Is It Time to Give Your PowerPoint Slide Decks a Voice?

September 28, 2012 | Marit Fratelli
Is It Time to Give Your PowerPoint Slide Decks a Voice?

“Can you send me those slides?” It’s one of the most common questions heard after a PowerPoint presentation. But what good are slides without narration?

give your presentation zen and a voice

Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen, has made a living connecting the principles of Zen to corporate PowerPoint design. When creating PowerPoint presentations, his main points are to use vibrant images, sparse text with large font, and great voice-over to hold your audiences’ attention. In theory, this is a relatively simple thing to do. But in practice, it’s still common to see paragraphs crammed onto slides, leaving your audience with something resembling an eye chart.

One of the reasons this happens is because PowerPoint has evolved beyond a live presentation channel and into a catchall for marketing collateral. For instance, say you do everything right and create a killer PowerPoint that has images practically jumping off the screen. Instead of including an entire book on one slide, there are keywords sprinkled throughout. Your script is engaging and your audience is hanging on your every word.

So what happens when your audience requests a copy of that presentation to share with other members of their team?

Those gorgeous slides won’t be as effective without you there to deliver the message. We’ve all been there. Whether presentations are shared with people after a meeting or posted online, even the best slides can require the audience to play a bit of a guessing game. “I think what he’s trying to say here is…” It happens all the time. This is the Catch-22 of PowerPoint presentations; you either create slides that look great but don’t translate to leave behinds, or leave behind slides that don’t translate into a compelling presentation.

Why not have it all? You can still put together those presentation Zen slides with simple images and deliver them live to your audience. But when they ask for the slides after the fact, instead of handing over pretty images that won’t mean much to the naked eye, send them a voice-enriched on-demand presentation. In today’s tech-driven world, it’s incredibly easy to add voice-over to your slides and turn them into an online video. By using what you already have (slides and your speaking notes), your beautiful slides stay intact, the message isn’t lost and you can even track who is viewing them to gauge interest for further follow-ups.

Great presentations and leave behinds can co-exist. By adding audio to your presentation Zen PowerPoints, you’ll gain insight, peace of mind – and a greater impact with your audience.

Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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