Anyone remember the days of overhead projects? Yep, you created “slides” on clear sheets of paper and projected them on a massive box with a long arm! The only thing you had to worry about was having a spare bulb in case the light bulb blew. Life was so easy … tedious but no worrying about internet access or compatibility.
Then there were the early days of PowerPoint – when we created our presentations and then printed them on transparencies. Now those that don’t remember are asking, why did you print them? Well, we did not always have access to data projectors and in case something did not work, we could use an overhead projector to display our visual aids.
If you’re totally confused now, don’t worry. This blog is about presentations and back up plans and not about old technology. You see, visual aids are just that – aids! I see far too often people relying on those PowerPoint slides – actually reading from them. Ugh!
So what happens when technology fails you – your laptop isn’t compatible with the data projector, you forgot a cable, there’s no extension cord, there’s no wifi … It’s bound to happen, something will go wrong at least once! Will you be prepared? Or will you be flustered? And, please don’t apologize because the technology isn’t working making your audience feel that your presentation is going to be substandard!
What’s the advice I’m passing on: Create your presentation based on “no” visual aids. Yep, that’s right – no visual aids. Even in today’s world of fabulous videos and images, plan to use none of them. Plan and practice as if there are no aids to rely on!
Once you are focused on your message, create the visuals that will complement your message. Don’t over-complicate things.
When you’re presenting and all the pieces line up … your presentation will be awesome! And if you face some challenges, you’ll still be awesome because you focused on your message.
YOU are the presenter …
YOU have the knowledge and stories to share …
The audience is there to learn from YOU …
The visual aids support YOU!
So Keep Calm and Make It About YOU!
– Marianne D’Alessandro
Office Administration – Executive, ’84
Follow Marianne @TimeFliesVA