PowerPoint Tips: Quickly improve presentations by 80%


By Ellen Finkelstein

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, states that, in many situations, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For example, Microsoft noted that by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs, 80% of the errors and crashes would be eliminated. In The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss, the author recommends focusing one’s attention on the 20% of tasks that contribute to 80% of one’s income.

What 20% of your time spent on presentations contributes to 80% of your results? And what is the time sink that takes up much of your time without yielding the results you want?

Many people spend 80% of their time on creating slides and 20% of their time on the following:

1. Working on great content

2. Finding the best way to show their message

3. Delivering the presentation

Yet these 3 points provide most of the results you are looking to get from your presentation.

Here’s my list of quick ways you can improve your presentations a lot:

1. Start by scheduling the time you need to prepare, including filling out a planner, writing your script, and speaking it out. When you speak it out, time it and record it. Listen to the recording and edit.

2. Storyboard your slides, based on your planner. Figure out the best way to show your points, including data, images, video, and diagrams.

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This excerpt is shared with permission from ellenfinkelstein.com.

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