As a presenter, you are creating more presentations with more slides, but you are less than happy with the time it takes, the quality of the result and the amount of time you actually rehearse. These are the findings of an Internet survey conducted by PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Bajaj and presentation coach and author Claudyne Wilder.
The survey, conducted over two and a half months in 2004, polled 750 professionals who create slideshows and deliver presentations as part of their jobs. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they create between one and 30 electronic slideshows annually, and two-thirds present the slideshows in front of an audience.
Although the respondents are creating and presenting regularly, only 22 percent of them said they were "very satisfied" with the quality of their presentations. And 25 percent of the respondents suspected that some of their presentations were "a waste of time."
From the survey results, Bajaj and Wilder were able to identify four major trends:
1 Too many slides
When asked what they would change about their presentations, an overwhelming 88 percent said their presentations were overly packed with slides, even to the point of being detrimental to the message. Half of the people said they would like to cut down on the amount of slides they present by 20 percent.
2 Too much prep time
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they spent more than three hours creating a slideshow for a 30-minute talk, and 61 percent used a canned template with content that required them to "sometimes or always" redo the template. Some 60 percent of participants said they could save between one and three hours of preparation time if they did not have to regularly redo the company presentation template.
3 Lack of effective images and graphics
Many of the presenters wished for more effective slide templates and images in their presentations. Among those who used company designed templates or backgrounds, more than 40 percent felt these were ineffective or not worth using.
Only 15 percent said their company provided predesigned tables, graphics and images that were actually relevant to their presentation's subject matter. The other 85 percent said they spent a great deal of prep time creating their own images and charts.
4 Not enough rehearsal
Despite the admonition of presentation experts to practice, practice, practice, only 38 percent of survey participants said they rehearsed for their presentations. Among those who admitted this, 83 percent agreed that rehearsing would have improved their skills. Survey co-author Claudyne Wilder suspects that the high amount of slide-preparation time cuts into delivery rehearsal time. "People don't practice because they are busy trying to organize content and animate their slides," she says. The survey results in their entirety can be found at: www.indezine.com/art....
Geetesh bajaj is a regular contributor to Presentations magazine.