Completely off topic BUT before you deliver a presentation on PowerPoint I'd encourage you to read this post from Seth Godin.

It might sound strange coming from someone at Microsoft but I actually don't like PowerPoint that much. But before you cry heretic or someone drops a P45 in my pigeon-hole - let me explain.

PowerPoint was always designed as an aid to assist the presenter communicate their conceptual understanding visually. It seems simple but people present, and slides are used merely to reinforce the star of the show - YOU.

Also unless you have a photographic memory, mere mortals can only ever remember three things - which is why you're asked so often to "send through your slides". In my experience this is largely a waste of time as it clogs up someone's inbox with a slide-deck that they never actually look at again anyway. 

So last week I was sitting in a presentation and the laptop of the person presenting died as he was introducing himself and HIS company and would you believe it the power-supply didn't reach the point on the wall - DISASTER. Now I might be wrong but there is a possibility that this guy had actually forgotten his own name because it wasn't written on the projector behind him. Harsh possibly - but the next ten minutes was quite frankly painful and I left knowing nothing about him or his company.

Now - I'm not the world's best presenter either. My first presentation at Microsoft was nothing short of disastrous - but it taught me a lot about my own presentation style (something I now work on regularly) and the importance of what I'll call "naked presentations" - Don't worry it's not what you think.

So here's three tips (three only cause you're all mere mortals like me):

  1. Try and present without PowerPoint slides. (Naked Presentations) It will ensure you understand explicitly what your talking about and is actually really liberating because people actually listen to what your saying instead of staring at the screen or flipping through your presentation notes. Extraordinary but true.
  2. Then move onto presenting simple single concept slides. Look at any presentation delivered by Steve Jobs - yeah him. He is THE master of keeping it simple.
  3. As daunting as it may seem try and enjoy yourself. As Seth suggests presenting is about connecting emotionally to your audience. The nervous guy rarely makes the sale because your audience tunes out (see above) or is completely forgotten (see above).