Rock Your Presentation! Develop Unique Slide Decks That Support Your Message

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Rock Your Presentation! Develop Unique Slide Decks That Support Your Message Featuring Michael Gibson

Rock your Presentation, does speaking in public make you nervous? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. We all have a little be of trepidation prior to the presentation. One theory is that if you are prepared and know your material you can mitigate some of that anxiety. Part of that preparation is developing an awesome slide deck to support your story, not tell it.

About Michael 

Hello! My name is Mike. I am a husband, father, friend, author, trainer, facilitator and presenter.

It is an honor to help people deliver Big Presentations in Small Rooms.  When these presentations are given, it is a breath of fresh air!

Workplace presentations can be a beat down for everyone involved.  Unwanted work for the presenter, unwanted time loss for the audience.  Unwanted stress and frustration for everyone. 

You don’t want this!

Thankfully, there is hope.  Presenters can deliver helpful and time-efficient information.  They can overcome the fear of speaking and become comfortable being upfront.  Audience members benefit from the informative presentations and don’t feel like they are wasting time!

You can become the person whom people are relieved to see.  Because you developed the skill of giving big presentations in small rooms, people trust you and can hear what you have to say.  They will see you walk in and think, “Oh good.  I was hoping it would be you!”

This public speaking ability is within reach.  You can do it!  I can help!

More about Michael

Mike Gibson is a facilitator and instructional designer. He develops and presents materials for live classes and online classes.  Mike has been writing and teaching for twenty-five years. Mike has facilitated training across multiple organizational levels in corporations, municipalities, and non-profits.  He has led over 800 live classes, and his online classes have reached thousands of employees.  Mike has trained trainers and speakers for municipalities across Texas. Mike lives with his wife in Fort Worth, TX. 

The four kids are now adults!  Mike’s free time is invested in family adventures and volunteer opportunities. Mike is the author of the book Big Presentations in Small Rooms. He wrote this book out of a desire to help others develop the ability to give awesome presentations that are beneficial to both the presenter and the audience. In addition to his book, Mike is also available to provide speeches and live classes for your organization. Contact me for more information.

Mike Gibson’s experience spans multiple fields connected by a few common threads.  He spent years in ministry, public school teaching, non-profit programming, professional development training, and instructional design.  The common threads are encouragement, communication, and development.

Mike’s work guides thousands of people across multiple settings.  He helps organizations improve workplace culture and then improve the performance within that culture.  Mike’s curriculum and teaching is used by a variety of live trainers and is featured in online learning libraries.

Mike’s book Big Presentation in Small Rooms will be available in 2021.

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Business Podcast » Presentation » Rock Your Presentation! Develop Unique Slide Decks That Support Your Message

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Rock Your Presentation! Develop Unique Slide Decks That Support Your Message Featuring Michael Gibson

Sat, 7/10 10:06AM • 1:12:41


presentation, image, people, audience, question, slide, creates, presenter, slide deck, read, handout, message, screen, information, talk, visuals, big, picture, font, presenting


Mike, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:00

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host, Roy, of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics, trying to help, maybe shine the light on some things that we may not know, that can help our business. But then also maybe trying to bring some help to build things that keep us up at night where we can, you know, be a little bit more successful, have a little bit more time for ourselves.

Today, we’re lucky to have Mike Gibson, he is a facilitator and instruction instructional designer. He develops and presents materials for live classes and online classes. He has been writing and teaching for 25 years and has facilitated training across multiple organizational levels, in corporations, municipalities and not for profits. And that is probably I will speak I’m not going to speak for him. But say that’s probably the impetus for writing his latest book, Big Presentations In Small Rooms, Know Your Audience, Know Your Message and Make the Connection. And just Just so you know, I do have a copy for myself. I’ve been looking through this. My first off, welcome to the show.

Mike  01:18

Oh, thanks, man. It is so good to be here. It’s great to connect with you. And also to connect with your audience. I look forward to being able to share some helpful information today.

