PowerPoint presentations are everywhere. But you always think of presenters reading either their notebook display or the projector screen. In each case the speaker fails to capture the attention of their audience. They fail to make the link between themselves, the material and the images in their presentation. This is where the point turn talk technique comes into action.
A very simple presentation skill—point, turn and talk—should help you get around the main problem. How do you reference your presentation material and maintain eye contact with your audience?
Beyond its clear and obvious advantages for graphics and media integration, PowerPoint presentations can often be faulted with:
In truth the fault is not PowerPoint. It’s the presenter’s problem. And it shows their dependence on using the graphics package as both a prop and a speaking aid.
Using the prop a speaker feels invulnerable with the depth and breadth of slide information. And with the speaking aid the presenter isn’t familiar with the essential points of their presentation. The results are predictable.
But there’s a better approach. Reduce your dependence on text; reduce your bullet lists; shorten your bullet list length. Incorporate less information on the slides.
More graphical content is a fine substitute. But you could practise your point, turn and talk technique. It’s a presentation skill that allows you to refer to the information on a display screen, seize your audience’s attention and then explain with the necessary detail.
There are advantages for you, the presenter, and your audience:
You can use your point turn and talk skills to project an animated and knowledgeable presenter. Take the opportunity to combine an effective PowerPoint presentation with plenty of audience eye contact and, of course, subject interest.
“PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play–very loud, very slow and very simple.”