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  • Writer's pictureRahul Kolle

Goodbye PowerPoint?

Do you really need a PowerPoint presentation for your next talk?


Actually, the answer is maybe. It depends. But “maybe” is crap advice. The reason for the radical answer is to shake you out of the mindset that a PowerPoint presentation and a few pretty slides can make or break your talk.

Every time I have to present information, I remind myself that I am the presentation, not my slides. You are what your audience wants to see.

Don’t believe me? Okay, how about this - In March 2012, civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson delivered a talk to 1,000 people attending the annual TED conference in Long Beach, California. He received the longest standing-ovation in TED history, and his talk has been viewed nearly 2 million times on Youtube.

For 18 minutes, Stevenson held the audience captive by appealing to their heads, using logic, and to their hearts, using emotion. The combination worked. As it turned out, the attendees that day donated a combined $1 million to his nonprofit, the Equal Justice Initiative. That’s over $55,000 for each minute he spoke.

He did not deliver a PowerPoint presentation. He offered no visuals, no slides, and no props. Yet, the 18 minutes were captivating and entertaining. The power of his narrative carried the day.

All I’m trying to say is this, you’re just as good a speaker without your presentation as you are with it. Your slides can enhance your talk, not make it.

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