. Which one did you pick up, and why?
You might have been critically interested in the topics the magazine covers. But most of the time, something else drew you in and made you rifle through it for a few moments. Chances are, it was either a compelling headline or a stunning visual -- or a combination of both.
Magazines are masters of direct response headline writing. In particular, take a look at Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, and Prevention. What words or phrases did they use to arrest your interest? Here are four time-tested eye and mind-catchers:
- "How To...."
- "The Top 5 Reasons Why...."
What other headline techniques grab attention? Take a tip from magazines -- even if you are giving a presentation to your church members or school children, think about re-writing your the headlines of your PowerPoint slides as if they were on the cover of Cosmopolitan (minus the saucy pictures, of course!). But think about it:
- How to Feed 500 with 1 Loaf, 1 Fish
- The 5 Most Relevant Advent Adverbs
- Amazing Joy -- How Sweet the Sound of Laughter
Pick ONE relevant picture to accompany each new headline. This creative exercise can lead to a presentation that more readily engages audience imagination. Give it a try!
Take a tip from teachers: use PowerPoint flashcards. Create a PowerPoint presentation with text slides that present a concept, question, term, or problem -- and then display the answer.
Encourage your audience to shout out the answer before you click to the answer slide. This interactive technique can serve to wake up your audience and make your presentation more persuasive and definitely more passionate.
PowerPoint Haiku #1
Present with passion.
Don't read your presentation.
Read your audience.
download free powerpoint presentations
How Does PowerPoint End?
How do you end your PowerPoint presentations? Many people finish simply with a black PowerPoint slide, others with a Q&A slide or corporate logo. Some simply end and show whatever distracting or embarrassing view may be available in today's wireless world (not very professional, but I've seen that a lot lately).
What image do you display at the end of your presentations, and how do you use your grand finale to drive your point home and look super-professional?
PowerPointlessness: Word of the Week
I read the term "PowerPointlessness" today and had to smile. The Word Spy
: gives a compelling definition of a great (I assume) Aussie term.
In a nutshell: too many bells and whistles and not enough content or storytelling? That's PowerPointlessness.
The Problem with PowerPoint...
Last week, a new client asked me to review a sales PowerPoint presentation. He felt "something" was missing, but he couldn't define what it was.
Indeed, a few critical components were awry. But chiefly, I recommended adding a problem statement.
The presentation was obviously very slickly put together by a professional designer with a glib eye for color, contrast, and clip art. But aside from looking like they spent a bundle on design to tell what the company did; the presentation was devoid of good storytelling and a compelling call to action.
Take a critical look at your own presentation. How effectively does it outline a problem? How well does it tell a story? When does it motivate your audience to take a desired action?
If these basic persuasive components are missing, all the artistry in the world won't transform your PowerPoint slides into a compelling presentation.
Sometimes it takes a few transition slides to repair an otherwise "OK" presentation.
And sometimes, it's "back to the drawing board."
How is PowerPoint Hurting Your Brand?
Microsoft estimates that people see over 30 million PowerPoint presentations every day. That's 30 million opportunities to create a consistent, positive brand image. Or 30 million opportunities to damage your brand through a shoddy presentation.
Tailoring each presention to the skills of the presentation is important: but how well does your company educate presenters on the importance of a consistent brand presentation? You have 30 million daily opportunities to create an experience that can powerfully impact your brand.
How well do your presenters communicate your message?
Speaking of "Death By PowerPoint"...
Why leave a suicide note when you can leave a suicide PowerPoint
? Read the review of the PowerPoint presentation that outlined the current situation and hightlighted the benefits of the final soluation.>>>
Presidents Day PowerPoint
Teachers who are looking for President's Day PowerPoint ideas can go to the Georgia Learning Connections site
. Pretty sweet stuff! Happy President's Day...now, is it a bank holiday?
Labels: PowerPoint Presentation
Font Change Tip for PowerPoint
There are three kinds of case styles in PowerPoint:
- ALL CAPS
- Title Case
- all lower case
If you want to change case styles quickly & easily in PowerPoint, simply select your copy and click Shift+F3.
Each case style will toggle through one at a time. This tip works in Microsoft Word, too!
