Have you given a thought to the fact that your presentation style heavily impacts the outcome of your presentation? Perhaps it would help you, just like it has helped hundreds of presenters before you, to study the presentation methods adopted by the very best presenters?
Why would you want to study or imitate the best presenters? Here are 5 good reasons!
- To learn from them.
- To help you retrospect on your own style.
- To identify the styles that would best work with your personal style and the nature of your presentations.
- To implement what you have learnt
- Knowing these presentation methods will also help you describe exactly what you have in mind to your design team.
Here are some examples of excellent PowerPoint methods, most of them belonging to presenters whose styles are quite distinct and are widely copied today.
Learning tip: Watch the video first, and then read our commentary on the style. Go back to the video and identify what you have learnt. Write down what you have learnt from the style, and especially anything that you think will work in your own presentations.
Remember presentation is an art that needs a lot of work. The more you present, the better you get.
Why do we have the Microsoft Presentation style listed first? Because 24point0 is known for supporting many Microsoft consultants who develop presentations using the Microsoft style. Read more about the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation style for global consultants.
The pure text slideshow
This is a very simple slideshow, but can be very effective when coupled with an eloquent presentation. In the example slideshow you can see key words being displayed on the screen one at a time. A pure-text slideshow need not stick to this single-word format. You can also use sentences and bullet points while presenting. Though most presentations these days are a mix of text and images, text-only PPTs are preferred by those who think that animations and images distract the audience.
The hand-drawn slideshow
Here is a sample image from the link above. Click on the link above to see the series of slides at the bottom. Look at them carefully, and read the accompanying information. The hand-drawn doodle is making a huge comeback. It makes a strong, personal statement amid the sea of high-profile graphs, images and animations. Doodles are known to help the problem-solving process, and are also known to stimulate thinking.
Steve Jobs style
Steve Jobs is well-known for his unique style of presenting. From his style, the first things that stand out are the clarity of thought and communication. His presentations are very well prepared, and rumor has it that Jobs spends 10 hours rehearsing, before one of his big presentations. This is of course warranted, especially during one of his many product launch presentations. Without sufficient practice it is very difficult to pull off such a presentation, where timing one’s words just right is so important for the impact. Coming back to his distinct style of clear and concise communication, notice how Jobs always speaks clearly and slowly in simple English. Also, he never uses bullet points. Instead he uses a lot of images punctuated with limited text explanations.
Managing Director and Chairman of Garage Technology Ventures is a well-known speaker and author. His trademark in his presentations is the 10/20/30 rule – 10 slides, in a presentation less than 20 minutes, using a minimum 30 point font size. Apart from this rule, Kawasaki’s presentations are dotted with analogies, humor and the ‘right face’. Yes, presenters have lots to learn from Kawasaki’s slideshows, but even more to learn from his ‘pleasing, down to earth personality’ at every presentation.
Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford Law School Professor’s unique style of presenting, playing on single-word phrases, cutting out prefixes and adding them, has been imitated by many corporate presenters, most famously by Dick Hardt of Sxip.
There are many distinct takeaways from Lessig’s style – the topics are serious, but Lessig’s play on words, dates and images keeps the audience occupied and at the edge of their seats, at every presentation. That means fonts, font animations, and font sizes are paid careful attention to. His text is almost always centered, and almost always on a black background, to emphasize its meaning. Such a presentation needs great story telling skills, and even more practice than a Jobs style because every sentence one speaks needs to match the words playing on the screen. It’s tough… yet very effective.
This minimalist style is really popular among Japanese business people. Known for his minimalist approach to slide presentations, Takahashi’s presentations are very effective and have high-recall values. His trademark style consists of using large font black text on a white background occasionally ‘jazzed up’ with red, alternating between English and Japanese script. It is rumored that his style is the outcome of trying to get people to not read his slides, and instead concentrate on what he is saying.
The Naked Style
This is actually the slide-less presentation propagated by techie Jason Fried and wine enthusiast Gary Vaynerchuk . This idea is also widely propagated by life coach Terri Sjodin who advices everyone to cut the slides if they don’t benefit your audience. Her argument is that slides are more often that not a means of helping the presenter ‘get through’ the presentation; they prompt, and the presenter often ‘repeats’ what is on the slides. A naked presentation lets the focus stay on the presenter, and more importantly allows the audience the concentrate on the presentation material. However, like Takahashi’s presentations, to carry off such a style, the presenter needs to be eloquent, engaging and make the connection with the audience.
The Al Gore Style
Al Gore the presenter is actually not at all like Al Gore the former US VP. In his new avatar, Al Gore comes across as approachable, animated and connected. He speaks with passion, and his slides are never ‘prompts’ or ‘bullet points’. They are very useful accompaniments to his presentations, with great visuals, well designed charts, cartoon animations and stunning depictions of the world’s climatic changes then and now. True, he gets professional help from Duarte Design, but his style is all his own. It reinforces the fact that if you are able to connect with the audience, speak to them directly, you are almost always guaranteed a successful presentation.
The Funny (Ze Frank) Style
Comedy and technology don’t usually gel well together. However, Ze Frank proves they can. His presentations are entertaining yet insightful, giving audiences the rare opportunity of seeing humor in such serious presentation areas as the Pop! Tech and TED conferences. Ze is multi-talented. On the one hand he is a technical whiz, and on the other hand he is a comedian. When the two mix, especially at his now famous podcasts and conference talks, the combination is exclusive. What is the key takeaway from Ze’s style? If you have a funny bone, then don’t hide it when presenting. Your audience will welcome the laughs, your uniqueness shines through, and your presentations become unforgettable.
Interested in modeling your presentation based on one or more of these styles? Contact us for PowerPoint formatting. We can help!