PowerPoint Surgery video testimonial from North Tyneside Business conference.
How to teach Presentation Skills using tech such as iPads, tablets or smartphones.
Need a great presentation coach for your business? You can find out more or book Lee here… http://leejackson.org/business/presentation-skills-training-masterclass-coaching/
As we all get more and more sick of those sickly photos of people with headsets on, pointing longingly into the distance – there is help at hand!
There are many new photo stock sites now, to replace the bad stock photos, where you can get free and premium photos for use on your slides or blogs and in my humble opinion Death To The Stock Photo is one of the best.
It’s an ethical business, a kind of hipster co-op where the photographers get a good share of the money and it’s only $15 a month for full access. A no brainer when you want something a little different.
An example of a great image from DeathtoStock…
As it’s library grows, it’ll be unstoppable, I’m sure.
Have a look now – http://deathtothestockphoto.com
Stock photos are a tricky one.
They can be great, they can be woeful…
I talk about them alot in my PowerPoint Surgery Q&A’s.
Here’s a nice article I found on Medium to help us all find some that don’t suck…
The list includes my current favourite Death to the Stock Photo
See below for a big list of free (but pls check!) images…
- Little Visuals http://littlevisuals.co
- Unsplash http://unsplash.com
- Death to the Stock Photo http://join.deathtothestockphoto.com
- New Old Stock http://nos.twnsnd.co
- Superfamous (requires attribution) http://superfamous.com
- Picjumbo http://picjumbo.com
- The Pattern Library http://thepatternlibrary.com
- Gratisography http://www.gratisography.com
- Getrefe http://getrefe.tumblr.com
- IM Free (requires attribution) http://imcreator.com/free
- Jay Mantri http://jaymantri.com
- Public Domain Archive http://publicdomainarchive.com
- Magdeleine http://magdeleine.co
- Foodiesfeed http://foodiesfeed.com
- Picography http://picography.co
- Raumrot http://www.raumrot.com/10
- ISO Republic http://isorepublic.com
PowerPoint Surgery – Tips to create presentation slides that make your message stick, not suck!
“If your words or images are not on point, making them dance in colour won’t make them relevant…Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.”
Edward Tufte, Yale Emeritus professor
There are three very big things that we are expected to do, without training:
Relationships, Parenting and Powerpoint.
I daren’t tackle the first two just yet, so I thought I’d tackle the third!
There are 300 million powerpoint users in the world and its estimated that there are a million presentations happening right now. But most of them are dull or even bad. It’s bizarre and it can hurt our career.
A phrase that strikes fear into my heart is when a speaker stands and says; “I haven’t had time to prepare so I’m just going to read from my slides”. This is usually followed by the speaker turning their back on the audience to commence their public reading exercise.
You may laugh but I have genuinely seen this. Have you?
There is a better way.
Firstly, don’t pass on the blame
The ingrained business philosophy of ‘slides are the presentation’ is a major problem that needs addressing.
My philosophy is simple – if our slides are bad, don’t blame the software, or our audience, it’s our fault. If a football team loses, we don’t blame FIFA (except for the lack of goal-line technology – don’t get me started), we blame the manager, we blame the team. If our train is late, we blame the train operator, not George Stephenson!
When I coach my business clients on slides they often say to me that their boss forces them to use ‘the company slides’, so not using the ‘standard corporate slide pack’ is seen as being rude or disrespectful to their boss. PowerPoint has waaaay too much power in the corporate world. It’s not on the board, it’s not a shareholder, we need to treat it as what it is – a piece of computer code that we can use for good, or for evil.
The software that we use, whether it’s Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote (my programme of choice), Prezi, Slideshark, Haiku Deck or the various other open source programs out there, the issue remains the same. All of these programs aren’t inherently bad, they are neutral, they are just tools for us to use.
So how do we make slides better?
Here are a few tips. Simple advice that can change your slides forever, IF you have the guts to implement them.
You are a designer
Whether you like it or not, as soon as you open your slide design programme you instantly become a designer. My designer mate Paul had a go at me a while back when I said to him “I’m not a designer Paul, I just love making good slides”. He made me realise that of course, we are all designers – it’s not a choice we have once we use presentation software. The penny dropped.
