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If your presentation were a person – what would the conversation be like?

May 7, 2010

It can be quite useful and not to mention humorous to think of a PowerPoint presentation as an actual person. Now that might sound odd – and you may be tempted to check me into a padded room – but it does really make you think differently about the things you put on your slide, and how ridiculous that might seem if you were to encounter it in everyday situations.

I wrote before of the comparison that can be drawn between including a logo on every slide in your deck to reintroducing yourself by name at the start of every sentence in a person to person conversation, or perhaps drawing your company’s logo in the centre of your forehead.

The other day while baring witness to the frankly ridiculous slide transitions deemed worthy for inclusion in PowerPoint 2010, I pondered on how transitions might look in a person to person conversation.

In my own presentations the main transition I use is “fade”, and sometimes, only if it makes sense to do so I will use “push”. Now I know that these transitions are supposed to make things more exciting, jazzy and dynamic etc, the overwhelmingly vast majority of them are seriously bad and what’s more very distracting.

So let us imagine the conversation between a service provider and a potential client where the seller tries to “Jazz up” the proceedings with some transitions and includes his “logo” at the start of each sentence…

Seller: Hi Mr. Jones my name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper, and I was hoping to talk to you about your paper needs.

Mr. Jones: Great, I have been looking to get a better deal on my paper supply.

*Now it is transition time, this is where things get interesting*

Seller: Starts flapping arms about wildly and pulling funny faces to signify an “exciting” sentence transition. My Name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper… Great well can I ask you what sort of volumes you are dealing with?

Mr. Jones: Eh… yes, well we spend about €2k per annum

Seller: Starts spinning around on the spot for 3 seconds. Hi my name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper…. Well I am sure we can knock a bit off that!

Etc. Etc. You get the point, it would be… weird… to say the very least.

Occasionally I find it quite useful to think of a PowerPoint presentation as an actual person. Now that might sound odd – and you may be tempted to check me into a padded room – but it does really make you think differently about the things you put on your slide, and how ridiculous that might seem if you were to encounter it in everyday situations.

I wrote before of the comparison that can be drawn between including a logo on every slide in your deck to reintroducing yourself by name at the start of every sentence in a person to person conversation, or perhaps drawing your company’s logo in the centre of your forehead.

The other day while baring witness to the frankly ridiculous slide transitions deemed worthy for inclusion in PowerPoint 2010, I pondered on how transitions might look in a person to person conversation.

In my own presentations the main transition I use is “fade”, and sometimes, only if it makes sense to do so I will use “push”. Now I know that these transitions are supposed to make things more exciting, jazzy and dynamic etc, the overwhelmingly vast majority of them are seriously bad and what’s more very distracting.

So let us imagine the conversation between a service provider and a potential client where the seller tries to “Jazz up” the proceedings with some transitions and includes his “logo” at the start of each sentence…

Seller: Hi Mr. Jones my name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper, and I was hoping to talk to you about your paper needs.

Mr. Jones: Great, I have been looking to get a better deal on my paper supply.

*Now it is transition time, this is where things get interesting*

Seller: Starts flapping arms about wildly and pulling funny faces to signify an “exciting” sentence transition. My Name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper… Great well can I ask you what sort of volumes you are dealing with?

Mr. Jones: Eh… yes, well we spend about €2k per annum

Seller: Starts spinning around on the spot for 3 seconds. Hi my name is Joe Johnson and I sell great value paper…. Well I am sure we can knock a bit off that!

Etc. Etc. You get the point, it would be… weird… to say the very least.

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