Public speaking is the biggest fear of most Americans. In fact, it even beats out heights, zombies and clowns. So, give yourself the competitive edge, and get rid of some fear by using PowerPoint slides to enhance your presentation, rather than suck the life out of it! Start improving audience engagement now with these three easy protips:
1. Don’t be boring twice!
Most of your audience can, ahem, READ, so if you are reading/reciting the same text that is on your PowerPoint, you ain’t doing nothin’ but boring the hell out of your audience… times TWO!
Protip: Make every part of your presentation (what’s coming out of your pie hole and what’s on the screen) move the plot (main purpose) of your talk forward and if it doesn’t… DELETE!
2. Be prepared for technology not working (cuz it happens ALL the time)
Do NOT build your entire presentation to rely on your images. Kind people have sacrificed their time/money/energy to see YOU present. We’ve all been in an audience when technology breaks down and after numerous tries, when the projection still won’t work, somehow the speaker stops working too!
Protip: Have a few creative contingency plans (in your back pocket)! Instead of clicking on a slide to illustrate a basic branch in Git, for example, ask the audience to stand up and form a human Git branch! They will never forget the concept once it’s in their bodies. And there ain’t no slide as dynamic as human beings.
3. They came to hear/see YOU!
A PowerPoint won’t add anything that you didn’t add first! Which is to say… all the personality, quirks, humor and insights you think you’ve included in your presentation slides, cuz you shoved in a few overused images, like the “disgruntled-baby-on-beach-with-sand-in-fist-and-attitude-to-match” or the “kitten-hanging-from-twine-rope-embodying-tension”…you haven’t included anything but a cheap distraction from the fact that you haven’t worked on your talk. And there ain’t no angry baby or cute kitten that can save your a$$ now!
Protip: Just show us who you are and why this subject is important to you; don’t forget emotion. We want to hear what it felt like to finally undo commits after years of drinking Red Bull and breaking up with that woman who didn’t even appreciate how your lightsaber lit up her dining room table on Valentine’s Day.
An easy way to start visualizing how engaging and powerful your slides can be is to study the OG of slides: Homepages. Check out GitKraken’s home page to see how Axosoft subverted the static home page in order to move the story of Git forward.
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