POWERPOINT SLIDES

It seems that PowerPoint has become the standard when presenting, especially in the corporate world. This despite the fact that most slides are as boring as the screen they’re displayed on, with way too much information.  No wonder there’s a collective sigh in the audience when someone reaches for their wireless presenter.

Here’s why I prefer a good old fashioned flip-chart instead.

1. IT INCLUDES THE AUDIENCE

It’s common to present to audiences with varying levels of interest, experience and knowledge.  That means that some of them might already be familiar with your content.  Some might actually know more than you! (This is a good thing, btw.)

When you arrive with your pre-prepared slides you have effectively already decided what you’ll share with the audience without taking them into account.  There is no room to include their views or to deviate when an interesting point is raised.  You also cannot change tracks when you realise that they’re getting bored. With a flipchart you can deviate from whatever you pre-prepared to cater for the actual needs of the audience.

2. IT ALLOWS FOR SPONTANEITY AND CREATIVITY

This is what often separates great presentations from the average or mediocre ones.

Creating flipcharts in the moment (based on audience feedback and/or questions) allows for spontaneity and creativity.  It allows you to be relevant in the here and now.  This is called ‘meeting your audience where they’re at rather where you think they're at. 

Fact is that when you were preparing you slide pack until 3am that morning you had no idea what will show up in the moment during your presentation.  

It’s like hosting a dinner party and preparing every sentence you’ll say in monologue fashion without the prospect of an actual conversation.  If you get an interesting question from the audience or suddenly think of something that would be beneficial or interesting to the audience to understand you cannot create a slide for it in the moment.

You can however create a new flipchart no problem.

3. IT CATERS FOR THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE

Even though I often teach the same content, my flipcharts rarely look the same.  That’s because I don’t practice them beforehand but instead draw them in the moment.

That way even those who have seen your presentation before have something new to grab their attention, engage their brain and increase their learning capability.  Being bored is NOT a state conducive to learning as the brain starts shutting down (and out comes the phone or laptop – and you lose them.

4. IT ALLOWS FOR DIALOGUE

As mentioned in the dinner example above, the main thing that is virtually guaranteed to kill a presentation is to launch into a monologue.  This is speaking at the audience rather than having a conversation with them.

When you create flipcharts in the moment - based on a two-way conversation with the audience - you keep them engaged.  This means that their brains are engaged and they are more likely to learn something and remember your presentation for the right reasons.

5. IT ALLOWS FOR REVISION

How much more research must be published before we understand that the most limiting way of transferring information is by speaking only, i.e. for the audience to have to listen to a monologue?  

That’s why revision is so important if you’d like more of the audience to remember more of your presentation.

With slides you can only show one slide at a time. If you use flipcharts you can easily put them all around the room and get small groups to gather around each one and review and discuss what they remember and understand about each one. 

That way you are not only making life a lot more interesting for the audience, but you are also making it easier for them to retain the information.  It also gives you a break to look at your notes and prepare for the next segment.

In your next presentation - corporate or not - break the mold and see what a difference it makes when you use a flipchart.

Visit https://fallinlovewithpresenting.com for more articles and tips to improve your presentation skills.

Author's Bio: 

Bennie Naude has facilitated at about 200 events in 15 countries over the last 20 years.

He created 'Fall in Love with Presenting' to teach people how to present in a way that is fun and interesting and now run the course internationally.

He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa.