…and be positively memorable.
You’ve worked for weeks or days to create a stunning PowerPoint Presentation to wow your audience. You’ve practiced your timing and know exactly when and where to click. You’ve tested your links and made sure that they go where they are supposed to go and that you can smoothly get back to your presentation. You are pumped up and ready to roll.
Then it happens. When you arrive at the location, they’ve lost power, the projector, or the copy of your presentation that you forwarded to them a week ago. Or they thought you were bringing the projector and screen on your cross country flight. Or the thumb drive you brought won’t respond, or your computer is not compatible with their system, or worst of all, you are going great guns through the first 3 minutes of your pitch and then everything stops. Except the mic.
If your worst speaking fear hasn’t happened yet, it will. At some point you’ll be left without your PowerPoint presentation. GASP! That’s okay, not great, but okay and you can still make your speech.
Your PowerPoint should only be a prop for you. It should work as a backdrop and support your content, but you are the foundation. You, as the speaker, know your subject well enough that you can deliver it on your own and keep your audience enthralled.
To be prepared for the worst case scenario, print your presentation in the Notes view and put it in a 3 ring binder, that way you will always have your notes if you need them. Then, if (when) the verdict comes in that there will be no visuals with your audio you can take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is an opportunity to really connect with the crowd.
You may actually find yourself more relaxed, conversational, and enthusiastic without the screen behind you. Being freed from getting the slides to advance properly, you can engage your listeners by making more eye contact and speaking directly to individuals. Be a storyteller to elaborate content you may have linked in your presentation.
They like you.
Remember, the audience wants you to be successful. They want to hear what you have to say. Even if it is a travelogue about Athens or the Grand Canyon your passionate descriptions of the destinations will captivate the crowd and they will want to book the trip immediately.
For eons people have made speeches just by standing up and projecting their voice. Without your PowerPoint you are still a powerful speaker.