Roy Barker  01:27

Yeah. And the other cool thing is, Mike is just across town, we actually both live in Fort Worth, Texas. So that’s pretty cool. You don’t i don’t run into. I’ve got guests from all over the world. But I think you may be the first from from Fort Worth here. So that’s awesome. Yes. Well, that’s probably a little bit of your story. But I’m just I’m telling you, we had a little pre-show discussion. And we’ve had a couple of talks before. And, you know, I’m really excited about this. There’s a lot of things to talk about. But before we do that, you know, talk a little bit about how you got into this, you know, the instructional design and focusing on presentations, and then also a little bit, you know, really, what spurred you to write the book. Okay, good, good. Yes. Well,

Michael’s Story

Mike  02:13

I have been teaching all of my adult life. Part of the way that I am wired, leads me to look at whatever I’m given in terms of materials, and immediately ask, how could this be better. And of course, you know, I’m wired to present in a specific way.

And I want to stay true to my personality and my approach, and not all curricula is created to suit me. So I got into instructional design simply because I wanted to present material that matched my priorities, but also match the way that I like to teach. So I have never been one just to be a plug and play type person, life might be easier for me if I were more. Right. But I love to take things and make them better. Well, thankfully, that became a recognized as a talent. And so organizations I would work with would say, would you do for other curriculum sets?

What you did for this one? So that was the beginning of my experience with instructional design was just doing what I would naturally do to prepare for a presentation, and then do that really, for other facilitators and teachers, as well. Okay. Well,

Roy Barker  03:44

you know, it’s, I think it’s been highlighted the last year, of course, with zoom meetings, it’s like, everything’s been on a deck. And you know, we’ve just, it’s like presentation after presentation, which I, personally, I like it, I’m, I don’t I’m not zoom fatigue, or I like being on it, I think, because I can have more concise meetings, get the points across with some, you know, with some in times, whereas sometimes when you meet in person, things linger, get out of control.

But so anyway, but I think it’s really shed a light on, you know, the presentation and process. So I think, a timely guest to have you on because I feel like we’re going to continue to do more and more of this. It’s not, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to where we were, we may not be doing as much but I still think the need for it. And just that even if you’re in person that Chris. Clear, decisive messaging. Yes, I

Mike  04:43

think that’s good. And it will be interesting to see in years to come, how this experience shapes the live experience and makes it even better specifically regarding what the audience is seeing on a screen. So I think you’re onto something good. Yeah, it’s Good to take a a learner’s mindset to be always thinking, what is this teaching me that I could use another settings as well. And I think you’re right, I think presentations will hopefully become better because of this need to make them better for this virtual zoom meeting type, type environment. So I’m excited today to talk about that to talk about slide development and things that we can do that will make that visual element of our presentation even better.

Know Your Audience

Roy Barker  05:32

Yeah, and I think the, you know, the three caveats that you have on on the cover of the book that know your audience, know your message, and make the connection. And don’t think you really could have been much more concise about that.

Because those are the, you know, those are the three keys, I mean, we have to know what we’re presenting, and there’s nothing worse than being in a presentation where the, you know, the speakers fumbling through because, you know, they just didn’t know what you know, or they didn’t do research to get to where they need to be. And then also the audience is important, and then make that connection. I mean, it’s so important to connect with the audience, because, you know, you look around a lot of times, and it’s, I don’t notice it as much on zoom.

But you know, and when you’re in live meetings, like people be that can see if they Polish their shoes this morning, or if they got same colored shoes on or, you know, the is this, your mind can wander if you don’t enjoy or if you’re not engaged.

So let’s start at the beginning, if you don’t mind, we’re gonna go way back. Because this morning, as I was drinking my coffee, thinking about this interview, I got taken back to not that long ago, in my lifetime, where we had transparencies, and you actually, for those that don’t know, it’s like a piece of it’s a hard piece of plastic, kind of like almost a piece of paper, but you wrote on it, put it on this overhead projector that were illuminated on the wall.

And, you know, it’s like, it was difficult, because he had if you decide if you had 10, transparencies, and you decided to reshift some information, guess what, you got to start all over again. So then we you know, I guess I feel like we kind of came into the, the PowerPoint world. Then it was about the G Wiz and all the gimmicks that you could make text fly in and blind away.

