It’s 10,000 BC, and you’ve painted a a detailed graphic on your cave wall for your upcoming presentation.
It depicts your keen analysis of the recent successful hunt.
Now, you offer to show it to your group, perhaps young hunters seeking valuable knowledge.
How would you deliver your hunting presentation?
Would you stand off to one side and gesture vaguely at your cave wall graphics as you give your presentation on how to take down a mastodon?
More likely, you’d take ownership.
Own the Business Presentation and Touch the Cave Paintings
You’d step over to the wall and run your fingers over the colored lines.
You’d trace the outline of the images as you shared the story that the painting illustrates. You’d use the graphic to bring your presentation to life.
Likewise, in your own business presentations today, when you interact with your PowerPoint slides, I suggest that you use 10,000 BC technology – you should “touch the cave paintings” to meld with your presentation.
Take ownership of your business presentation, and touch the cave paintings you’ve created to flesh out and support your message.
Step to the screen when you’re ready to refer to a chart or a graph. Orient us to what we’re about to see. Explain the vertical and horizontal axes so that we can quickly grasp the data.
By stepping to the screen and gesturing, you enhance your participation in the presentation, becoming the animation for the slides under review.
And you preclude using one of the most heinous devices ever created that can destroy potentially outstanding business presentations.
The Laser Pointer.
Think of the Laser Pointer as a Presentation self-destruct button.
That’s right . . . self-destruct button.
Even the best of us occasionally thumb that laser pointer self-destruct button built into most remote control clickers.
But you want to deliver a Laser Pointer Presentation, don’t you?
You’ve waited your entire life for the chance to legitimately use that laser pointer!
You’ve pictured yourself be-suited and commanding the room . . . standing back, perhaps with a jaunty posture, as you sweep the screen behind you with the little bobbing speck of red light. The meekest among us is invested with bombast and hauteur by even the most inexpensive laser pointer.
Don’t do it.
Put down the light saber, Skywalker.
The laser pointer is 21st century overkill technology. It distances you from your presentation message at the exact moment you should meld yourself with it.
If something is so crucially important on your slideshow – perhaps a graph or a series of numbers – that you must direct audience attention to it, then step into the presentation. Gesture to the data with your hand.
Use 10,000 B.C. Technology
Merge yourself with the data. Step into the presentation so that you, in essence, become the animation that highlights your points of emphasis. Don’t divide audience attention between you, the data on the screen, and a nervously darting red speck.
Instead, concentrate your audience focus on your major points, touching the screen, guiding us to the facts and figures you want us to internalize. It’s a cave painting, so run your hands over the cave wall. Show us what you want us to see with your hand.
Now, I issue a caveat here.
If the screen behind you is so high that you cannot reach it, then you might be justified in using the pointer.
But probably not.
Instead, if you want to highlight or draw attention to your points of emphasis, then utilize the highlighting animation available on most multimedia platforms.
If you’re uncertain what I mean by this, have a look at this brief video:
Nothing is more gratuitous in modern business presenting than the laser pointer. And few things more irritating than the laser pointer presentation.
Rid yourself of this awful affectation today. Pledge never to deliver another laser pointer presentation in your business life.
Instead, run your hands over the cave wall, touch the cave paintings to meld with your presentation and communicate with your visuals in especially powerful fashion.
For more on Business Presentations, consult my book The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.