Presentation Styles

Since I’ve started working at T-Systems I’ve seen a lot of powerpoint presentation that where clearly mistaken to be a document for reference. So I may use this platform to write down some ideas we might apply to our future presentations to improve the change of getting our messages across to a wider audience of decision makers.

Almost every slide had too much text, to small fonts, unreadable diagrams and grafic elements without any function to the topic in it. The photo from the official media library above very much illustrates the point.

I know, most of it is corporate “design”, but it simply won’t address the needs for an effective presentation. Most sales and marketing people claim, they had a lot of success presenting these slides. I personaly know C level managers, that would have stopped the presentations after a few minutes if they didn’t get the speakers message visually through the powerpoint pages.

We should take our target audiences more into concideration when creating these presentations, as they most likely will not be adapted to the current customer situations.

A 70 page slide deck will not be much fun to watch for 140 minutes. On the other hand I regularly delete 80% of the slides in official presentations and the customer is still very satisfied with the information he got. If we need to get much more information out to our customers please do it in document form.

The last thing I want to address is the visual impression. I really love technical illustrations to understand everything about a system or software. but not within a presentation slide. If the audience cannot clearly see or read the contents of a diagram from the back of the room, there is no need to show it. Printing handouts that only use 1/3 of the page to show the slide and fill 2/3 with more text won’t help either. Keep in mind, that handouts could be greyscale, and certain colors will just look identical.

These were my thoughts, and now I want to know what is your take on this topic?