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I usually try to write slides that can be read on their own (ie which can be understood without a need to hear the presentation as well).

During the presentation, I focus on the visual elements only and don't follow the text too closely.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:41:15 AM EST
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Content can be distributed in many forms, which is a problem for a lot of companies, in just the same way as distributing video for numerous platforms and OSs is a problem for visual content producers/distributors/carriers.

I try to write the 'long version' of a corporate message with plenty of headlines and sub-heads, which can then be used as pointers for more condensed versions. And, as you say, a slide presentation (I hate to use even the diminutive 'ppt') should vary according to its delivery. If it is only ever accompanied by a speaker, then the focus should be on the speaker and eye-contact. If  the slide presentation will be a leave-behind or a stand-alone for distribution, then it has to be rethought a bit.

The problem of multiple platforms is compounded by language versions  - which is a particular problem for Finnish companies. We have two official languages, and Sweden is also an important market that needs to be addressed in Swedish, even though English is acceptable from many other countries. Smaller Russian companies prefer to be addressed only in Russian. And then there's the big hope for Finland's future, China.

The interesting difference I found in communicating with the Chinese market (working in co-operation with a translator) is that a picture of the person 'behind the message' is important: that audience likes to know who it is dealing with. In a world of potential social shame, putting your picture with the message is a 'testimonial' to the veracity of the facts.

And of course a live speaker in any W*stern country is usually going to be more effective for the same reason.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 10:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a danger, if you go too far from the text on screen, that people will lose the thread. It's hard to follow the logic of two arguments simultaneously. It may be easier for the speaker, but not for the audience.

OTOH there is nothing worse than sitting thru a presentation where the speaker simply reads off what's on the screen - especially when they look at the big screen all the time and make little eye contact with the audience. It is really easy to set up a script on the laptop that is separate from the presentation as projected. If you have to look at the script at least your face stays visible, even if the eyeline drops.

My main advice always is that people sell things, presentations don't.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 10:25:11 AM EST
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