|Photo (c) Djordje Zlatanovic
I’m Bruce Gabrielle, author of Speaking PowerPoint: the new language of business. This books shows business managers the 12-step method I teach in my full-day workshop to use PowerPoint to communicate more effectively.
I wrote Speaking PowerPoint after working in business for 15 years, including 5 years at Microsoft. I often attended meetings where the slides were packed so densely with text it was essentially inarticulate. Diagrams were jammed onto the slide, filling every corner. Colors were garish and amateurish. They were dreadful.
And the worst thing? These were often my slides.
My Journey: Reading Everything I Could Find
I wanted to use PowerPoint more effectively. So, I set out to learn everything I could about PowerPoint.
I read many books – Presentation Zen, Slideology, Beyond Bullet Points, The Seven-Slide Solution, Clear and to the Point, Advanced Presentations by Design, The Visual Slide Revolution.
Most of these books talked about graphic design rules. And the advice was to use less text, more pictures and more storytelling.
This is great advice if you’re giving a keynote speech. But in business, you need to show your data. Your slides often have to stand alone as a business document or handout. Complex problems need charts and diagrams and explanatory text.
There was no book that addressed this.
Reading Further: Research Proves What Works
So I started to read outside of PowerPoint books, starting with Edward Tufte, Stephen Few and Richard Mayer. I hunted down academic papers from the past 40 years done by advertising firms, educational researchers, lawyers, business communicators and others. I studied visual thinking, how emotion worked, cognitive science.
There was so much research! And it all pointed to one conclusion: PowerPoint, when used well, would make your message easier to understand, easier to agree with and easier to remember later.
In fact, it pointed to an even more profound conclusion. PowerPoint was not just a presentation software. It was more like a language – a visual language – that was not intuitive. It was very easy to start down the wrong path with PowerPoint and completely capsize your message.
But just as importantly, if you started down the right path, it was easy to create amazingly clear and persuasive slides. In fact, more and more businesses were using PowerPoint as everyday business documents. And for good reason. PowerPoint breaks ideas into discussion-sized chunks. PowerPoint forces brevity on writers. PowerPoint supports visuals.
In other words, PowerPoint was the new language of business communication. It was a critical 21st century business skill.
Speaking PowerPoint is Born
I pulled everything I learned into Speaking PowerPoint. This is the book I would have wanted to read when I first started building PowerPoint slides. This would have saved me hundreds of hours per year building slides, would have made my ideas clearer and more persuasive. I would have been proud of my slides.
I now run my own market research consultancy specializing in the high technology industry. I build PowerPoint slides for a living, and present them to executives, using the principles in my book. And I teach these principles in workshops for businesses, consulting firms, associations and business schools.
And the principles in my book work. They work for me. And they will work for you.
Get your copy of Speaking PowerPoint
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