There are a lot of different ways of communicating. You already know how to write an email, presumably a memo. When you're giving a presentation, you may look at the option of giving a PowerPoint presentation. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with using PowerPoint. You've heard a lot of people talk about death by PowerPoint, how they hate PowerPoint, how it's so awful and boring. Well, a lot of PowerPoint is but it doesn't have to be.
PowerPoint is just a medium. It's like television. If all you ever watch is the test pattern on Channel 2000, or what's being served for lunch of the local schools, and you don't have any kids in the local school. Well, that channel that TV is going to be boring and awful. But if you love watching Olympic ice skating or downhill racing, and you can't be at the Olympics, televisions great then So it all depends on what you put on the screen. It's exactly the same with PowerPoint.
I want to give you some principles that I think will really help you with your communication skills. And frankly, save you a lot of time. So many people go through all these lessons of learning how to put on builds and PowerPoint slides, inserting bullet points and changing all the graphic size. I would submit to you there's no evidence that any of that stuff actually enhances communication. Now, in my own practice of working with people one on one and live in person in groups all over the world. Here's what I found when I actually test real audiences everywhere.
People remember, images, they remember a slide if it has one idea on it, they do not remember complexity on slides. They do not remember lots of bullet points. People come to me all the time looking for some magic formula of Oh, it should be just three bullet points and seven words per bullet point right? All now that's better than 50 bullet points and 1000 words. But I don't have any evidence and neither do you. But having three bullet points on a slide, seven words per slide actually helps the audience remember your messages.
The only thing I find that works is an image, a picture, a graph, if it's really simplified a chart that only has one relationship between two variables, but the best thing is a picture or some type of a drawing that makes your idea come alive. The whole point of a PowerPoint slide is that it takes some idea that you're talking about and makes it more understandable than you just saying it. And it makes it more memorable than you just saying, if it doesn't do both of those things. throw it in the garbage can. Or you can give it as a handout, email to people have a PDF, put it on your web page. But don't stand up and show it to people.
All but teacher if I don't have all my bullet points or how do I know what to say? As we talked about right in the beginning of this course, use a piece of paper for your outline. Do not use your PowerPoint. As your notes your outline is the poor man's poor woman's teleprompter. The slides are for your audience. If you need reminders, use a good old fashioned piece of paper.