Don’t do the default
When you open up PowerPoint or Keynote you usually get a default template option.
When you see that option STOP right there, go no further!
Do not take the default option, which is usually a main title followed by bullet-points. Instead, open a blank slide in the colour of your choice, (see elsewhere in the book for more colour advice) add a picture if you are using them, and then if necessary a large text box.
You can often change the default option too in your software’s preferences or options.
Change it so you don’t fall into the default trap next time you are starting up PowerPoint.
It takes a lot of discipline to do this, but so do most things worth doing.
Get a blank white template here for free – http://leejackson.org/powerpoint-surgery-stuff
Think billboard NOT document
This is where the rot sets in, people simply try to do too many things with their slides.
Fundamentally, slides are for the audience, not for us the speaker.
Although I admit it’s tempting, they should not be our crutch. Once we understand that they are for our audience, we design them in a bigger and bolder way. Feel free to make a word document to hand out after your talk if you like (although no-one ever reads those documents in my experience), but don’t make your slides in that way. Build them for the bored bloke in row 33.
Nancy Duarte helpfully compared slides to billboards in her book Slide:ology. Imagine you are passing your slides at 50mph on a major road. Could you read them as you drive past? If you can’t they are too complicated and wordy. It’s a simple but effective test for designers like us.
Design your slides and if appropriate write some handout notes. But, just to be absolutely clear they are two very separate things!
If you’re going to produce a presentation slide deck, then do just that – don’t be tempted to make it into a hand-out with a slightly larger font.
Bullets don’t just kill people, they kill presentations too. The default template may try to force you to use bullets, but you’re a grown up now and as I mentioned – you can say no. Sometimes when I see speakers present a slide with bullet points you can almost feel the people in the room deflate, they may not groan out loud, but they are inside.
I’ve heard it said to limit the words on a slide to 33. I’d say 3-12! Any more than that then either rephrase, condense or add another slide. There are creative alternatives to bullet points, but be careful you don’t just design nicer ways to bore your audience. Be tough on bullet boredom and the causes of bullet boredom.
Use Images a lot, but remember – This isn’t the 90’s
Here’s how: ditch the clip art, sounds and cheesy stock pictures and go for big pictures that fill the screen.
Choose your pictures carefully, never choose the most popular photos on stock sites and make sure the image is big enough to fill the screen without getting grainy or pixelated. That makes a big difference. Remember your laptop screen is fairly small and a big screen will show up all the imperfections in the image, so buy or find decent size images but not too big so they get too unwieldy.
Use ‘random internet’ or ‘Googled’ images with caution, beware of copyright and quality. Most of us have phones with good cameras on these days so why not use your own photos and start building up your own library of images? Flickr creative commons is also a good option for images you can use with permission, see http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ . Stock image websites are big business and come in all shapes and sizes. I use Big Stock Photo as they are user-friendly and great value compared to many out there.
Follow the new rules here and speak with passion and I promise, you’ll present better every time.
As Oscar winning presentation guru Nancy Duarte says “never give a presentation that you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself.”
I like that.
This article is an excerpt from Lee’s book “PowerPoint Surgery: How to create presentation slides that make your message stick.” Available from Amazon or directly from Lee’s website www.leejackson.biz
Lee Jackson is a motivational speaker, powerpoint surgeon, presentation coach and the author of the 2013 book ‘Powerpoint Surgery’. He’s been speaking up front for more than twenty years in many challenging situations. As well as speaking himself, he loves helping other people to speak well too. He is a fellow of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) and also the president of the PSA Yorkshire region. He supports the New York Knicks, is a former youth worker and was once an award winning DJ. You can get in touch with him here: via leejackson.biz or twitter @leejackson
Well, I’ve gone and done it!
After the success of my PowerPoint Surgery book and training sessions I have spent the last few months writing, developing, filming and pulling together the PowerPoint Surgery Online Masterclass, and I’m proud to say it’s now live:
Grab your free video now by visiting www.powerpointsurgery.com
Yes, I’ve done it!
Powerpoint Surgery is going live on Weds 25th June (not an England match!) and you are invited:
See more info and book now here.
