Guest blog: Speakers, kill your PowerPoint

October 4, 2010
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I just finished a west coast tour in which I spoke to people in my industry (real estate) about technology and Social Media. It was a fantastic experience, and I was fortunate enough to visit some amazing places (San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Portland) and meet some incredible people.

That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad: I had to sit through a LOT of PowerPoint presentations. And as I sat through probably 30 or more of these presentations, I kept having this one thought, over and over and over, and it was this: Kill your PowerPoint. Why I say this:

  • People are just burned out on them. I got to sit in the middle of crowds of people watching people present using PowerPoint, and you can FEEL the air go out of a room when someone trots out and puts up yet another “generic wall of words” (that’s how someone Tweeted it at one of the events I attended)
  • People actually reacted BETTER to presenters who simply stood alone with a microphone and spoke from the heart than they did those presenting with PowerPoint
  • People EXPECT PowerPoint, so it’s very hard to stand out from the crowd when using it

PowerPoint lacks the “dazzle” and functionality of some of the other options available. Here are two I recommend:

Keynote: Keynote is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. It is much more fully featured, easier to use and includes visual elements and transitions that PowerPoint lacks. It looks cooler, and people absolutely notice the “upgrade” from PowerPoint. The downside: you need an Apple product to run Keynote. The upside: you need an Apple product to run Keynote (full disclosure: I love everything Apple).

Prezi: Keynote is an improvement upon PowerPoint. Prezi is an entirely different animal altogether. It is the most amazing presentation tool I’ve ever seen. I used it for my presentations on my recent tour, and I had countless people – including the CEO of one of the biggest companies in my industry – approach me to say “Please tell me how you made that presentation.” You can learn about Prezi at Prezi.com. It runs on Windows or Mac, with both desktop and online versions. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is WELL worth it.

Make a statement the next time you present by using Keynote or Prezi…

Michael McClure is the President & CEO of Professional One Franchising, LLC and Professional One Real Estate. Michael is a CPA and a graduate of Michigan State University. He is also a nationally recognized speaker in real estate and is known for his leadership on the issues of professionalism and ethics in that industry. Michael attributes much of his success and his passion to the principles he learned from taking the Dale Carnegie course and reading Dale Carnegie’s books.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.

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2 Responses to Guest blog: Speakers, kill your PowerPoint

  1. Liz on October 5, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Funny… I just made a post today as well on killing .ppt and using Prezi :-)

    http://techsavvyagent.com/text/moving-beyond-slide-shows-prezi-review/

    • Michael McClure on October 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Liz,

      I think this “kill your PowerPoint” theme is going to gain momentum. Prezi is SO much better!

      Tell Chris I said “hey.” He and I are becoming fast friends. Your blog is AWESOME!

      Best,
      Michael

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