First of all, thank you for coming today. A little background on this project… You may have heard of the work of Cliff Atkinson. I don’t work for him, nor do I sell his book, “Beyond Bullet Points (BBP),” or his materials. But I do believe in the work he is doing. Cliff is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and an independent consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation's first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called &quot;frighteningly powerful.&quot; In 2005, I participated in a PowerPoint makeover sponsored by Cliff. There were many participants from around the country who volunteered to re-develop a PowerPoint presentation using Cliff’s methodology. At the time, I was an e-Learning Designer at WaMu where we created many, many PowerPoint titles and launched them in our LMS. It was often said that “this is just a PowerPoint,” in a demeaning way, and I thought maybe the tool wasn’t the issue, but how it was used. Then at the ASTD conference in New Orleans, I went to Cliff’s session on “Beyond Bullet Points” and became fascinated. What he said gave me a lot to think about in my approach to PowerPoint. This is the third presentation where I’ve tried to apply the approach I’m going to show you. That said, you will either forgive me, indulge me, or commit me! And finally… meet my friends Bouncer, Gladys, and Henry. They will be assisting me today.
Henry is sort of my alter ego. He and I were talking the other day about PowerPoint presentations, and I told him about these gruesome facts: -PowerPoint is on 400 million desktops world wide, and there are 40M presentations per day given around the world. When I was at WaMu, I figured 10M of those were presented on any given day. It is a tool used to inform, influence, persuade, teach/train, market, manage, and probably more. Ostensibly, it was created as a communication tool. In the world of Training*, the best uses for PPT according to a Training Media review in 2006 are: For Trainers: lecturing, presenting, condensing info (slides), and expanding info (notes), For IDs: Capturing SME knowledge, storyboarding content, prototyping course content (Word is better for handouts) I said to Henry, You know, there are 2 drivers behind presentations: To present information or to guide the audience in absorbing the information. In other words, your goal is to either ‘cover information’ or else you help people actually learn. Henry didn’t understand that, so I told him I would get back to him later. _________________________________________________ *Site for BBP used in training: Trainers (this is on the final Info slide) http://www.sociablemedia.websitetoolbox.com/?forum=19748 Remember that instructors inform, motivate, and inspire !
Cliff Atkinson asks a very compelling question: “ Would a Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation without bullet points still be a PowerPoint presentation? Although bullet points make it easy for us to create slides, they don’t always make it easy for audiences to understand what we want to say. Growing numbers of people are expressing a sense of frustration with the conventional bullet points approach, and they’re expressing themselves in a wide range of forums including discussion groups, surveys, books, essays, articles and blog postings. What they’re saying, basically, is that slides filled with bullet points create obstacles between presenters and audiences.” Have you ever gone to a presentation like the one here, where you could see on the slides “#1 of 165?” or something like that? What was your inner (unvoiced) reaction when you saw that? You’re the presenter. You’re looking at the audience. Is this what you see? (following slide)
If you see these faces (Henry and Gladys) in your audience, then there’s a problem! (By the way, this was BEFORE Henry and Gladys were made over!) Show video on “Death by PowerPoint” by Don McMillan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpvgfmEU2Ck _____________________________________________ Article and interview (on bullets and PPT): Moved to end (Info) http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_bullets_kill.htm http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_pattak.htm
So, it’s like Trading Spaces for PowerPoint? “ But how?” you ask. Well, how de we typically create PowerPoints? - We use the defaults – meaning templates and bullets. After all, it’s quick and it’s easy. It’s interesting that the marketing material on PowerPoint from Microsoft doesn’t emphasize bullets – it’s more about charts, graphs, and images. However, their online training module does emphasize the use of bullets and sub-bullets. If we are self-taught, or if we use the available online training, we may just use the defaults. Then, we get into bad habits….. We need to be more adventurous in order to go beyond the defaults. But it requires a mind shift and practice.
I will take you through a process of reinventing a presentation, using a “Before” and “After” version, and the process in between. This presentation is a makeover of an earlier version. I’ll show you the tools available from the BBP website, and will apply them to this presentation in a step by step fashion, so you can see what and why I did what I did. Are you ready? Let’s begin by looking at the “Before” version and asking some questions.
