Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

When you can't be there yourself, Powerpoint Speaker Notes

I had a situation recently. My attendance was required at two different off site meetings at the same time. I was supposed to be in Vermont to participate in a multi-day staff meeting with my boss to plan projects for the second half of FY '08 and I also was requested to be present in Palo Alto to present the details of how our portal platform works. Obviously I couldn't be in two places on opposite sides of the country at the same time and given that my boss is my boss, it was equally obvious which meeting I had to physically be at.

How'd I still participate in the Palo Alto meeting? PowerPoint Speaker Notes.

An example of an improved text slide, with notes (click to enlarge)

My friend Brian (inventor of Google Words) was going to be at the Palo Alto meeting and had seen me give the portal platform pitch many times, so I coached him on the points I try to emphasize and gave him details to cover in the speaker notes of each slide in PowerPoint. This is among the tactics I swear by in my series on PowerPoint Tactics and found it did the trick this time too.

When you can't be there yourself or if you are going to email slides out and not be there to represent the details when people are reading them on their own, placing detailed speaking points in the notes is a great way to provide context that would otherwise be missing.

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posted by Pete Johnson @ 1:47 PM   0 comments

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