Last night I made my way (in the lashing rain might I add) to the Refresh Dublin talks in the Science Gallery. Despite the miserable weather there was a good turn out. Interestingly the majority of the audience seemed eager to pick the brains of Rowan Manahan who spoke on the topic: “If PowerPoint is the answer it must have been a stupid question“, highlighting the feelings of inadequacy many people have when looking at their own PowerPoint presentations in terms of both content and design.

If you were hibernating last night here’s Rowan’s presentation – it might be common sense to some but since PowerPoint is one of the key tools used in business at present, it’s well worth a review:

View more presentations from Fortify Services.

During the Q&A, the point was raised that often, in an agency setting, the person compiling the presentation may not be the person doing the ‘razzle dazzle’ in the pitch or meeting. Responding to this Rowan emphasised the importance of rehearsing presentations before you deliver them.

Another member of the audience pointed out that eye-catching images that you talk over are all well and good to engage with people in a meeting, but when you’re asked to leave your presentation or email it to the client for review, they’ll do little to get your point across. The solution? Have two copies of your presentation as one presentation can not do two jobs i.e. the content and design that works best to sustain the interest of an audience will not be sufficient as a reference document. So have a snazzy presentation and an edited version or seperate document with more explanatory text to leave behind you when you leave.

The next Refresh Dublin event will be on the second last Wednesday of October. They’re free to attend and well worth a visit.