In our Presentation Skills training, we normally advise presenters to be wary of using slides. Even large and professional organisations too often use their slides simply as a place to write everything that the presenter is going to say. The audience is left peering at impossibly-small text and unable to really listen to or appreciate the presenter. We teach ways to present without slides at all, or to design slides that are punchy, visually appealing, and add to (rather than detract from) the presenter.
We enjoy keeping up with innovations in presentation styles which depart from this thinking, in a really exciting way. Have you heard of PechaKucha, for example?
PechaKucha (which means "the sound of conversation" in Japanese) is a simple presentation format where you show precisely 20 images, each for exactly 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.
What's so interesting about this technique is that it compels the presenter to think about their slides and their talk as two completely different but wholly integrated elements of their presentation.
To be effective, the images must be visually punchy - the audience has to get the relevance of the image within 20 seconds, so there's no room for reams of text. Metaphorical imagery works well, as does visual humour. The voice-over must be incisive and to the point, and well-rehearsed to deliver the key messages precisely in time with the slides.
We often give exercises to our leadership and communication skills delegates using this format. For example, create a presentation summing up your values and vision using the PechaKucha format. 20 slides times 20 seconds gives you precisely 6 minutes and 40 seconds to deliver your message. This constraint concentrates the mind wonderfully, and encourages presenters to be ruthless about streamlining their message to the key points in a way that really engages with their audience.
Our top tips for a flawless PechaKucha presentation include:
Madeleine Allen is a human leader in a corporate world. She delivers training in Soft Skills with Hard Benefits, enabling leaders to be compassionate AND profitable.
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