Really Bad Powerpoint:
Recent Aussie research says Powerpoint often overloads audiences with information and destroys communication. But the experts say don't ditch Powerpoint - just stop being so complex - something Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) both need to learn.
If you've been following Bill's lead, help is at hand. Seth Godin has written a very helpful article about curing "Really Bad Powerpoint". You can also read about good Powerpoint design on the Presentation Zen site, or Guy Kawasaki's "10/20/30 rule" on his blog.
The low-down is to keep it minimal - hardly any bullets, fewer slides, big images, big text (and not much of it), plus blank screens to refocus attention on your message. Because if it's all on the screen, you'll lose everyone, so why not save time and frustration and email the notes?
Styles To Imitate:
If you've got your L-plates on, why not try imitating some of the masters? Check out the visual simplicity of Steve Jobs, see his November 2006 keynote speech, or learn why Jobs is so persuasive. Another master presenter is Lawrence Lessig - his free culture presentation is 8.4Mb, but well worth a look. Others to imitate include prolific presenter Seth Godin or the absolute minimalist Takahashi method.
Look and Learn: