Presenting with PowerPoint               


        Usually when you're delivering a speech or presentation, you're the star - but bring PowerPoint into the mix, and suddenly you're competing with your own slides!  It doesn't have to be a competition - here, learn how to keep control of the presentation, and make your slides work for YOU.  Some tips when presenting with PowerPoint:


  • Make Sure It's Working - With so many different settings on both the computer and projector, there are a lot of ways PowerPoint can mess itself up.  Before you start speaking, check the tech - make sure that what's onscreen is what you want onscreen!  Oh, and turn off any instant messaging applications - you don't want your buddy busting into your boardroom via the screen.  The same goes for any applications that might try to take over the presentation - like wireless cards announcing that they can't find a network, Outlook complaining that it can't find mail servers, etc, etc, etc...


  • Speak from the Plane of Projection - One of the best ways to not compete with your own slides is to not force the audience to choose between the two of you.  Step back into the plane of the projection (though not actually into the projection itself!) so that the audience can simultaneously focus - their eyes and their attention - on you AND the slides.


  • Speak to the Audience - Not the slides!  You should know your material well enough to not have to read from the projection - and if the back of your head is facing the audience, they just don't feel important.  Speak to THEM, not to the stuff onscreen.  Please.


  • Transitions - Keep speaking as you transition from one slide to another.  It's a huge waste of time when a speaker takes a little 10-second break every time he has to hit the spacebar.  You should know the presentation well enough to know what's coming, so give a nice spoken transition while you change the slide!  It's verrrrrry smooth.  


  • "B" and "W" Keys - It's possible (in fact, likely) that not ALL of your speech will be a good match for PowerPoint.  That's okay!  Just make sure not to try to use slides for parts of your speech that aren't right for them.  Instead, turn PowerPoint off - and it's easier than you might think.  The B key turns the screen black;  the W key turns the screen white.  Use whichever is most appropriate for your venue, when you don't need anything onscreen.  It's that easy - you just have to be brave enough to do it...


Congrats, you're ready to give a PowerPoint presentation - good luck!