And just, I mean, you could spend hours and hours, just the trickery of it all. Then, you know, and then we kind of moved into this, oh, my gosh, you know, I’m tired of all that. Let’s just get to the black and white of, you know, words in black, white background, get your message across. And I know that the reality is, there’s somewhere in the middle there to be engaging, you know, and to get your message. So let’s, where I’m gonna let you pick a point where you want to start with all that. Okay,

Mike  08:00

well, let’s, let’s start at this foundational level that that you’ve already alluded to, that the purpose of the presentation, is to reflect the fact that you know, your stuff, right, I know your audience, and you’re determined to make that connection. So your presentation should support those goals that should support your message. The and when I say presentation, you know, I’m thinking in terms of your message. So your slide deck, maybe we should make sure we have our terminology clear, your slide deck should be to support your message, your slide deck should not be your message. So if someone could read through your slide deck and know everything that you’re going to say, you’ve created a redundancy,

Roy Barker  08:53

right? So do you need to be there our days are slide deck need to be working. We could have just emailed that to you. And you could read that in your spare time.

Mike  09:01

Yes. And that is that is a common source of frustration in in the business world is I had to come to this meeting, and sit and listen to the presenter read their slide deck to me, right? I could have read it a lot faster on my own, and got on about my business. So it’s, it’s not to be your presentation. Another way we could say that is your slide deck is not to be your script, right?

You should not be reading your presentation to the audience. Your slide deck should not be your handout. If you have a handout containing a lot of detailed information, let it be just that right PDF that you send out or print out on paper that you have to give to them. But protect, protect that slide deck so that it can function truly as a support for your message. So it makes perfect sense given what you’re going to say. But it should not be To stand alone, without you even being there, right?

Goal in Mind

Roy Barker  10:04

Yeah, nothing. I was just thinking. So, you know, what are some of our messages, I mean, most of the time where you’re trying to, we’re trying to sell somebody on something, it’s like, we’re either trying to sell our product or our service to you as my prospect. We’re trying to sell an idea to maybe upper management or to our team. You know, I guess there are times that we, you know, maybe we report on the state of affairs, where it’s more just like, you know, here’s what’s happening.

And then we also think about like, results, if we, if we did sell you, if I did sell you a project, as the worker then is like, now I’m reporting on, you know, how this is going. So, you know, I guess we kind of have to start with, you know, what is our message that we really want? You know, I guess not the actual words or context of the message, but what is the overall thing I need to get you to start buying into what I’m telling you,

Mike  10:59

right, that’s good, have that goal in mind, what is the what’s the purpose of my message, and then make sure that your slide deck is supporting that purpose. So if it is informational, then it’s going to make more sense that there will be more data involved in that presentation. However, that does not mean that all the data needs to be on the same slide, right? Or all the data 100% of it has to be on screen, there might be some of it that can be given in a different format, format, digitally or on on paper.

So we’re making sure that what we provide for the audience is going to best meet their need, where they have the information that they need to understand the current situation or to make a decision regarding what will be the future situation. So I think you’re you’re wise and pointing out there are these different reasons for presentations. Yeah. So this isn’t a one size fits all approach, and need to make sure that what you’re doing meets the audience needs. Yeah. However, there are a few guidelines that we can follow, that will that will help us meet a wide variety of needs. Right? Right.

So for example, the size of the text on the screen. That’s an important thing. in, in, in my world, I, in the big presentations and small rooms, that I have delivered and trainings that I’ve delivered, I’ve discovered that a general rule is to not have a font size smaller than 28. And usually, the upper end was around 44. But that could the upper end can expand depending on what the need is, right. So if you really want to emphasize something you could have larger than he could have a 76 size font, if it helps you meet the needs of the audience, right. But I would say that that same thing is not going to hold true on the other end of the spectrum, if you get much below 28, then you’re losing effectiveness probably in two ways.

One way you’re losing effectiveness is that people are distracted because they’re having to squint. Or you see them pulling out their glasses, or you know, they’re just having trouble physically reading the information that’s there. That’s one way. Another thing you may be running into is if you’re getting much below 28. You have to ask yourself why? Why am I tempted to use such a small font size? It might be that you have too much text on your screen, and

Roy Barker  13:37

very much on the page I’ve done. Know that yeah.

Mike  13:42

So general rules like that can help you also, another general rule is to think like if you’re if you are creating your slide deck on a laptop, think about how big your screen is, is it a 717 inch screen a 21 eight inch screen, create your slide, put it up full screen and step back from your laptop, the number of feet that your laptop is wide or big. So for example, you got a 17 inch screen, step back 17 feet from your screen, see if you can read it.

