Break Your Addiction to Ineffective PowerPoint Presentations One Presentation at a Time – Part 2; Issue #213 June 29, 2010

PowerPoint Tip: Break Your Addiction to Ineffective PowerPoint Presentations One Presentation at a Time - Part 2

Last time I gave the first six steps in a twelve step program for breaking the addiction that many presenters have.  They have become accustomed to packing their slides with text and data and mostly reading the slides to their audience.  They know others have somehow managed to use visuals effectively in presentations, but they need some help to break the habit.

I hope these steps will help you or someone you know to start to make the changes that will help improve your presentations, and lead to even greater success.  These first six steps dealt with making a decision to change and committing to the work it will require, and you can read them here.  The next six steps, which is the focus of today’s newsletter, address how to make the change.

  1. I have asked for assistance to address my shortcomings.  Knowing that this will take time and effort, I have asked for approval at work and home for time and funding to get the training I need.  I have made the time in my schedule for the required learning, better preparation of my presentations, and more rehearsal for each presentation.
  2. I have made a list of the mistakes I have made using PowerPoint and am willing to correct them.  From the fearless inventory of skills in step four, I have listed the areas that I need to improve on.  I will seek out the training, books, and other resources that will help me improve in these specific areas.  I will seek the guidance of coaches and others who can give me the expert perspective I need.
  3. I will make my presentations better for future audiences.  I know that the training and learning will be difficult at first to implement in my presentations.  Change is difficult when you start it.  I commit to the work required to make the changes and will push through the difficult times in order to make the changes I have committed to.  I won’t give up when the going gets tough.
  4. I will continue to evaluate my presentations honestly and admit mistakes when I find them.  I will use checklists and rubrics to evaluate all aspects of my presentation, from design, to content, to delivery.  I will be ruthless in my evaluations so that I don’t slip back into the practices I once followed.  I will ask experts for their honest opinions to help check my progress.
  5. I will continue to learn and develop my presentation ability with the goal to become the best presenter I can be.  I know that this is not a one-time effort.  I will need ongoing guidance and ideas in order to continue to improve.  I commit to continuous learning through books, blogs, videos, courses, newsletters, conferences, etc.  I will ask presenters I respect which thought leaders they follow and learn from them.
  6. Having realized the errors of my presentations in the past, I have tried to share this message with other presenters and demonstrate better presentations principles when I present.  When I see an article, video, blog post, tweet, or other item that demonstrates this better way to present, I will communicate it to my network through my personal and electronic communication.  I will recommend to my colleagues, bosses, and friends, those resources that have helped me.

Now it is truly up to you. I know that changing from your old ways of presenting is difficult at first.  I’ve done it and so have many fellow readers of this newsletter who have written to thank me over the years.  You can do it too.  I am here to help and encourage you along the way with articles, my blog, slide makeover videos, and many other resources - juts use the menus above to find the ones you need.  Now take that first step.