m62 visualcommunications, the global leader in presentation effectiveness, has today urged presenters to keep their presentations, and particularly the design of these, simple.
With the recognition that bullet points do not work, more presenters are now including graphics and animation in their presentation. This has a better effect upon engaging the audience, but there is a risk that having too much on a PowerPoint slide will go to the other extreme and distract the audience, thus diminishing the effectiveness of a presentation.
A simple animation to demonstrate a point, such as a line graph climbing to show increased profit, is a much more effective visual aid than a collection of photos illustrating money and smiling faces. In order to keep an audience’s attention focused on what the presenter wishes it to be focused on, extraneous graphics in presentation design should be kept to a minimum.
The same principles also apply in terms of messaging. Trying to provide an audience with too much information will overload the audience and have a negative effect on working memory, meaning that they will struggle to recall messages. Simplifying a presentation to include only the most important information will help to ensure that the audience receives information at a rate at which they can process it.
Nicholas Oulton, Founder of m62, commented: “One of the things we teach at m62’s PowerPoint training is that just because bullet points do not work, it does not mean that lots of pictures do. It is important to include the right type of visual aids in business presentations, and make sure that there is not too much going on, which could distract from the main focus.
“It is also very important to simplify presentation messaging. In the same way that too many pictures will confuse a point made visually, too much information will confuse a point made verbally. Presenters should cut down on all of their data and ensure that only the best, and truly necessary, goes in.”
m62 has produced over 6,500 presentations for clients worldwide, including blue-chip brands such as Siemens, BP and Microsoft.
For more information about m62, please call +44 (0)151 259 6262 or visit www.m62.net.
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