Your presentation style is part of your personal brand. If you’re still clinging to bullet-point slides, it doesn’t matter how dynamic you are as a presenter, your personal brand will be damaged. That’s because when you use bullet-laden slides in your presentation, your audience will make five decisions about you and your presentation:
1. This is going to be boringWhen an audience sees the first slide of your presentation and they see row after row of bullets they’ll sink just a little in their seats. They’ve had to sit though many boring bullet-laden presentations before and they’re thinking “Uh-oh – this is going to be boring.” Just like Pavlov’s dogs it’s a conditioned response. Paylov’s dogs salivated when Pavlov rang a bell because they anticipated being fed. Audiences deflate when the presenter uses bullets because they anticipate being bored.
2. You don’t know your stuffIf you knew your stuff, why would you need a screen to prompt you every few seconds? One of our course participants summed it up:
“I’ve been burying my expertise in a barrage of bullets.”When I see someone presenting with bullet-point slides, I often think that I could deliver the presentation better than they can – even though I know nothing about the topic. Bullet-point slides obviate the need for your knowledge. So take your notes off the screen, and put them in your hand. Now you can show off your knowledge.