Powerpoint* Surgery Live – How to make great slides + your message stick!
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 from 10:00 to 15:30 (BST) Bradford, United Kingdom
Do you want to be a more effective speaker?
Do you want to know how to create and deliver great presentation slides from scratch?
Got a big presentation coming up?
Do your slides need a make-over?
Do you want to stand out from the crowd to get your message across more effectively?
Then this day is for you…
Bad Powerpoint* (and boring presentations) are everywhere! It appears that they have almost become the norm and very few people seem to want to talk about it.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Bad presentations are costly. They can cost money, jobs and reputations, don’t let your slides ruin your pitch.
In this funny, cut-to-the-chase and down-to-earth day, professional speaker Lee Jackson will wean you and your workplace off bad slides forever. He’ll also teach you how good presentation slides can work for you and help you stand out from the crowd. Using these simple techniques we can kill death by bullet-point once and for all.
JOIN THE FIGHT TODAY!
The reality is that most people get NO training on how to present and create great slides, until now.
After five years of research, two years of writing and now with an Amazon best selling* book under his belt, Lee Jackson’s Powerpoint Surgery is going LIVE!
Lee is a leading expert (and author) on presentation slide design (Microsoft Powerpoint and Apple Keynote etc). A powerpoint surgeon if you like! He is often called upon to help redesign and consult on the presentations / slides of SME’s, corporates, executives and speakers for maximum impact.
Don’t let your slides be an after thought, let them enhance your presentation!
On the day you will learn:
and the Practical…
…stuff needed to simply create great presentation slides.
You will also learn some tricks of the trade to prepare and present with confidence from Lee, a professional speaker with over 20 years experience delivering to some of the toughest audiences.
Come prepared to laugh, learn and takeaway new skills to transfom your presentations forever.
Nothing too technical, just the good stuff you need.
What others say…
“Since appearing on BBC1?s The Apprentice I have become a regular on the speaking circuit. After 2 years I felt I need a refresh and some ‘oomph’ – who better to seek advice from than Lee Jackson! A pleasure to work with, informative and inspirational, and the outcome has been super. My slides are spot on and the knock-on effect to my presentations has been second to none. He’s now become my presentation consultant!”
“In his easy-going and creative style, Lee has helped our lawyers with presentation skills achieving great results for both the lawyers’ confidence and the audience’s entertainment.”
“Lee has worked with us as a presentation consultant to make our nation-wide communications meetings the best they can be. There were some great conclusions from his consultation work. The main change has been that we are weaning the presenters off wordy slides and the presenters are now being challenged to learn their script. He was friendly, professional and very knowledgeable on presentation skills and PowerPoint / slide design. We look forward to working with him again.”
The price of this event is being kept to rock bottom because the whole event is being filmed for future use. So when you buy a ticket you give Lee Jackson consent to using your good self on any future videos, you can of course sit at the back and hide away or you can put your glad rags on and go for it!
Please also bring your laptop for use during the exercises – if you are coming with a colleagues one between two will be fine. Also you may want to bring a USB data stick too just in case.
Video testimonials will also be asked for in the course of the day. If you are able to help us that would be great, as we take this vital content further afield.
Answers to FAQ’s:
Will this clash with an England World Cup match?
No, thats the night before! Come and get cheered up!
Does this day mean I have to use Microsoft Powerpoint?
*Powerpoint is a generic term for presentation software. so if you use Microsoft Powerpoint, Apple Keynote, Haiku Deck, Slideshark, Open Office or anything else – it’s all relevant. But Lee will work from Keynote and PPoint on laptops on the day for demo purposes.)
Can Lee ‘tweak’ my slides for me on the day?
Yes, Lee is looking for volunteers to send their slides ahead of time so he can do live surgery on them! He’ll be very nice to you!
Email them through on lee@leejackson(remove these brackets!).biz
Where is it?
The first ever Powerpoint Surgery Live day is going to be held in the conference faculties of TLG in Bradford. A spacious clean conference room will be our home for the day thanks to Lee’s friends:
TLG The Education Charity
National Support Centre
(If using a Sat Nav to find your way to TLG, please use the postcode BD5 8HW)
There is some parking avaiable at the TLG builnng or you can park near the building. Please park sensibly.
