We have all sat through a boring Powerpoint presentation at some stage, fighting to hold our eyes open as the presenter reads through the bullet points, slide by slide and occasionally expanding on the points. Arrggg. Programs like Powerpoint, tend to funnel you into a style of presentation based on bullet-points and template design that often produce this kind of result. Imagery often comes as and after thought, just to fill some space. Imagery should not be just to ‘pretty up’ a boring, bullet point presentation. They should enhance your presentation.
Powerpoint presentations need to resonate with your target market. The solution is to tell a story visually by guiding them through an experience. Almost every culture on earth has taught lessons and expressed its values through the art of story telling. Jesus told parables, the aboriginals had dream-time. We as humans are hard wired to learn this way.
I would suggest keeping your wording to a minimum and using a series of imagery that enhance the verbal story telling. It is easy to introduce humour or emotions and feelings to your story simply by your selection of images. Imagery also creates anchor points in peoples minds, helping them to recall the storyline and points made. Almost like children’s story books.
Balance, harmony, hierarchy and proximity are all elements of design that trained graphic designers understand so of course presentations they prepare will be a little more polished. This doesn’t mean you can’t create a successful presentation yourself if your budget is limited. It may appear a little less professional however the overall story may be just as powerful if you follow these guidelines.
Like every good story their should be a framework implemented. A plot is built, good and evil characters introduced, a challenge to overcome, a climax and a happy ending. This usually makes up a great story. Your presentation should follow these similar principles:
- Plan a logical, sequence ‘plot’ of events and information as a story.
- Introduce the ‘evil’ character who may be a problem, pain or potential danger your target market may experience without your solution.
- Introduce your business, the ‘good’ character in the story. Explain how you overcome all the challenges the ‘evil’ character presents.
- Describe the ‘happy ending’ experienced as a result of using your product or service. Explain the benefits they will receive.
Following these four point with imagery will mean doing away with boring Powerpoint presentations for good.