How many times have you sat in a presentation and had no idea what’s on the slides because they’re just too small. It’s so simple to put right. Here’s what you do.
Make them bigger!
Which means having fewer slides and fewer points on each. Have five slides with five points on each is a good idea. If you reckon you can’t fit in all your wonderful points, then take a walk and think about what you really want people to remember at the end of your presentation. Just put those points down.
Bigger is much better. And less is much more.
When you next have an office meeting – do it standing up. People with disabilities and minute takers can, of course, be seated if necessary.
Standing for meetings helps concentrate the mind and makes sure that people don’t talk for too long (with too many papers). If a meeting becomes longer than it is comfortable to stand, take a 15 minute break (to sit down) or reconvene the meeting at a later date.
Easyjet have their meetings standing up, and it doesn’t seem to have done them any harm.
If you find yourself listening to a boring presentation (or a series of them!) at a potentially important conference, try playing buzzword bingo.
As the speaker/s starts to use general buzz words and phrases (agenda, driving, delivering, key, moving forward, manage bright ideas and more specialist jargon words and abbreviations, list them on your notepad. As the speaker/s repeat them, tick the relevant word/phrase (but avoid shouting ‘bingo’ when you get 5 ticks!)
This serves two purposes: It helps to keep your mind on what the speaker is saying (you’re listening and note-taking) and, at the end of the session/conference, you have a succinct record of what the speaker/s covered.
This look happens to come out at most meetings. Especially long ones. That momentary lapse of concentration, the unintentional double meaning, the unconscious hearing what I wanted to hear not what was said. Ten people walk out and there’s ten slightly different versions of what was said and what was decided. It’s easily done. And easily fixed too.
Agree that a few, maybe three, people will give an extra half an hour after the meeting to sit together to sort out who said what, who might be left with left over feelings about this or that and to pull together one version of events. No, its not rocket science. Most bright ideas aren’t. But they work a treat.
Keywords: meetings, communicating, facilitating