This is a rant on presentations.
Here's some notes that constitute the start of this RANT:
1. If I get offered another book on what normal people can learn from TED talks, I'm going to kick my dog (but only after taking an interesting picture of that act, which I could use in an interesting fashion in a local TEDx event).
2. Prezi is evil and should not be used by most people.
3. The answer always likes somewhere in the middle. Like using some slides with photos and then some slides with bullet points.
Why's this stuff on my mind? First, I got another book on TED talks. I like those talks. But you're not one of those people. You're an Financial Analyst that wears trendy clothes. Don't do a TED talk. Don't subject me to a version of one at work. I'm jaded - I'm going to mock you, probably in front of you. You had it coming - you're not dong DNA research, you're giving us a view of the 3Q 2015 revenue run.
Of course, the lazy man's TED is Prezi. For those of you who haven't been exposed, Prezi is presentation gear that allows you to swoop in and out of of a presentation like a drunk/high traffic helicopter pilot. It's like TC from Magnum PI got a bunch of venture money and decided to put his experience to use in the business world. And Prezi's not going away, it just got a bunch more funding. More from Techcrunch:
"Prezi, the cloud presentation platform that has been gradually eating away at Microsoft’s Powerpoint market share for the last few years, is poised to become a far more mainstream product than some might have previously thought. It’s making two major announcements today. The first — announced today on stage at Slush in Helsinki — is that it has secured a $57 million growth investment from Spectrum Equity, a growth equity firm, with participation from existing investor, Accel Partners, to accelerate its growth.
That growth is evident in the second piece of news it announces today, which is that it’s passed the 50 million users mark, nearly doubling its user base in the past twelve months, and is attracting roughly 55,000 new users every day. Those users have now created 160 million ‘Prezis’ to date, allowing it to justifiably call itself the world’s largest publicly available database of presentations. By contrast Slideshare has only 15 million uploads (according to their site)."
Ugh. The zooming is not going away. TC hit it big and is bringing Smithers in as his GM.
The answer in your presentation is moderation, people. You can't load it up with 14 font. You need bullet points that are talking points. You should go every other slide having a picture only so you can tell a story with bullets as a crutch, then go back to broad bullet points you don't read on the next slide - but help you keep track of what you want to say. You show your depth that way.
Or you could put on a black turtleneck like you're a Steve Jobs/Sprockets hybrid, and launch the freaking Presi.
"This is a map of my mind. Let's zoom into the frontal cortex and see what the #### is on my mind today!"
Let's don't. Take a cue and tell a story with a mix of pictures and words.
You're not a thought leader - you're a marketing manager trying to sell some widgets and not get fired in this meeting.