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PowerPoint is not the presentation

by Dan Bond on 11th February, 2013

Over the years I continue to hear the same request in and around business  “could you send me a copy of your presentation”.

This is not a request for a video of the presentation being delivered it is a request for the PowerPoint. The PowerPoint is frequently viewed as the presentation which it clearly is not. We have arrived at this situation because more often than not a speakers PowerPoint is in fact the speakers notes and the speaker ends up saying what the audience can already see. This ultimately turns into a reading competition in which the presenter comes last. Speaker notes should be in front of the speaker and not in front of the audience.

The attention of the audience should be on the speaker and not on the PowerPoint. A speaker always has the potential to be more persuasive than PowerPoint, given that PowerPoint is rarely if ever persuasive. PowerPoint should enhance the presentation (what the speaker is saying) and in doing so increase impact and understanding. But it should never be a stand-alone communication PowerPoint must only make complete sense when the key ingredient is added, the presenter.

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