Let’s take a tour of the “Before”presentation – the first version I did before I applied the BBP techniques to it. With an existing presentation, you ask yourself some basic questions, such as... (the following slides).
Let’s look at this “before” presentation in the Slide Sorter view (view this on paper copies ). Now, focus on the titles of the slides – these are written as ‘category statements.’ What would be your answer to this question? (Obtain feedback). Learning should be visible at the slide level.
Let’s look at this “before” presentation in the Notes View. Provide paper copies . What would be your answer to this question? (Obtain feedback). Use Notes View to determine this.
Let’s look at this “before” presentation in the Slide view (just tour through the slides, then ask the question - do these slides pique the audience’s interest?). View the slides only in the presentation. What would be your answer to this question? (Obtain feedback). Look at the slides to determine this.
Now we’ll discover how to apply the “Beyond Bullet Points” process to remaking the presentation. So, it IS like Trading Spaces for PowerPoint.
There are a few overarching guiding principles at the heart of this method. They are: (the following slides)
The story basis is a structured approach as easy as A B C and 1 2 3. But more of that in a moment. Why a story? You want to establish an emotional connection with your audience. Research shows that people are ‘grabbed’ not by facts and data (left brain), but by an emotional connection (right brain).
As with any literary work, you think of and use metaphors. They can be visual, verbal, or both… A thread that runs through the whole story or alternatively, through each Act of the story. By that I mean, one unifying metaphor, or a metaphor that applies to an Act. This is where your creativity is sparked.
You use headlines rather than category statements for slide headings. Here is a visual of the “headlines” concept. And, here is a reference to the use of category statements versus headlines in your presentation: http://www.beyondbullets.com/2007/02/headline_news_r.html The idea is, “thoughtfully craft your headlines” because each statement in the template will become a headline of a slide. Contrast this idea with the typical PowerPoint approach where category statements are used as a high-level topic from which a list is formed. The list becomes the bullets with which we are so familiar. Do the 1+5 = 1 exercise: take a slide from the “before” version and ask the audience to renovate it to a headline type of slide.
Your audience intakes information in 2 channels: visual and auditory. You need to think visually. The interesting thing about PPT is that it is presented in a landscape format. Was that on purpose? (Yes). Think more of a movie or (at least) a film strip, where the action is in landscape mode. That alone should help you think more visually rather that verbally for the slide content. I’ve had to re-orient my thinking. The “easy” fix is to pepper a slide with bullets – no doubt, it is the fastest approach. You have to stretch to think visually. I made a visual of these concepts and played it to myself over and over (next slide).
This summarizes striving for visual and auditory balance and some of the basic tenets of the BBP approach.
There are nine steps to the methodology. These can be used for either re-doing an existing presentation, or starting from scratch on a new presentation.
Lets get familiar with the ‘cool tool; - the template. This is a Word document. You use this template well before you even open PPT. This helps you resist the temptation to start bulleting your thinking. The template is divided into three sections, or Acts. The purpose of the three acts are: Act I – this Act sets the stage and provides the emotional connection . Act I sets up the emotional connection and engages the audience. It provides the who, where, what, how, and why of the story. Act II provides the appeal to reason . Here’s where the facts, data, and supporting detail belong. Act III is the resolution , which is a restatement (in different words) of the ‘drama’ of Act I. Act III summarizes and reinforces. This is the main Tool you need to convert your “Before” version to your “After” version.
Act I consists of what will become the first 5 slides of your presentation and sets up the emotional connection. Because Act I unlocks the story, you spend a high proportion of time developing Act I (the first 5 slides) to get it right. They are critical to your story. Here, Cliff explains in an article the importance of Act I. http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_first_five.htm 1 – the setting 2 – main character (the audience) 3 – the conflict 4 – the audience’s desired state 5 – recommend a solution Another tool available from BBP, the first 5 slides “sketch pad,” can help you create the first 5 slides (link ). Cliff’s also does a narration of how to create the first five slides in the template (Flash video describing the template): http://www.sociablemedia.com/flash/fiveslides.html Show first 5 slides – Act I – from this presentation, and how it evolved. Relate the “Before” to the “After” again.
