How to avoid death by Powerpoint by David JP Phillips
from Dave Paradi @ http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com Dave, the author of “The Visual Slide Revolution, is a master at teaching people how to make their PowerPoint presentations more interesting…and effective.
Call an audible during your presentation
On Sunday I was watching the AFC Championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. Even if you are not a football fan, stick with me on this one. I like watching top performers in their fields and in this case I got to watch Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in football. He is this year’s Most Valuable Player in the NFL.
One thing he does better than any other quarterback is change the play at the line of scrimmage based on what he sees the defence doing. Often, he will line up, call some signals and see how the defence reacts. Then he steps back, decides what changes he wants to make, and runs the play. In football, changing the play at the line of scrimmage is known as calling an audible, meaning the play is changed using an audible signal, not with gestures.
Now this only works because his team has prepared in advance for what he will do. They know the different plays he may end up calling and are prepared for the many possibilities. They adjust based on what the opponent is doing.
So how does this relate to presenting?
The lesson for presenters is to be prepared to call an audible during your next presentation based on the reaction of the audience. Start with your prepared presentation, but if the audience is not reacting the way you expect them to, be prepared to step back and change what you are doing. How can you do this? Here are three ways to call an audible during a presentation.
First, you can anticipate this happening and plan for this in advance by designing a non-linear presentation. Design in modules and ask the audience to direct the sequence of the presentation.
Second, when you realize the audience is not reacting the way they should, press the “B” key on your keyboard to blank the screen. Ask a question of the audience to start a discussion. By engaging them, you will discover what they are thinking and be able to adjust as necessary.
To view Dave’s third (and my favorite tip) along with the rest of the article click here: http://pptideas.blogspot.com/2010/01/call-audible-during-your-presentation.html