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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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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Nov 15 2008

8 Tips for Effective Team PowerPoint Presentations

What more intimidating that one PowerPoint ninja? How about a team of PowerPoint ninjas?

What is more intimidating than a PowerPoint ninja? How about a coordinated team of angry PowerPoint ninjas? (c)iStockphoto/Ethan Myerson

In various business scenarios, you might find yourself a part of a team that is responsible for building and presenting a PowerPoint presentation. When you’re working independently on your own PowerPoint slides, you have full control over the outcome of your presentation. Coordinating a PowerPoint presentation with other individuals introduces new challenges, which can frustrate even PowerPoint ninjas who are caught unprepared. As a team, you don’t want to waste time on unnecessary or overlapping PowerPoint slides, or reworking poorly designed slides at the end. In order to be successful with group or team presentations, you should consider the following eight tips: Continue reading “8 Tips for Effective Team PowerPoint Presentations”

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Oct 21 2008

Book Review: Presentation Zen

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, written by Garr Reynolds, is an informative guide to presentation preparation, design, and delivery. If you’re not already familiar with the popular Presentation Zen blog, this book highlights many of his theories and techniques. If you’ve seen a presentation from famous presenters such as Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, or Steve Jobs, you’ll be familiar with the highly visual, stock-photo-heavy style that Reynolds advocates. Overall, I recommend this book (four of five stars) as a great resource for business presenters who want to improve their slides, not necessarily their PowerPoint skills. Continue reading “Book Review: Presentation Zen”

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Oct 06 2008

Death by (Bad) PowerPoint – Part II

In the Part One, I discussed the familiar epidemic of “death by PowerPoint”, and how we should be focusing blame on the presenters — not necessarily the software. I presented four factors that I feel contribute to bad PowerPoint presentations. After covering two of the factors — lack of preparation and lack of experience and knowledge — I’m going to focus on the remaining two factors of indifference and self-importance. Continue reading “Death by (Bad) PowerPoint – Part II”

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