Okay, so then you’re probably going to be okay, that probably what you’ll find is that 28 to 44 size font will come into play with that. Now that that tip about stepping away from the screen, the number of feet that your screen is in inches is from a a resource by Nancy Duarte called slide ology, which is I mean, this is like my Bible first slide design. She has another book more about visual storytelling called resonate, and then came out with a third book that’s kind of a combination of the two. So if you want both, and I’d look for that because hvR produced that It’s a combination of the two. Okay, great, great resource.

So Nancy Duarte, if you search her maze, she’s got tons of material out there. That’s her. That’s her specialty is visuals for presentations. And she’s the one who talked about backup from the screen, see if you can still read it. So you want your text, that’s a big general rule you want your text to be readable from wherever the audience is going to be. Yeah, there have been times when, if it were a larger room than where I was used to, as soon as I got the projection up, I would go to the very back of the room, make sure that I could read it. Yeah,

Check Out The Room

Roy Barker  15:37

that’s a good point that I don’t hear it as much as I used to. But I would always go check out the room, if possible. Because, you know, to me, it matters if you’re presenting in a broom closet, versus an auditorium with 100 people. And not only, I think, not only for the size and the visuals, but you know, it also kind of got me prepared because there’s nothing worse than, well, it works both ways. You show up for presentation and you’re thinking 100 people in there’s three or you show up thinking there’s three and there’s 100 right. So it to me, it’s uh, you know, I guess it’s just part of my getting ready for it. It’s always good.

Mike  16:17

Yeah, that’s good. And most of the time, those things are fairly easy to check out. Now. You know, what, what’s the room going to be? Like? Do I have access to the room ahead of time? How many people do we think are going to be there? And even if it’s, even if there is a sense of continuity, like you’ve done this kind of, you’ve done a presentation here for this company, or maybe it’s your own workplace, you know, we’re presentation, they happen in the meeting room, right? Being able to confirm that that’s where it’s going to happen this time might be helpful, because it might be that that meeting room was booked. And they have to move you to a much bigger or a much smaller room. Just because scheduling.

Roy Barker  16:49

Yeah, we’ll say not only we won’t, we’ll take presentations off the table and just say that it will help to show up in the right place. Don’t be standing outside the wrong conference during DOJ. Get in and find out. Oh, yeah. When we move that three floors.

Mike  17:05

Right. Well, I’ve had that happen. Because the the organization that I was doing training for, sent me to the wrong room.

Roy Barker  17:15

Oh my god.

Mike  17:16

So I’m in there, I have my stuff set up and wondering why no one’s showing up, and then make a few quick phone calls and realize there’s 20 people waiting for me, three floors up?

Roy Barker  17:29

I don’t know for me, that’s just the very worst, because now you kind of get all you know, you get all nervous, not nervous, but you just you know, you’re in a hurry. You rush like things just in the go bad from there.

Mike  17:40

Wow. Yeah, you have to take such a humble approach to things like that, because Because for me, it was the people who hired me that sent me to the wrong place, right. So I, I’m not gonna throw them under my bus, under the bus, they hired me, I want to honor them. Which means I kind of have to take the blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Right? Even though that’s where I was sent. And try to be as humble and positive and move forward as quickly as possible in situations like that. So listeners made if you have something like that happen, make sure you’re protecting those, even those who may have sent you to the wrong place, because you want to guard that relationship. Because you’re gonna have to work with them. Or maybe they are maybe they are your true customer in that situation.

Roy Barker  18:26

Exactly. Yeah. So no, I didn’t mean to get off topic and interrupt if you want if you had some more, you know, General points that you wanted to cover after the screen and stepping back. Sorry, didn’t


mean Yeah, no, no, that was that

Size Presentation For Room

Mike  18:39

was a fun. That was a fun tangent with a good story behind it. So we’ve got text is something to keep in mind, make sure that text is visible. Of course, many times images can be helpful, yes. But we want to be careful with those images. It’s good if you can have a simple and powerful image that helps support your idea. So whatever’s on the screen behind you should make perfect sense, given what you’re saying. They shouldn’t be wondering why it doesn’t seem to match what he’s saying and what’s on the screen. It should flow together. easily. Yeah.

