Partners in Performance Blog

Your PowerPoint Slides Impact Your Persuasion Factor

When delivering presentations, if you want to “WOW!” your audience and move them to action, pay more attention to your slides. The design of your slides is an overlooked opportunity for ramping up the persuasion factor to get real results: more ‘buy in’, more action, more sales.

In my UPFRONT Persuasion workshops, I see many presenters resort to the same old approach using boring, text heavy slides which serve then as crib notes. Then they joke about PowerPoint as a necessary evil. The real problem is they aren’t aware of what’s possible with PowerPoint.

Poor design and lack of clarity in the slide message have many consequences:

For the presenter: When your slides are boring, you are boring. When your slides are confusing, you confuse your audience. You have to work so much harder to relay your message with energy and conviction. When you resonate with your slides and they ‘sing,’ then you speak to your points with infectious enthusiasm and clarity.

For the audience: We often experience the following annoyances:

  1. The presenter is reading text laden slides – very boring.
  2. The presenter is trying to paraphrase the text that is on the slide – totally confusing because there are two messages being delivered at the same time that compete with each other and split our focus.
  3. The presenter has a complex, confusing graph and has no plan for clearly walking the audience through the critical information – total overwhelm.

When there’s a disconnect between the spoken words and the message on the slide, the audience goes into confusion. Instead of listening intently to the presenter and seeing how the slide message reinforces and augments the point, the audience tunes out. We stop listening to the presenter and start to listen to our self-talk: “What the heck is going on here? I don’t get it. I wonder how much longer I have to endure this. When’s lunch?”

My colleague Dave Paradi, author of The Visual Slide Revolution has an astonishing ability to create persuasive slides. He has a fanatical focus on making sure the slide has a clear message and can stand alone.

I was working on a project recently doing ‘slide makeovers’ for a client delivering a critical presentation. The contrast between the before and after was remarkable.

Don’t make your audience work hard to understand your key points. Don’t make them figure out what you want to communicate as a presenter.

Instead of using the same old slides that potentially detract from your message, learn how to create effective slides that inspire you and persuade your audience.

On April 11th, I have invited Dave Paradi to conduct a webinar on “20 Expert Tips To Create Persuasive Slides.” Check it out here.

What do you find most challenging with creating persuasive slides?. Send me your comments and we will incorporate them in our upcoming blog posts and webinar.

This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on March 26, 2012 in Persuasion, PowerPoint, Presentation Skills, Upcoming Live Webinars, UPFRONT Persuasion™. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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