Many major conferences ask their speakers to send in their PowerPoints in advance. Why? They are NOT their presentation! (This just happened to me, and I did it because the client IS the client.)
Unfortunately in 95% of the cases for most speakers in business today their PowerPoints (PP's, which could also be Keynote's for MAC folks) are the centerpiece of their message. They create their content around their PP's, rather than figuring out what they want to say, and then using PP's, (and videos, and exercises, and SHARP's, etc.) to SUPPORT their presentation.
When it comes to persuasive impact in our communications, it is not through technology, but only with it. YOU are always the centerpiece of your presentation, and no graphically dazzling slide should ever replace you.
With all the advances in technology, we must continuously emphasize the critical importance of human confidence in the delivery as well as in the tools of delivery - the primary tool being yourself. With greater "high tech" we need a corresponding increase in "high touch." Otherwise, advanced technology will just make our mistakes stand out even more.
That's exactly why Steve Jobs presentations are so powerful. (He led our Top Ten Communicators of 2005 list, even before the famous iPhone announcement.) While he uses elegantly simple slides and perfectly timed and executed demos, he remains the center of the presentation. Often, he will completely clear the screen (using a black slide - that's the way to do it) to keep the audience's attention on his energy, on his enthusiasm, and on his words. Not the PowerPoint's. (Or Keynote's in this case.)
Remembering that you are the presentation, develop visuals that enhance your point of view. After all, visuals are important:
- 55% of believability comes through the visual
- A 500% average increase in retention occurs when visuals are used in a presentation
- 83% of what we know is learned by seeing and observing
Always keep in mind that you are your most important visual aid. Train yourself first so that you have a confidence that never quits in the face of new technology.