Is PowerPoint dead?

A recent survey indicated that 82% of delegates don’t engage with conference content, with 42% even admitting to writing shopping lists instead of notes. This has inevitably brought about the question: is PowerPoint dead for presentations?

In a word, no. It’s all down to how you use it; PowerPoint can be a great tool, if used well. But these are important statistics and should act as a catalyst for the events industry to rethink how they can engage their conference audiences. Here are some key tips for making effective use of presentations at corporate events:

Simple Messaging

Keep the wording short, sweet and simple; it’s all about having a few headline statements on the slides and elaborating further verbally. Don’t read verbatim; your audience can read, so say what’s not on the slide.

Smart use of AV effects

Whilst messaging should be kept simple, the imagery needs to develop and enhance the content of the slides. Be sure to work with professional content designers from the outset – don’t just hand over the slides for them to ‘pretty up’. And don’t forget to use audio where appropriate; music and sound effects can be a great way of engaging your event audience and provide a nice break from one person’s voice for both the audience and presenter.

Captivating delivery

It is all well and good having a beautifully designed presentation, but it cannot stand alone without some charismatic delivery. It is fundamental that the presenter is passionate and knowledgeable about what they are presenting – that way, engaging the audience will come naturally. Be sure to invest sufficient time and budget in training executives in the real art of engaging talks. Also consider the benefits of hiring professional motivational speakers to elaborate key ideas and company messaging.

Social media

The survey found that when delegates are eventually engaging with the content, 48% often felt reluctant to participate out of timidity. The same percentage of delegates also claim to log on to their social media accounts on an hourly basis. These two statistics combined make a good case for businesses capitalising on social media at events as a less daunting way for delegates to participate and engage. It can also serve as a highly useful platform for feedback and additional resource after the event and could even shape the agenda prior to the event. Ensure simple messaging, smart use of AV effects, captivating delivery and incorporate social media, and your event audience will not be subjected to so-called ‘death by PowerPoint’. Let’s get that statistic down, event profs!

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