Business Surgery: Presentations – Powerpoint or not?

Dawn Strange of Media Matters.

Dawn Strange of Media Matters.

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Whether you use PowerPoint or an infographic depends upon who you’re presenting to and the nature of your presentation. Both have their place.

Here are a few pointers to consider:

PowerPoint.

Purpose: to support your presentation in front of a ‘live’ audience. Most people use them as prompts to help move the presentation along. Slides crammed with line after line of copy are unhelpful, they confuse the audience who won’t know whether to watch and listen to you or read the screen. PowerPoints have been around for years and some say they are boring and predictable. But use sites such as SlideShare.net to ‘wow’ your presentation and give it some extra flair. This will help your audience sit up and take notice and buy into what you are saying.

Ability to share: Once the presentation is over, post your presentation to SlideShare.net for downloading, carry it on your own website, provide links to it when you’re next emailing your database, and use it on social media.

Value to audience: If it is useful or new and presented well, it will get noticed and shared. PowerPoints can sometimes be like an ‘in joke’ – if you weren’t there to hear it at the outset, it really doesn’t make any sense. Test your slides on a colleague or someone outside of the business; if they understand and find value in your presentation, then others will too so make full use of it.

Infographic: Purpose is to simplify and display complex numerical or other detailed info in an illustrative way. Your audience will not be a room full of delegates but potentially anyone online you want to reach. Infographics provide opportunities to demonstrate your expertise by sharing unique information; they’re also perfect for displaying survey results, annual statistics (where appropriate), latest trends, etc.

Ability to share: Purposely made to share online, infographics have the ability to travel anywhere online if the content and graphic displays are good enough.

If they attract media or blogger attention or start to gain following on social media the ability to share will be far greater than the face-to-face presentation arena.

Value to audience: If the info is unique and displayed in a clever or fun way, the chances are the audience will get real value out of it and will share it. This is your ultimate aim so make it count when you start thinking about infographics, which should definitely form part of your 2015 marketing strategy.