So if if you’re talking about taking on a challenge, and you have a mountain climber on the scene behind you, that makes sense, because we’re talking about taking on a challenge. So you want to make sure that those things work together. There was a time we’re getting away from the sun, but there was a time when we would make the image smaller than it needed to be. Because then we would make the point of the image and text instead of just relying on the image to communicate on its own, which it should be able to do, right. And if it’s supporting your message, you should be the one making the connection verbally. Right? Not having them read that connection off of the screen. You know,

Roy Barker  19:57

and I was gonna ask you, I’ve seen some press tations more geared towards, you know, we’ll talk probably a little bit more about this in depth in a minute. But, you know, the old rule, I guess was, you know, about five bullet points that you could read, no write sentences out, but they should be more captions.

And then I’ve seen where some are, like you said, it’s just a slide with a picture. And then you just wrap words around the picture. You know, I guess that’s easier if you’re telling the story or trying to sell but if, you know, if it’s data Laden, where you have to have numbers, there’s not much way you can get around that.

But the other thing is, so about personalizing images, if you can, I don’t know, man, I’ll put this as a question. But like, when I talk about blogging, you know, we always say I always say, it’s always better if you can personalize it with the picture of you make it, it helps the your people, audience prospects, who ever connect with you. If if you’re a dog lover, and you like to go out in the trails, and you know, a cool picture of you and your dog in the trails, if it matches the story is good. And so how is that like if I’m pitching a new product? And, you know, maybe I’ve got Joe, Mike’s that product, and I got a picture of him holding the prototype versus some stock image off of you know, wherever?

Mike  21:25

Yes, yes. Good observation there. Good question. Yeah. It goes back to knowing your message, knowing your audience and making the connection, does that image help those things happen? And it might be that having you know, the person who designed the product, in the image with the product, especially if it’s something that’s in house, look what we did, right. And it also shines a spotlight on the person, the developer of this product, kind of setting him up to be able to be like the hero of this part of the story.

That’s a good thing. images that involve ourselves, I think, I think we need to be careful with because we don’t want the audience to think that we’re trying to make this message about us. Right? Right, we want the message to the goal of the message to stay forefront in our minds, right. And so all images should help lead toward that. So if an image that involves us helps to lead toward that, that’s fine. But make sure you are in no way creating an impression, even if it’s a false impression that you’re trying to make this all about you. Right, good people will become cynical, pretty quickly. And not want to listen to listen to you as much. Yeah.

Images and Videos

Roy Barker  22:47

Right. So when we’re on images, what about videos, they, you know, when YouTube came up, that became a big thing, but then all of a sudden, it was like, turn to make them work. It became, you know, even though the best laid plans, I tested this at home, and then he got up in front of everybody and an internet connection is bad, or the video doesn’t play or, you know, still, what about Yes, yes.

Mike  23:11

So two, two observations about video usage. One is, anytime a new form of of communication becomes easily accessible, it’s easy for it to be abused. Kinda like we were talking about earlier, when, when PowerPoint first came into being and there’s all these different bells and whistles attached to it, people felt the need to use them all even though they weren’t, they were more of a distraction than a help. A similar thing can happen with with video. So we want to keep that high standard, does the video support the message? The second thing is that if you’re going to use a video, download it to your hard drive, do not do not rely on any kind of internet connection to be able to share it with your audience. Because you’re I mean, that’s something you don’t have total control up.

Roy Barker  24:07


Mike  24:08

right. So whenever I’m using a video, I always figure out a way to have it on my hard drive and figure out a way to have it. So all I have to do is click Next on my clicker or you know, a presentation remote, and it plays so we want it to be as seamless as possible. Unfortunately, some presenters distract from their message because they get to the video and they’re like, Oh, I got to go walk around behind my laptop and, you know, move the mouse around the screen to hit play. When it’s not that much effort to just make it the next animation. You click it, it plays. Yeah, you’re good to go.

Roy Barker  24:45

And you bring up a good point. It’s like everything numbers. Every time you talk about something you bring up another good point. We’re gonna we’ll get back to the overview here in a little bit, I promise but you bring up a clicker, and you know, I’ve got one that’s no good. probably cost 1015 bucks years ago, it’s reasonably priced. But I like to, to walk around depending on the, you know, if you’re in front of like a, what, like more of a theater where people are setting and looking at you, it’s loose, you can move side to side a little bit more.

