Monthly Archives: January 2011

A FREE makeover

Send me one of your slides (with bullet points) and I will do a makeover for you. I will post the before and after slides here.

Humor in presentation

It is always good practice to include SOME humor in your presentation. This is particularly true if you are presenting some topic that is highly technical (aka boring) or complicated in nature. Below is an example on why you should not pick the cheapest transporter for your hazardous wastes:

It never fails to get a laugh from the audience.

Do not turn your presentation into a comedy act either – unless you are performing a comedy act.

Tips on multi-media presentations

As promised, the following a summary of the research findings by Dr. Mayers on how best to make a multi-mdeia presentation.

First of all, forget about all those psychology terms like “Modality Principle”, “Coherent Principle”, etc. They are just jargon used in the trade to make laymen feel stupid. Every profession has its own set of jargon.

The first finding shows that people learn better (absorb more)  from a presentation with both pictures and words rather than just a bunch of words.

The third finding shows that people learn better when the words and picture appear at the same time. That means none of this fading and fading out, zooming in and zooming out, flying in from the side stuff. The more animation you add to your slides, the DISTRACTED your audience is going to be. If you must show animation, show them a short movie.

The fourth finding tells you to stick to the basics and not to throw a bunch of words (bullet points) on the screen. Narration (you talking to the audience) is a much more effective way to communicate.

Why 99.9% of PowerPoint Presentations Suck?

Have you ever wondered why most (99.9%) of PowerPoint presentations suck – big time? Here is one of the many reasons:

Dr. Richard E. Mayer – a Professor of Psychology at the University of California in Santa Barbara – presented all the reasons in his book “Multimedia Learning”. Look at the following charts:

His research shows that animations with narration produce better retention for the audience than narrations only. That’s why when you watch a movie or documentary, you get to see pictures and movies with someone speaking over them. That’s why they never show you a blank screen with voice over.

The second group of charts show people retain more information when presented with a picture that has words associated with it than just a bunch of text (aka bullet points) on the screen.  That’s why it is better to show a slide with a short sentence and a relevant picture.

In our next posting, I will show you a summary of Dr. Mayer’s findings on multi-media learning.

Minimizing the amount of BS in a presentation

How does “synergize collaborative convergence” sound to you? What about “engineer value-added ROI”?

Many people think that they can impress the audience with a lot of buzz words or by stringing up a lot of fancy sounding words. They are wrong. Before your presentation, go to this website to make sure you have not generated any BS. It is a BS generator!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 97 posts. There were 31 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 167mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 26th with 175 views. The most popular post that day was How to make great PowerPoint presentations.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for powerpoint bullet points, presentations without powerpoint, bad powerpoint slides, nervous man, and bullet points in powerpoint.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


How to make great PowerPoint presentations May 2009


Presentation storyboard – tell them a story! December 2007


Why do people get nervous when they speak in public? March 2010


More horrible slides! May 2009


high quality information vs. low quality information December 2007