Quite often these days you may have to give a presentation, but are not allowed to use PowerPoint. Without such a comfortable prop, many would-be presenters start to panic and think about what they could do.
So here are six ideas on how to get your message across without PowerPoint.
1. Use role playing to communicate your ideas
Get the audience out of their seats – and switch their minds on again.
2. Ask the audience to use flipcharts
Ask the audience to use flipcharts, large sheets of paper or other means to add to your ideas. Or have them take notes.
3. Walk around
Freed from the manacles of screen, laptop and mouse, you’re able to use more space. The audience’s eyes will follow you as you move, and it’s far easier to inject energy and emotion.
4. Condense your message into some key points
Instead of making them into slides, keep your key points on a small piece of paper that you can use as a prompt. This will keep your delivery more spontaneous. Even more importantly, you’ll be maintaining eye contact, not screen contact.
5. Tell a story
This has been a great way to communicate since the days when we sat round campfires and gnawed on the bones of the meal we’d hunted that day. It still works.
6. Use something physical
Use something physical to illustrate your idea: a model, perhaps, or a building made out of Lego. Because it doesn’t have words on it, this object will force you to use it as an aid, not as a crutch – which is where PowerPoint can let you down.
Try the PowerPoint-free presentation next time you give one. Your audience will look around in surprise at the absence of technology, and might be taken aback. But you’ll have their attention. Now it’s just up to you to keep it.
Best of all, all these techniques can be used as well as PowerPoint rather than as a substitute for it. So even if you go back to using the tool afterwards, take these ideas with you into the meeting room. You’ll find they liven up presentations and help prevent eyes glazing over.
By David Vickery