Help with motif: Show how you arrived at your motif for this presentation. Refer to the table of possible motifs. Some of the metaphors considered for this presentation were: Makeover – Restructure, renovate (property or backyards), a person’s cosmetic makeover, urban renewal, television reality shows Overload – circuit breakers, a cup with milk that overflowed, a dam ready to burst, interrupted communication, TMI, brain too full, a bewildered audience or characters, presenter and audience reaction (interplay) (Anne Miller book, Metaphorically Selling – Cliff interviews her on his website.)
In Act II, you convey the details of your story. In Act II, you repeatedly answer either the questions “How?” or “Why?” (or sometimes both). Show how Act II evolved in this presentation. Show the completed Template for this presentation.
After you’ve used the template to develop Acts I and II, you transfer your template statements from Word to PowerPoint. Each statement in the template literally becomes one slide. So, if you have crafted your Act I and II carefully, your PowerPoint presentation unfolds easily in the transfer. Show the draft version of the StoryBoard.
The visual content, to me, is the most challenging part. Based on the metaphor you choose, you begin populating your slides with visual content. To help you with this, it’s easiest to print out the presentation in Slide Sorter view and pencil sketch your visuals. Show the visual content and how you derived it - paper copy of some of your sketches.
For the details of your slides throughout, you write a script in the Notes Pages. The script can be written all at once, or evolve as the visuals evolve. It depends on how you plan to illustrate the story and how you like to work. This is an example of the narration. Tell them how it evolved further. The narration came sporadically – not all at once.
After you have a good idea of your graphical elements using pencil sketching, then you search for professional graphics and apply them. Describe how you arrived at your graphics for this makeover. Some ideas for graphical elements are: Photo objects without backgrounds work well. They are quick, clean ways to illustrate your point. Try these sites for graphical resources: http://www.istockphoto.com http://www.photoobjects.com http://www.clipart.com TIPS Not artistic? To get there faster with graphics: 1- Reuse core graphics. Leverage by adding layers or flipping them. 2- Photo objects can become like characters (avatars) to help you tell the story. 3- Use and re-use help keep the story coherent. 4- Use speech balloons or PPT shapes as call-outs to link the story elements together.
It’s important to rehearse your presentation, like Henry is doing here. You don’t have to be slavish to your script, but you should have a really good idea of the sequence and pace. The presentation focus shifts from all about you (bullets) to all about your audience. The result is that you and the audience get to know each other and share more collaboratively.
… you might ask. Let’s look at just three principles from cognitive research that this approach can be tied to. These are design principles articulated by Dr. Richard Mayer (UCSB) and Dr. Ruth Clark – brief. Dual channel – there are separate information processing channels – visual and verbal. Use both forms in presentations. Tie in: This approach shifts the presentation from being mostly textual (bullets) to that of visual and verbal balance. Limited capacity – Attention has it’s limits. People can only pay attention to a few pieces of information in each channel and store them in our short-term memory. Remember 7 +/- 2? This is central to cognitive overload. Tie in: Bullets overload short-term memory. The BBP approach works very hard to reduce cognitive overload by taking textual information off the slides and placing it in Notes Pages. The story structure forces you to think in sets of 3’s when you organize your material. Active processing – People understand material by paying attention to what is relevant, by organizing it into a mental structure, and integrating it with prior knowledge. Tie in: Tying headlines to strong visuals and metaphors assists the audience in attending to and organizing new information, and integrating it with prior knowledge. Presenting a structure for the mind to grasp (use of the template) assists in active processing. Resources: http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_science_overload.htm Article: 5 Ways to Reduce PPT Overload
In THIS make over show, there’s no real need for a “reveal.” You’ve been viewing the made-over presentation all along!! But this one didn’t make it to reality TV!! Let’s look at slide sorter view in both to really see the differences. (Show both the “Before” and the “SIG Presentation” (After) in slide sorter view or in the handouts). So, that was the process.
Oh, Henry has a brother, Francis.
You would never want your presentation to result in this!! Have you attended any presentations that ended up like this? (Get their comments).
On the home stretch.
We know all true audiences are like this! RIGHT!!
Henry is stoked!
