In another presentation I witnessed at last week’s conference (and LOTS more to come from that), I watched a rather academic session digress into long-winded narration of PowerPoint. The slides got worse and worse and the presentation less and less interactive as the experienced presenter reverted to the thing that was most comfortable to him.Finally, he commented on a slide that was particular wordy with, “Well, you know the 5×5 rule? I guess I didn’t follow it to the letter, but I certainly didn’t think 50 words was appropriate.” That led me to actually count: 5 bullets; 36 words. Yikes!So where’s the cutoff? And if he knew the 5×5 rule (which isn’t a rule, but a guideline to get presenters to put ONLY the content that helps an audience ‘get it’), why wouldn’t it apply to him? I think the more egregious (I love that word) sin is not the wordy slides, but the comment that in essence says, “I know there’s a rule of thumb to help everyone get the content, but I don’t want to follow it. Get over it.” A blatant violation of Rule #1 (which is NOT a guideline) if there ever was one.I probably could have overlooked the whole issue if he’d just have kept his mouth shut.
Focus on the audience, always. And if you don’t (?), certainly don’t bring attention to it.
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