Room to Improve…my Powerpoint presentation

How I improved my Powerpoint presentation

I had the privilege of being invited to present a workshop entitled ‘5 Take Aways to Get you Speaking with Impact’ for Kerry Businesswomen’s Network and LEO Kerry on Friday 23rd February at the Rose Hotel, Tralee. In preparation for the workshop, which was going to include a Powerpoint presentation, I pulled out the book ‘Awful Presentations’ by Barry Brophy, as I had listened to him speak at a Women’s Inspire Coffee morning back in December 2017, and subsequently bought his book.


Death by powerpoint- Text heavy powerpoint presentations!

It’s funny because I would have felt that I’m not too text heavy in my presentations, and that I use slides to assist my talk, rather than being reliant on them. However, reading through Barry’s book, I realised that I still had plenty to learn, and so I did a complete overhaul of my slides, with a focus on eliminating any unnecessary text and instead portraying things visually. It’s a bit like when you start doing something and then you can’t go back, so despite the fact that there were several points where I thought, “No more, making this presentation visual is too much like hard work,” and  “I have no idea how to make this Powerpoint presentation visual,” I’d take a deep breath and keep going. Often it was in the moments when I stopped thinking about it, an idea would come to me.

The other key piece of advice that I took on board was having the outline of the presentation in a visual format, with your own symbols/images/colours to represent different aspects of it, such as lecturing, group discussion, group work, with just key words for reminders….So I found my presentation notes resembled an interesting form of hieroglyphics! (Some would argue that my handwriting typically could be hieroglyphics given its legibility!)

So like any good up-do show, here are a few before and after images!


presentation skills, Powerpoint, nervous speaker

Re-frame nervous as excited: Original slide


presentation skills, Powerpoint, nervous speaker

Reframe nervous as excited: Revised slide



BEFOREpresentation skills, Powerpoint, nervous speakers

nervous speaker, speaking, Powerpoint, presentation skills

The difference between feeling nervous and excited about speaking



So, a big thank you to Barry Brophy for a great book, and for changing the way I do my presentations…even if it places quite a stretch on my creative skills!

Other articles which may interest you:

Why (just) calm down is bad advice for nervous speakers

7 quick tips when speaking to a crowd


About linda

Linda Coyle is a Speech and Language Therapist and is the founder of Voice Capitalisation. Through this Linda assists people in strengthening their vocal ability while developing a confident and charismatic voice to be able to handle all speaking situations.

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