What is one of your favorite little
Labels: PowerPoint Tricks
Shrink Your PowerPoint File Size
It's the perfect time to put your fattest PowerPoint presentations on a diet! As you know, graphically rich PowerPoint can get big and bloated...
If you're counting kilobytes and looking to optimize your PowerPoint file size for more efficient archiving and emailing, give PowerShrink
a try. This free download promises to easily compress your PowerPoint files in three easy steps.
If you are searching for educational PowerPoint presentation samples and examples...
try the -.com trick.
When you go to your favorite search Engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), trying searching for your favorite term as usual. For example, you can enter "PowerPoint presentations", "free powerpoint templates", and so forth -- but after you enter your phrase, type in
This will eliminate all commercial sites -- the ones that end a a "dot com". This means you are more likely to get PowerPoint presentation sites that end in .edu or .org -- these are educational sites that do not typically try to sell you anything, but are likely to showcase the work of students or non-profit organizations.
Labels: PowerPoint Tricks
Happy Valentine's Day...
Indezine lets you download two Valentines in the form free powerpoint templates....
click here for more information.
PowerPoint is much maligned....
PowerPoint seems much maligned lately.
From Edward Tufte's dismissal of PowerPoint in "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint
", the ensuing New York Times article, "PowerPoint Makes You Dumb
" (where PowerPoint is blamed for the Columbia shuttle craft disaster, no less) to seemingly countless articles about "Death by PowerPoint
" -- it would appear that PowerPoint is the program that people love to hate.
There's one problem behind this kind of hatred: it blames the tool (PowerPoint).
Do carpenters blame poor workmanship on their shoddy tools? If they do, they're bad carpenters.
Do writers blame their pens or paper for bad writing? If they do, they're hacks.
Bad presenters and bad communicators will always blame the tool.
Remember this: it's not the tool. It's never the tool.
If you give bad PowerPoint presentations....
Convert PowerPoint to Flash
PowerBullet is a small, simple piece of freeware that lets you easily convert PowerPoint presentations into Flash.
Basically, you develop your animated PowerPoint presentation, click a button, and presto! Your PowerPoint presentation is now an html file with an accompanying swf file.
It's free, but the upgraded version with all the bells and whistles is $19.95. Check it out at PowerBullet.com.
"Present Tense" slides into boredom...
In a rather funny article by "Anonymous" at Australia's MIS Magazine
, "Present Tense" is defined by the author, who is frequently subjected to less than stellar PowerPoint presentations. He coined the expression to describe the anxiety felt as an audience member when he has to endure an annoying presenter.
He vents eloquently, and speaks from the authentic perspective of a highly irritated audience member. If the first rule of presenting is "Think of Your Audience
", Anonymous gives you insight into his agitated state of mind. Read on>>>
More PowerPoint Backgrounds
Shake things up a bit visually. Alternate the backgrounds in your PowerPoint presentation.
You're not stuck with the same look on every slide.You can apply any number of alternative PowerPoint backgrounds to introduce a new topic during your presentation.
- Find a graphic you want for your background
- Select "Format" in your menu bar in PowerPoint.
- Select "Background..."
- In the drop down box, select "Fill Effects..."
- Select the "Picture" tab
- Click on the "Select Picture..." button.
- Select your picture, click on "Insert" and then "OK" and "Apply" or "Apply to All".
You can read more about the difference between "PowerPoint templates" and "PowerPoint Backgrounds" and visual best practices...
Can You Hear Me Now?
Use the microphone. Ask the audience if they can hear you. And then read their body language.
So many times, I hear a (usually male) presenter say, "I've got a strong voice, so I'm not going to use the microphone."
And for the first minute, he starts out strong, and we all can hear him. Then, he goes into his normal voice range, and some audience members can't hear, so they start to fidget. The presenter prattles on, oblivious to audience discomfort at interrupting him, or telling him to speak up.
Even if you have a strong voice, don't be mike shy! Put it on and ask the audience if they can hear you. At the very least, you've set the tone for a more interactive presentation by asking the audience a question and getting them involved.
And remember don't read your speech or presentation: read your audience
. Their very body language should let you know how you sound to them.