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 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!