19 Apr 2014

How do you tell a story in your presentation?

Every presentation book and blog asks us to say a story in our presentation. Easier said than done. Do you share stories in your presentation? How do you come up with these stories?

I'll await your answers on this.
To me saying a story is the toughest thing in a presentation.

8 Apr 2014

Before and After: Replace all text with 1 image

A slide like this is normal. Full of text. Boring and dull.

Remove every piece of text from this slide and replace it with an image which 'connotes' location. Use a large size image to cover the entire slide. Have no more than few words on the image. That's it.

I have created a sample for reference purpose only. I have used an image from Google search. Ensure before you use an image, you check its usage rights.

With this slide, you need to remember what to say on this slide. There is no list to save you. But with a little bit of practice the list would not be needed. Put in some hard work and make the slide (and the presentation) more likable for your audience.

24 Mar 2014

Presentation Lesson from Night Safari, Singapore

Last week I was in Singapore and I was attending the 'Creatures of the Night Show' in the famous Night Safari. The show was all about animals performing interesting acts on stage in front of a large audience. The show ended with an important conservation message. Such messages are usually boring and difficult to make people to care and act.

In this case, the message was: segregating the waste. We should throw aluminium, paper and plastic in separate garbage bins.

This message can be given simply. We request you to throw aluminium, paper and plastic in separate garbage bins. It is good for the environment.

But this would be lame. Plus, how do you make people pay attention, care about the message and finally act upon it?

What the host did was awesome. She threw some coke cans, paper and plastic cups in front of us and asked an animal (otter in this case) to come. The first otter picked up the plastic cups and put it in the bin marked 'plastic'. Then the second otter came and put paper in the bin for paper. Then came the third otter.

The message was simple. Even animals know what to do and what is right for the environment. We all got the point :)

10 Mar 2014

7 Secret PowerPoint Tips: Just4Fun

Here are 7 PowerPoint tips no one knows. You can have some fun and can put it to good use. Check it out on slideshare here:

3 Mar 2014

5 Laws of Presentations

Law #1: The understanding, attention and retention of your audience is inversely proportional to the length of your presentation.
The longer your presentation, the lesser your audience pays attention, remembers and understands. Keep your presentation as short as possible.

Law #2: A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures.
Sometimes just one picture is equal to a paragraph full of words. A video is even more powerful. It an audio visual medium and engages the audience better than even pictures. Stop your reliance on plain text. Make it interesting and entertaining with pictures and videos.

Law #3: The power of a slide is inversely proportional to the amount of words on the slide.
The more words on the slides, the worse the slide becomes. Great slides are low on text. Bad slides are text heavy.

Law #4: Effective delivery of your presentation is directly proportional to the amount of practice you have put in.
The more you rehearse, the better you deliver the presentation. The more you practice, the more confident you become. There are no naturally born presenters. Practice is the difference between great and average presenters.

Law #5: Your audience mirrors you.
Your audience mirrors your behavior and state of mind. If you are positive, passionate and confident, your audience feels the same way. If you enjoy the joke you just made, your audience will enjoy the same. A nervous presenter makes the audience uncomfortable too.

27 Feb 2014

How to convert your PowerPoint slides into Images?

The questions is how will you save every slide of your presentation as an image file. The answer actually is very simple and this is something I discovered today.

In MS PowerPoint 2010
File --> Save as --> Choose Save as type --> JPEG

Computer will then ask: "Every Slide" or "Current Slide only". By choosing "Every Slide" all your slides will become separate images. Fantastico!

21 Feb 2014

What does my audience want? [B2B Sales Presentation Disaster]

Today I sat through a 20 minute presentation which was irrelevant and a sheer waste of time. I had to agree to give time to this B2B business development manager. He had come to talk about his company and what they do. I already knew most of it. Moreover, I was not interested.

And this presenter flew all the way from Mumbai to meet a few clients like me. What a waste of time and money for his company!

What the presenter should have done?

Ask me before coming what I wanted to hear. A small amount of market research helps a lot. By knowing what I would take interest in, he could have made the meeting much more interesting and useful. To him and to me.

I regret sitting through the 20 minutes. What a waste!

19 Feb 2014

Classic Chart Trick the Presenter plays on You

I keep writing about what you should do as a presenter. But most of the times you are part of the audience and someone else is presenting to you. In this post I talk about 1 trick the presenter is playing on you. Beware!

Here is a chart which I came across a few days back. Check out how the conversation shaped up after it was presented.

Presenter: "Look at the outstanding growth we have achieved in 2013 over 2012. A growth of 20%. We have really done well as a company."

My Colleague: "You have done well. But why does the growth look so high on this chart? The graph makes me feel the growth is way more than 20%."

At this point, everyone in the audience realized the trick that was being played upon them. Have you got it yet? Look closely.

The growth 'looks' stunning because the bar graph has been 'tweaked'. The Y-axis is not starting at 0. See what happens if we change the axis to 0.

This is the proper graph which 'should have been' presented to us. But the objective of the presenter was to impress the audience and they were not happy seeing this chart. So they took some 'creative liberty'.

When we make a chart in Excel or PowerPoint, by default, the axis usually starts at 0. How did the presenter change the chart axis then?