Getting Over Yourself

July 3, 2015

A jazzier alternate to PowerPoint

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 7:02 am
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You’ve seen enough presentations to know that PowerPoint interferes with the speaker’s credibility more often than it helps. PowerPoint has its place, but few people know what that is and how to use it to good advantage.

What’s on the screen works better if it’s actually visual. Here’s another approach you might want to consider: Prezi. It has an interactive feel and tends to encourage more visual visuals.

If you’re not familiar with Prezi, you can go to this link to see examples of how others have used it.

And, if you want a free 1-hour online training you can sign up here: . They’re doing a training today, July 3 and on July 17.

You can join Prezi free to try it out. I did and had fun designing a presentation on this large space that allows you to move around the screen, zoom in and out, and use more creativity. It’s a lot like the moving around the screen on your smart phone.

It’s worth a look to get some ideas on how to jazz up your visuals.


February 26, 2013

What’s more powerful a visual than PowerPoint?

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:19 pm
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If you’ve never snoozed through someone’s bullet-pointed PowerPoint presentation, then maybe you’ve never been to a PowerPoint presentation. Few people seem to have the hang of the concept of “visuals”– mistakenly thinking that having something on the screen constitutes visual aids. And I love to get on my soapbox about that subject. But this time I’m going to concentrate on a vibrant alternative.

Some of the strongest “visuals” I’ve ever “seen” in a presentation have been the words coming from the speaker. Your life (and the happiness and satisfaction of your audience) will be much easier when you look at your topic from the standpoint of using stories and examples as much as possible to make your points. Those make for visual words that the audience will focus on and remember. It doesn’t matter who your audience is or what your topic, drawing verbal pictures for your audience will make your presentation more successful. And it will be way easier for you to deliver.

June 18, 2012

From boring to great back to boring in 10 minutes–lessons to be learned

A scientist friend was describing speech at a conference of peers where she barely able to stay awake or to understand his message until something wonderful happened–his PowerPoint presentation had a technical glitch. He was smart enough not to hold up the meeting while the equipment failure was taken care of and continued to speak. She said it was like night and day. She hadn’t been tracking with his message at all, and suddenly she was understanding everything. He had stopped his formal recital of his facts and started just having a conversation with them. And it was brilliant. And he was engaging.

However, unfortunately, the problem was remedied and he was right back in boring mode, plodding formally through the material. My friend was greatly disappointed because she was on the verge of understanding his whole subject.

PowerPoint does not constitute a presentation. It’s your connection with the audience–you having a conversation sharing your ideas.

June 14, 2011

Why are you using so many slides?

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 3:35 pm
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Again today, someone told me a sad story about poor presenting and too many slides. It’s an annual meeting where 15 speakers each speak for an hour (a 2-day meeting) and bore everyone with their content, their delivery and their slides. It’s not that hard to be interesting–if you’d just think about it with your logical mind and from the point of view of your audience. Get out of your own way and stop worrying about looking good. Focus on helping your audience and on making it easy for them to pay attention. And as your audiences get younger, they’re less bothered about needing to appear polite. They’ve been conditioned–perhaps by their parents, certainly by ever-present technology and media to just tune you out if you’re not capturing their attention.

When you use slides, have a better reason for using them than that everyone else is using them. And, if you’re using them for your notes you’re not fooling anyone. You’ll put too much on them and then be attached to them because you’re afraid you’ll leave something out. And now you’ve lost your connection with your audience.

Design them to help your audience and they’ll be more interesting, plus, they’ll help you, too. Too much information on slides distracts you and the audience. And too many slides overwhelms. These are supposed to be visual aids. Aids. Not your presentation.

Keep them to a minimum. Not more than one slide for every two minutes is good. Not more than ten an hour is even better.

Work on interacting with your audience, engaging them, and only use the slides that will help make that happen.

April 25, 2011

Pictures make bad news appear less threatening

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 11:57 am
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Studies show that the visual message outweighs the words. You know those drug commercials that end with all the dire side effects that might result from using that drug? Have you paid any attention to what’s on the screen as they go through the litany of possible drawbacks? The pictures are totally reassuring showing healthy people doing normal things. A perfect antidote to the fearsome words.

At least it’s a reminder of how important your visuals are, whether they are actual visuals–slides, objects–or visual words. You can carry the day no matter what your message if you pay attention to these.

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