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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

PowerPoint - Seth's Booklet

Cognitive Load and PowerPoint pointed us to Seth Godin's free booklet Really Bad PowerPoint (and how to avoid it). A few of the points that Seth makes:
Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help
them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you

You can wreck a communication process with lousy logic or unsupported facts,
but you can’t complete it without emotion.

Create a written document. A leave-behind. Put in as many footnotes or
details as you like. Then, when you start your presentation, tell the audience
that you’re going to give them all the details of your presentation after it’s over,
and they don’t have to write down everything you say.

The home run is easy to describe: You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional
reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to
say that fits in with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think
of what you said, they’ll see the image (and vice versa).
I very much agree with Seth that there's a combination of information transfer and emotional transfer going on in any presentation. Otherwise (as he says) you could do this with a written document.

I'm not sure I'm 100% on-board with only having emotional content on the slide and promising a leave-behind but not giving it out so people feel confident that they will have the details they want.

Still it certainly is amazing food for thought.

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