I recently attended an excellent presentation by Anthony Willoughby. He helps senior business people develop their strategic plans in a novel way using the same techniques that Masai Warriors communicate their territory to their tribe. I’m not going to talk about his approach however, I want to focus on his presentation.
What was refreshing was that,apart from his first and last slides, Anthony’s visual aids consisted solely of pictures. Each image, as well as being visually stunning, was carefully chosen to support the verbal messages he was delivering. Not a bullet point in sight and did we miss them? Not at all!
By doing things this way Anthony eliminated a common problem of business presenters, he was not in competition with his slides. There was nothing to read so we took in the visual messages at a glance and then returned our full attention to the speaker as he delivered his key messages.
Research has confirmed that, contrary to popular mythology, taking the words of the screen actually increases message recall and knowledge transfer.
Take a look at some of your old presentations. What’s the ratio of pictures and images to words?
I challenge you to develop a short presentation with a set of PowerPoint slides that don’t contain any words at all!
Script your presentation and then support your verbal messages with visually appealing slides as appropriate, then sit back and wait for the praise to roll in.