Less PowerPoint, More Powerful Points



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Less PowerPoint, More Powerful Points



“Pauline, prepare my presentation for our colleagues in Portsmouth. The slides I showed last September in Southampton will suffice.” As Pauline reviews those 35 slides, she reflects on the time it had taken to produce them. She remembers the rows and rows of bullet points; the endless discussions when the finance director objected to a point on slide 27 (as if anyone would be still awake); the glee on the CEO’s face when he thought that animation and the sound of car brakes would be “more interesting”. How can she break it to her boss that the procurement team had found his presentation tedious and that the slides had produced a collective yawn. The outcomes were that the message failed to be delivered, that the CEO lost respect and that the over-reliance on PowerPoint gave another shockingly bad example about the nature of good communications. To present well requires good preparation.

PowerPoint is a good slave but a bad master. It is not a good preparation tool as it freezes out the many better ways to engage the audience. So it should be an afterthought, not forethought. The presenter must engage the audience and ensure they are focused on one issue. If PowerPoint is over-used to list endless bullet points or statistics, it becomes a distraction. The audience will not be led by the presenter nor given a single clear message. And to refocus the attention of the audience, the B key should be employed to blank the screen (pressing B again will display the slide once more).

Think first about the audience and the purpose of the event. Construct an outline before considering the key points to cover. Consider using prompt cards but ensure that they are easy to read. Decide how much time each section needs and then, very importantly, what will make the key points stick in the minds of the audience. Above all, encourage participation and the need of the speaker to use their PowerPresence in preference to their PowerPoint.

Pauline finally makes up her mind to say something: “About that presentation in Southampton, have you considered …”

J. Ellwood. The Times

Practicum 12.4

Translate the italicized word combinations in Text 12a into Russian

Practicum 12.5

Practicum 12.6

Practicum 12.7

Practicum 12.8

Account for the most natural pattern of communicative behaviour of Pauline in the suggested settings

- encouraging her boss to rely more on rapport with the audience and their feedback than on PowerPoint

- discouraging her colleagues from over- and misusing animation and sounds

Practicum 12.9

PracticeEncouraging / Discouraging strategyin the following situation

Being a coach on a presentation training you are to teach your trainees how to take advantage of the power of visualization. Potential benefits are: attention, motivation, comprehension and memorability (for illustrations see – http://www.visual-literacy.org/stairs_of_viz/stairs_of_viz.html)

Encourage your traineesto rely on the following tips

- employ repetition to facilitate recognition;

- use contrast to focus attention for easier and quicker detection and memorability;

- be consistent in the use of colours, shapes, symbols 

- reframe issues by presenting them in a new, insightful perspective;

- intrigue viewers through new metaphors, patterns; visual effects and unexpected moves

D iscourage your trainees from potential pitfalls of visualization

- overloading the image with unstructured elements by packing too much into a single picture

- overuse of stereotypical pictures (as cliché pictures that have become a common place and may thus cause negative or indifferent reactions)

- abusing or confusing with visual schemas

Practicum 12.10

PracticeEncouraging strategyin the following situation (to be done in writing:

a free-lance journalist is working on a report on improving presentation skills for an Online Women's Magazine (he encourages to rely on the right visualization format and graphic elements, such as simple icons – symbols with a clear connotation, realistic images – more or less accurate rendering of reality, charts - abstract conceptual graphic representation or information)

III. Communication Practice

Team work

Your team is to take the floor at an open doors day to present your  university and encourage the audience to apply. Choose a visualization format.

Text 12b

The text to follow deals in talking science (presentations). Study the text and use it as a starting point for communication



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