Dec 29 2011

Emergency Preparedness for PowerPoint

Ready for any PowerPoint emergency. (c) Thinkstock

Recently, I was a part of a university event where I needed to present along with a senior executive from my company and several student teams. Rather than switching out the laptops for each different presentation, I decided to load all of the presentations on to my machine beforehand. I hate it when you run into setup problems when one group’s laptop doesn’t work properly with the projector or some other issue — and it throws off the whole schedule. What I didn’t anticipate was that the presentation remote would only work with the desktop computer in the auditorium.

No problem. I had all of the presentations also loaded on to a USB flash drive so I could transfer the files on to the desktop. However, in its infinite wisdom, the university’s IT group blocked any files from being installed on the desktop including a font file that one of the teams needed. After explaining the situation to an IT “support” person, he indicated nothing could be done before our event started. Aaagggh. Luckily, someone had brought their own presentation remote so we could just run the presentations from my laptop.

Often it’s easier said than done “to be prepared”, but we often focus so much on the actual presentation itself and forget the other small technical details that can completely ruin our beautiful slides and well-rehearsed thoughts. In reflecting on this recent situation, I had several takeaways for presenters who want to be more prepared for PowerPoint emergencies: Continue reading “Emergency Preparedness for PowerPoint”

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Sep 30 2010

A Comedy of PowerPoint Errors

I'm not laughing when it comes to PowerPoint errors (c)Thinkstock.

I'm not laughing when it comes to PowerPoint errors. (c) Thinkstock

I was recently at a conference where I attended a breakout session delivered by a well-respected thought leader. The presenter was very articulate and well-versed in her area of expertise. At the beginning of her slides I started to spot some unexpected mistakes in her PowerPoint slides, and I decided to start noting her gaffes for fun.

As the presentation progressed, I came to realize that I was witnessing a comedy of PowerPoint errors — except nobody in her audience was laughing. Based on her industry experience the presenter could have been engaging without her PowerPoint slides; however, her poor-quality presentation ended up interfering with her message rather than reinforcing it. Continue reading “A Comedy of PowerPoint Errors”

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Jul 19 2010

Ensure Your PowerPoint Presentation Spurs Discussion

Don't be a slave to your PowerPoint slides! (c)Thinkstock

Don't be a slave to your PowerPoint slides! (c) Thinkstock

You have an important internal presentation coming up where you’re going to present to a group of senior managers at your company. Here’s your big chance to make a great impression and land the promotion you’ve been after. You’re excited to learn that they’re going to give you a full hour. You invest a lot of time in creating the perfect presentation. However, as you finish your last slide right before the hour is up, you realize you made a critical mistake — you left no time for group discussion. As your audience quickly files out the door to their next appointment, you’re left wondering if you should have structured your PowerPoint presentation differently. Continue reading “Ensure Your PowerPoint Presentation Spurs Discussion”

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Dec 21 2009

7 Tips for Presenting to Senior Executives

Dont be initimidated by executive presentations!

Don't miss an opportunity to impress the execs! (c) Shutterstock

When it comes to presenting, knowing how to present to senior executives within your own company or another company is going to have the biggest impact on your career. Some presenters figure it out to their great success. Other people crash and burn only to lament an opportunity missed.

I’ve compiled a series of tips that will hopefully come in handy the next time you’re going to present to a CEO, CMO, Senior VP, VP, etc. Continue reading “7 Tips for Presenting to Senior Executives”

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Jun 11 2009

Tips for Sharing Large PowerPoint Files

How can I get this 18 MB file to our client in Chicago in the next 7 minutes?

How can I get this 18 MB PPT file to our client in Chicago in the next 7 minutes? (c) iStockPhoto / contour99

You killed yourself to complete a PowerPoint presentation on a short deadline. You put a lot of time and effort into your slides — crafting a cohesive message, choosing some great images, and building some advanced animation effects. What a relief that you were able to submit everything on time, and you’re confident that you’ll receive great feedback on all your hard work (promotion, hello?). Continue reading “Tips for Sharing Large PowerPoint Files”

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