December, 2006

Why buy a PowerPoint background template when you can create your own?

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

The most searched for term in the area of PowerPoint are phrases around background templates. This is the basic look of your slides. There is an entire industry devoted to cranking out new templates for you to buy. They aren't going to like what I am about to say. Save your money! Why buy one when you can create a background template that is much more effective than most out there and will be completely unique to your presentations?

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Presentations: Tell a Short Story

Executive Speech Coach

One of my speech coaching clients in the Heath Care sector told me that she did not tell stories in her presentations because she had so little time to convey tons of information. That is a common remark from my speech coaching clients. And a common trap. The presenter wrongly believes that what she wants to say is so important that there is no time for fluff. The reality is that no one really listens to what you say – until it is interesting to them.

2006 40

If the audience changes, so should your presentation

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

I met recently with a new client who wants my help in creating a presentation for an upcoming meeting with their company executives. They have an existing presentation on the topic, so why do they need my help? Because the audience has changed. The existing presentation is for detail oriented staff who need to know all the numbers and facts in this division. But executives don't. If you use a presentation geared for specialists to present to executives, you will lose them within two minutes.

2006 40

“Kramer’s” Tirade: Lessons for Presenters

Executive Speech Coach

Michael Richards used to be known as the lovable and loony Kramer of the popular TV show Seinfeld. Now Richards is known as a racist. Whether he is or isn’t a racist is unimportant. He demonstrated racist characteristics in his angry rant and with the words he used. He apologized – but it’s difficult to erase the image of that rant. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and feels like a duck, then it must be a duck. That is the way your audience judges you when you speak.

2006 40

Projector thoughts from PC Magazine

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

Today PC Magazine published an article reviewing some projectors and started with a review of what factors they consider important for selecting a projector. The author, M. David Stone, suggests that many people don't realize that some of what they consider important criteria are actually not (read the article here [link] ). I have to disagree with him on three of his assertions. First, he says that for most business presentations an SVGA (800 x 600) resolution projector is just fine.

2006 40

Your Speech has Three Parts

Executive Speech Coach

Opening – Body – Close There are three parts to a good presentation. Guess which part bad speakers focus on? The Body. Guess which parts are the most important? The Opening and the Close. Why are the opening and the close of your speech so important? The opening is important because this is the first impression you make on your audience. This is your opportunity to grab their attention and establish rapport. Your credibility was established in your introduction (if it was done well).

2006 40

Office 2007 Ribbon Observations

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

Last week Microsoft officially introduced the new version of Office, Office 2007, which includes a new version of PowerPoint. One of the major differences in the new version is the user interface. The familiar menus and selections have been replaced by a new ribbon interface which makes more options visible in a graphical ribbon across the top of the screen. I showed it to a buddy of mine and he made an observation that was very interesting.

2006 40

"I'm OK because I use bullet points"

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

I was speaking to a customer service manager on a flight recently and we started with the usual questions on what each of us did. When he found out that I help presenters strategically use PowerPoint visuals to enhance their presentations, he commented that he does a number of presentations and was better than most because he didn't read sentences from the slide, but used bullet points.

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