Have you ever been to a meeting where the presenter read a bunch of powerpoint slides? Yes, you have; we all have. You don’t go up to the presenter after the show, clunk him or her on the head, berate and criticize. You also don’t go up afterward to say, “Kudos, good job.” If you’re in any way still conscious, you walk away thinking that it wasn’t a professional powerpoint presentation at all, no matter how well-designed the powerpoint was. You don’t necessarily articulate it that way, you just know.
That’s what the subject is: If we have a fairly good sense of what doesn’t constitute a professional powerpoint presentation, can we define what a professional powerpoint presentation is? We can, and that is the specific purpose with this post. All of the following is contingent on the presenter actually being at the front of the room with the powerpoint. So, what does a professional powerpoint presentation look like, feel like, sound like?
A professional powerpoint presentation looks like the presenter:
Using the slides as an outline, not as the presentation.
Expounding on the information in the slides.
Acknowledging the participants in a welcoming environment.
Connecting with people, not reading the wall.
A professional powerpoint presentation feels like the presenter:
Imparting information that he or she cares about.
Adding that dynamic extra thing through an engaging personality.
Displaying full knowledge of the subject matter.
A professional powerpoint presentation sounds like the presenter:
Bringing information to life.
Building toward the goal of pulling everything together.
Generating excitement for the subject.
Creating meaningful engagement in a viable social context.
A professional powerpoint presentation will above all include the participant in a full interactive process. Your powerpoint can be beautifully designed, with great graphics, with the precise recommended blocks of text per slide, with a great color scheme, but that isn’t all there is to it. The best part is when you take this well-designed powerpoint tool and make it the centerpiece of a well-planned and professionally-executed dissemination strategy. So, presenter, it’s you who really puts the punch in it. Make it dynamic, bring it to life, and they will come up to you afterward to say, “Kudos, well done.”