Food and drink?
A hot buffet lunch and drinks on arrival / mid afternoon are included in the special low ticket price.
A certificate of attendance will be available to those who’d like one for proof of training.
Refunds are not accepted but a replacement person can be sent or you can transfer your ticket to a later date without further charge.
Please bring a paper print out of your ticket to the event just in case!
More about Lee:
Lee Jackson is an international speaker, Powerpoint Surgeon, presentation coach and author of seven books. Having worked in the voluntary, public and private sectors over the years he now works in businesses and education helping people to enjoy and succeed in challenging times. He is also a fellow of, and President of the Professional Speaking Association in Yorkshire. He lives with his wife and twins in West Yorkshire. He loves a good laugh, boxercise and basketball. He doesn’t like gardening. His website is www.leejackson.biz his twitter account is @leejackson
Long biog for the hugely keen:
Lee Jackson is a Motivational Speaker, Powerpoint Surgeon and Presentation Coach. Born in the North East of England, now residing in Leeds. ‘Lee from Leeds’ is a multi-generational and creative communicator, with 20 years of experience. Lee has spent his life and work researching and speaking in many different settings such as prisons, schools, a cruise ship (just the once – no sea legs!), organisations and businesses. He isn’t a “celebrity” speaker, he’s never bungee jumped (while playing the nose flute!) from the summit of Everest, he doesn’t have an Olympic gold medal – in fact he doesn’t even like camping very much. However, you’ll be glad to know that people say he is a great speaker with original content based on solid research, not random or fluffy ideas. He’s a “common sense” speaker (which is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.”)
Lee happily divides his time between working with both adults and young people. After all with 20 years experience in this field it will always be a part of his life. His creative, funny and truly multi-media presentations are a welcome break from ‘flip chart overload’ and ‘death by power point’. His stories make people say “Yeah, that’s me as well!”.
He is a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and it’s President in the Yorkshire region. Lee is also the author of eight books and loves circuit training, boxercise and playing/watching basketball. He lives with his wife and twin daughters in West Yorkshire.
Random fact – he used to be one of the UK’s best hip hop scratch DJ’s! More useful fact – people don’t fall asleep and he keeps to time when speaking!
Here are just some of the people and organisations that Lee has worked with over the years:
Specsavers, ADT, Schools and academies, Many top Universities including Leeds and Durham, Austin Hayes Ltd, Gateshead Council, Career Academies UK, The Global Speakers Summit, TEDx , Telegraph ad Argus Newspaper, FE colleges, Tribal group, BNI and many other networking organisations, Agilisys, Many voluntary / third sector organisations, Common Purpose, Watson Moore, Adobe, Asda, Leeds City Council, SalesChannel Europe, Leeds Federated Housing, Wrigleys solicitors, Barclays, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Vodafone, Firmstep, Wakefield Council, Government office for Yorkshire and Humber, Co-operative Insurance, TV stars, Elected politicians, Comedians, Olympic gold medalists, Yorkshire Bank, Leeds, York and Bradford NHS trusts, A group of Vicars (!) A cruise ship (!) and Lee even met the Dalai Lama once – he didn’t need any help though!
(*Genuinely Number 2 best-seller in ‘business life’ on Amazon Kindle during March 2014)
(*Powerpoint is a generic term for presentation software. so if you use Microsoft Powerpoint, Apple Keynote, Haiku Deck, Slideshark, Open Office or anything else – it’s all relevant. But Lee will work form Keynote and PP on the day.)
“Twenty years of enduring dull and unclear slide presentations has led West Yorkshire businessman Lee Jackson to write a book to help speakers brighten up their pitches… more at http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/business/11070343.Lee_Jackson_offers_top_tips_on_presentation/
The nice people at @HaikuDeck are featuring my slide deck of my book on their front page! http://www.haikudeck.com/gallery/featured
But what is Haiku Deck? In my opinion it’s Powerpoint or Keynote with the fat trimmed off to make us better speakers, as it develops this could be a game changer.
Here’s Adam their CEO explaining all on Huff Post…