But if it’s a conference room, you know, I kind of like to walk around as I’m talking and click, because in I guess there’s a happy medium, because sometimes you see people standing up at the front, and it’s, you know, down pushing buttons, and I don’t, to me, it’s not engaging, even though their message, it’s distracting. And I don’t feel like they’re, they’re engaging with me. So what’s the, you know, what do you think about that about the roving around the clickers versus standing at the front of the room? You know, head down, punching some buttons?

Mike  25:51

Yes, yes. I think the, the key of what you’re talking about here is, is engagement, you want to be connecting with the audience, right? And anything that comes between you and the audience can function as a barrier, whether that’s your laptop on a stand, or you know, in some places, they may even have a big old podium, right, where all the audience can see is, is from your shoulders up, right? It’s a massive visual barrier.

So I, I like to my preference, is to move away from those barriers as much as possible, okay. And if I need to reference my screen, then I try to have it set in a way where I don’t have to be behind it to see it, right.

Like, I may have it set, setting at an angle, where all I have to do is look to my diagonally to my left, to glance at it, and then keep presenting. And, you know, for some people, the business presentations they are having to deliver, were by necessity, created in a short amount of time, simply because the flow of the business things are moving so fast, we need this information. And some of it may be data heavy. So they are having to refer to information, right, it’s just the reality that they’re dealing with, I would encourage them to make the most of the presenter notes, part of their program, and have their information there, and then have that their laptop set up in a way that it can function as a monitor.

So all they have to do is glance over at it, to see the next section of information that they need to share with their audience. And try try to avoid standing behind it and just reading from those from those notes as much as possible. As much as possible, you want to do that, given the reality that you have to deal with. Try to be as engaging as possible, given the information and how much you have to visually access it in order to stay accurate.

Because something some things that are number heavy, you do not want to say the wrong numbers, right? You’re having to be very careful with that. So it might be that you’re even telling the audience, I want to make sure that that every number I tell you is accurate. So you’ll see me referring to this information, because I want to make sure that it is presented accurately. And and they’ll they’ll understand that.

Roy Barker  28:23

Yeah, and I think that’s another good point you bring up about, you know, the open and honesty with the audience, things like that. It doesn’t hurt. It’s, there’s no, there’s no magic behind this. Everybody knows how to do it and just saying, hey, look, maybe some fresh numbers are coming in, you know, came in last night or this morning that I’m gonna have to refer to this and you know, it. I think it just lets people know, the reason why not that you’re not prepared. But there’s just some other stuff going on.

And, you know, it’s kind of like myself, I’d take notes as we go through this. And, you know, I always tell guests, I don’t think we talked about but I usually tell guests Look, I’m not texted in my lunch order. You know, while I’m doing this, I’m actually taking notes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, cuz I, you know, I definitely learned a lot off of this. So anyway, a lot of great information. You want to go back to your to your overview point, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. He just talked about a couple of things I thought were very pertinent there.

Mike  29:23

One more thing to add there. If you’re having to access information to share with the audience, another way that you can create an engagement with them is to be accessing things from a different source. So if you have some information that you’re accessing on the screen and your presenter notes, you may have other information in print. So you can say, hey, I want to share this with you.

And just your act of picking this thing up and accessing the information in a different way. Yeah, it’s something that helps hold the audience interest because oh, okay, so he’s going to it’s just a simple thing. But it’s it’s movement and action and you accessing information in a different way. And there’s something about reading something from paper, that is a different vibe than reading something from a screen, right? So you can take advantage of that difference as you as you connect with, with your audience.


Roy Barker  30:17

Well, that leads then leads to another thing is handouts are no handouts.

Mike  30:22

It depends on the situation, if you need to share a lot of data, but you want to be providing them an overview of that data first, then have the data and have that information in a handout. Okay, and let them know, hey, I’ve got all the details that I’m referring to that I’m given an overview of, I’ve got this in a handout, I’ll be given that to you here in a second. The way I would prefer to do it, you can’t always get away with this.

But the way I would prefer to do it is to have their attention on me for the overview, because you know what’s going to happen if you give them the handout? Exactly. And I would tend to do the same thing, you give me a handout, I’m in it, you know, I’m reading it, especially if it’s if it’s a, you know, a high risk situation, or high potential situate, I’m excited about it, I’m going to access that handout, and I’m not going to hear a word, they’re saying,

Roy Barker  31:10

anxiety, I’m

Mike  31:10

reading this stuff. So if you want the best focus, then keep their focus on you in a way that’s not obnoxious. Because if you hand them the handout, and then say, Hey, don’t look at that handout that doesn’t come across too well. When you say, hey, I want to give you some information. And I’ll be providing more details for you. That’s a very natural thing, you’re not handing them something and then kind of taking it away from him again, by saying Don’t, don’t read this stuff. So there are things that you could do that help keep the audience focus where you need it to be while also making sure they have the information that they need. Okay.