Cliff’s book, Beyond Bullet Points , website, blog, other links and articles More samples : http://www.sociablemedia.com/thebook_showcase.php4 Examples of different types of presentations and well-written Act I’s – several examples are training-related Discussion board : http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/mb/sociablemedia Blog (Contains the blog, tools, videos, and archives): http://www.beyondbulletpoints.com The Makeovers from 2005-2006 : http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/mb/sociablemedia?forum=16727 A large number of early makeovers from volunteers (I volunteered and participated in a 2005 makeover using Beyond Bullet Points ) Site for BBP used in training : Trainers (Remember that instructors inform, motivate, and inspire !) http://www.sociablemedia.websitetoolbox.com/?forum=19748 For help with motifs and metaphors : The book, Metaphorically Selling by Anne Miller – How to think metaphorically For help with sketching : The book, XPlane by Dave Gray - How to turn complicated processes or concepts into understandable pictures
I’m intrigued with the notion that “bullets kill,” so thus the visual. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Article and interview (on bullets and PPT): http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_bullets_kill.htm http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_pattak.htm ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Here are my “ahas” after using this approach to create PowerPoint presentations: You think more about the audience You think more about the logic and flow of your message You strive to be crisp and clear with your story headlines You think metaphorically You try to envision You use graphics for impact, not decoration The process is much more iterative You prepare A LOT more – you think about what you’re going to say On a closing note, one of the presentations I made over was at WaMu – I was a member of one of 8 teams in the RoadMap to Leadership program where we competed for the attention of the chief executives to sponsor a either a cost-saving or revenue-bearing project. On my team, I was in charge of producing the PowerPoint presentation, which used these techniques but expanded with an ensemble cast of 8 team members. It was a true highlight of my career at WaMu. Show the WaMu front slide. Long story short, our team was the #1 presenting team and our project was implemented.
A Power Point Makeover Tt Sig Sept 09
By Don Shannon A PowerPoint Makeover
This presentation was delivered at the Training and Technology Special Interest Group meeting on September 9, 2009. <ul><li>For more information about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASTD-Orange County </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and Technology Special Interest Group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… select one of the above links. </li></ul></ul></ul>
PowerPoint presentations are used worldwide to inform, persuade, and teach 09/28/09
Too often, presenters face the challenge of tying together large amounts of information and data <ul><li>Point 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Point 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 1 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 3 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Point 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 8 </li></ul>09/28/09
Presenters typically present too much information that can overwhelm and confuse the audience 09/28/09
It is possible to reduce audience overload by making over your presentation ? <ul><li>Point 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Point 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subpoint 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 1 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S-s 3 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Point 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Point 8 </li></ul>BEFORE AFTER 09/28/09
After exploring some new tools today, you can make over your presentations to reach your audience more effectively 09/28/09
Category statements go away Use headlines that… sum up your ideas Headlines 09/28/09 Idea Concept Message
Strive for visual and auditory balance 09/28/09 Sensory input (dual channel)
<ul><li>Take bulleted details </li></ul><ul><li>Place them in Notes Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Use slides for visual illustration </li></ul><ul><li>Take bulleted details </li></ul><ul><li>Place them in Notes Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Use slides for visuals </li></ul>Use meaningful headlines in complete sentences Narration: Our story begins with… Use Notes Pages and narrative to tell your story 09/28/09 Notes Page
Then follow this 9-step procedure 9 Steps 09/28/09
Use the story template tool 1 ACT I ACT II ACT III Blank template Annotated Template 09/28/09
Develop the first five slides 2 First Five Sketchpad This makeover 1 2 3 4 5 09/28/09 Narration
Determine the motif you’ll use 3 09/28/09 Makeover? Overload? Bewildered?
Information overload is very common in PowerPoint presentations 09/28/09
Using a structured approach with these BBP techniques will help reduce PowerPoint overload 09/28/09
Try this approach and see if you connect with your audience more effectively 09/28/09
Effective communication can be yours with this approach! 09/28/09
Where can you find out more? Information Samples Discussion Board Blog The Makeovers 09/28/09 Trainer’s Forum
Postscript: My personal journey with BBP 09/28/09 Bullets kill Interview
This presentation was delivered at the Training and Technology Special Interest Group meeting on September 9, 2009. <ul><li>Select a link for more information about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASTD-Orange County </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and Technology Special Interest Group </li></ul></ul>