We’ve all been there, the Powerpoint slides come up on the screen and the speaker either 1) Starts reading the slides on the screen or 2) There is so much text on the slide you can not possibly read it all. or 3)The plague of presentations- bullet lists. The lists go on and on and before you know it you are struggling to pay attention. I’m going to invite you to challenge your thinking about presentations.
First, one of the best things I ever learned about presentations was “bullets kill”. Think about presentations with no bullets (or minimal). Second, there is a great deal of research on cognitive load and the use of powerpoint. The basic idea is for a listener to retain content the working memory functions best when there is a balance of listening with less complex images. Talking over complex images overwhelms the brain channels and audiences start reading and stop listening (or stop reading and only listen).
Presenters should make it their goal to manage cognitive load. I recommend the Presentation Zen for an introduction to the cognitive load theory. Learning about cognitive load, working memory, and bullets can overwhelm a presenter. A fun solution to this challenge is Haiku Deck.
Haiku deck is an easy way to make a rewarding set of slides. I like to think about Haiku Deck presentations as a great children’s book. The images are compelling and tell the story. The words are minimal and each word is impactful. And, you will create some of your most compelling personal and professional slide decks with an easy to learn and elegant tool.
In Haiku deck you enter the words you want on the slide. Then the program selects photo images to match. Before you know it you have simplified your complex slides, created a compelling story, and are empowered to be a “Slide Guide”. Your audiences will be more engaged and retain your content. I consistently get comments after I use Haiku Deck such as “that was the best powerpoint I’ve ever seen”.
Check out the Haiku Deck gallery to see how you could improve your presentations. The examples are motivating. The real energy is in the design process. Select your words and then pick photos to illustrate your words. It’s all right there on your screen. I actually have found that presentation design and creation is fun again. In fact, I find myself just loving creating powerful slide presentations using Haiku Deck. It is no longer a chore.
Give the free version a try. Let me know what you think.