Roy Barker  31:45

Which also, I’m going to wear you out with all these questions before we get back to the the overview, but it’s like, you know, a lot of good stuff, I have to admit, I would be in present presentation, jail for life sentence with all the mistakes that I’ve made over the years, you know, doing this. That’s why I have so many questions, because I’ve done all this that we know.

Mike  32:07

We’re not making the same mistakes over and over again, we’re continually making progress. Right, exactly. And a lot of this stuff is lessons, I’ve had to learn the hard way, and then discover that people had written about it. Afterwards, I wish I’d have done more research on the beginning in myself to avoid some of the mistakes that I’ve made over over the years.

Roy Barker  32:25

So let’s talk about questions on both sides. Number one, we can all talk about injecting questions to the audience. But then the other part of this is do we feel questions? I guess a lot of it depends on the size, the length and all of that, but the intimacy, but is it better to feel questions as we go? Or is it better to say, Hey, why don’t you get a piece of paper, write down all your questions, we’ll talk about them at the end.

Mike  32:55

Some of that is a function of size, the smaller the group, the more naturally conversational something can be. What what I like to do is to present in a way that allows for questions along the way, but not at any at any time. Okay. And I don’t state that. So occasionally, I will have someone who raises their hand and ask a question. And most the time, I’ll just answer it right, then because that’s the easiest way to get back on track is provide that information then and then move on. Every once in a while.

There’ll be a question. That’s a good it’s a good question. But it’s concerning content that’s coming in about five minutes, right? Even then use some wisdom. Yeah, because you don’t want to create a sense of frustration. But you also don’t want to steal too much of the thunder of what’s coming in, in five minutes. So you kind of have to make a judgment call there. Some of it can be guided simply by the type of presence that you bring into the situation. So I usually don’t have a lot of questions midstream. But I usually do at intervals, say, Alright, so we talked about this, this and this

Any questions about that content before we move forward? And then allow 1015 seconds of silence or so which seems like forever, right? But it’s really not that long. And sometimes, well, quite often, I have to count it off slowly in my mind, when that was one of those to make sure I’m providing that space for them to think about whether they have a question, and then to ask it if they do. Because what you’ll see happen a lot with presenters is because time passes differently in their mind. What happens to the audience is the presenter says,

Does Anyone Have Questions

Roy Barker  34:43

Hey, anybody got any questions? Good.

Mike  34:45

Okay, let’s keep moving. What in their mind, they allowed 10 seconds, but in reality, it was more like a second and a half read. And that creates a sense of frustration from the audience because they’re like, I didn’t even get to think about whether I had a question or not. Yeah. So hopefully that’s that’s how

Roy Barker  35:00

Yeah, no, no, I think that’s pretty much kind of my general guidelines. If I’m doing like four or five people, I usually say in the beginning, you know, stop me, and let’s have questions as we go. So we don’t, you know, don’t want you to forget, I don’t want you to get frustrated. But you know, if we got 2025 people, you know, my instructions at the beginning are usually, Hey, get a piece of paper, you’re gonna have questions, probably write them down.

If I don’t answer them, you know, in the, as this presentation goes further than, you know, we can talk about them at the end. So I just think it’s nice to kind of set that set that up from the beginning, especially if you’re going to ask them to take notes and hold them to the end, at least they’re prepared and they’re not, they don’t get frustrated, like, hey, this guy, we’re gonna be quiet long enough to get this question in here.

Mike  35:48

Yeah, that’s true. And, you know, so much does depend on the purpose of your message. So some of what you’re talking about, would, would tend to be more applicable, if we’re in a teaching type, right? Setting a lot of business presentations, they’re providing an update, or they’re asking for permission to go in a certain direction, which is kind of a sales type of approach to presenting information, or they may be directly selling a product to an organization. And in those cases, the audience has a lot more power.

