Break Your Addiction to Ineffective PowerPoint Presentations One Presentation at a Time – Part 1; Issue #212 June 15, 2010

PowerPoint Tip: Break Your Addiction to Ineffective PowerPoint Presentations One Presentation at a Time – Part 1

The twelve step program created by Alcoholics Anonymous has been used as a model for many people to break their addiction to alcohol, drugs and other destructive behaviours.  It has been adapted to many situations to deal with different problems people have.  I started thinking about these steps when I was considering how to stop people from creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations that are ineffective and damaging to their careers.

So today I am giving you the first six steps of my 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 they have.

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 deal with making a decision to change and committing to the work it will require.  Steps seven through twelve, which will be in the next newsletter, address how to make the change.

  1. I admit that my abuse of PowerPoint has become unmanageable.  I can’t seem to figure out how to stop inflicting overloaded text and data slides on my audiences.  My audiences don’t find my presentations effective, even if they aren’t telling me that to my face.
  2. I have come to believe that there is a better way that can save my presentations.  I have seen other presenters deliver effective presentations with persuasive visuals, so I know there is a better way.  I see that they start with structure, create and use visuals that illustrate their message, and deliver their presentation as if they are having a conversation with the audience.  I’d like to be able to do this too.
  3. I have made a decision to turn my presentations over to this better way of presenting.  I believe that I can change my ways.  I believe that it is possible and that it doesn’t require an innate design ability to do it.  I believe that I can learn the skills I need to be able to create effective PowerPoint presentations.
  4. I have made a fearless inventory of my skills at design, creation and delivery of presentations.  I have used honest feedback from others and independent assessments to truly evaluate what I am good at and where I need to develop skills.  I have been encouraged because now I know what I need to learn in order to become a better presenter.
  5. I have admitted publicly that my presentations have not been as good as they should have been.  I have committed to my family, friends, colleagues and my boss that I know I can create and deliver better presentations.  I have done this publicly so that I can count on their support, guidance and encouragement through this process.  I also want them to hold me accountable to make these changes.  I look forward to celebrating with them as I see the changes result in successful presentations.
  6. I am ready to address my presentation faults.  I know this will involve hard work and I am willing to commit to the efforts that are necessary.  I will allocate the time necessary to study and practice these new skills.

Next time, I’ll cover the final six steps on how to make the necessary changes. Click here to view the next six.