Yeah. And so it’d be more natural for someone to maybe even interrupt and say, Hey, what about this, I need to clarify this before we move on. It’s a different dynamic, right. And of course, in some high pressure, very time pressured situations, a presenter may realize pretty quickly that they’re going to go into this presentation, realizing that what was supposed to have been allowed allowed seven minutes, is cut off at two, because someone in the audience who has the authority says, That’s enough. We need to move on our God, we got what we need, and then your other five minutes is just gone.

Right. And as soon as you know that, that might be the situation, then you realize you need to Front Load your presentation with the most important information there, right, just in case you end up getting cut off. So a lot of this thought about questions and when they happen is going to be somewhat determined by the nature of the presentation, and therefore the nature of the audience and how much they feel empowered, which if they’re all your bosses, they feel pretty empowered to jump in and ask a question or or interrupt the process entirely.

Asking The Audience Questions

Roy Barker  37:47

Right. Right. So on the flip side of that, what about asking audience questions? And you know, again, I’m sure it’s situational. But is that opening up? That opening up the place? We don’t want to go? Is it good practice to try to keep that engagement? What are your feelings on that? Oh,

Mike  38:08

careful and be willing to learn from your experience? careful what you ask for. I mean, there are times when you can see in a presenters eyes, they asked a question, people started answering it, and then they’re wishing they would have never asked that question. But they did. And now they have to deal with all the all of the emotions or frustrations or even just the sheer amount of information that’s coming at them because of the question that they that they answered. So some of that is going to be determined by how well you know, your audience.

And what the purpose of that question is. In a training setting. It’s a whole different world to ask a question that gets them thinking along a certain lines, or maybe even having them with two or three people around them discuss the answer to a question, and then see how all the different groups are addressing that question, which gives you a trainer an idea of, of where they’re coming from, and can guide your approach to that to that topic. So yeah, be Be careful questions can be powerful, but questions can also get you in trouble pretty pretty quickly. Yeah,

Roy Barker  39:17

I think that’s a good distinction in the training or instructional environment, probably not as detrimental as if you’re doing a sales presentation. And have you ever seen anything like this? Like, yeah, we got one and we got a lot cheaper than this. Oh, okay. Yep. Right. And that’s when you go from seven minutes. Thank you. We’ve heard enough.

Mike  39:40

Yes, right. Yeah. Be careful. Be careful with the questions that that you that you ask. That’s good. Yeah, like that.

Roy Barker  39:49

Like that. Alright, I’m sorry, I interrupted you 25 times and now we were talking about stepping back from the screen. What are some other good overview tips?


Mike  40:00

So let’s talk about transitions. Okay, between slides. That’s another area where early on people would just go crazy. Oh my god with the transitions just because they could like, Oh, look at this man, I can make the whole thing swirl and ripple and explode. And, and we did a different one between every slide just tell you that I saw that button on there. Right? Ah, it what’s what’s good about a lot of the content that we’re talking about today is that the guidelines we’re sharing make life easier for you. Right? So we’re gonna say,

How big is a? How big is a font? Well, if you stay between the 28 and 44 size font, you’re probably going to be okay. Right? And with transitions, if you use either a simple crossfade or, or no transition at all, right? It Be consistent with the transitions that you use, then that makes life easier for you. Because you can, most presentation software, you can go over into your thumbnails of the slides, hit Ctrl A and apply no transition to everything. And you’re done. Right? You’re not having to worry about well, you know, how many times have I used the swirl transition as a time?


No, you don’t have to use it at all right? Right general


rule you get, you’ll

Mike  41:22

be okay, using either a simple crossfade or no transition at all, that makes life easier for you. And it’s actually more effective because people aren’t distracted by the transition.

Roy Barker  41:34

Right. And it’s just one more thing, in my opinion to while you know, it can be cool and useful. It’s just one more thing that can go wrong. Right. And that kind of leads into my next question is, what about transition between bullet points? Because at one time, there was a thank you and I got five bullet points. We put up number one we discussed, then we you know, do the hit the button and what it does, it makes number two kind of fall in some way. Good. Is that good bad is that that’s good.

Mike  42:09

I would say that’s good. I would say that the same rule applies here. You want it to be simple. You don’t want all the letters tumbling in one at a time. If they just if the whole whatever the next line is next bullet is appears all at once. Okay, or fades in quickly?

Roy Barker  42:22


Mike  42:24

that’s because that’s not a distraction to the message, you want to keep the focus on the message itself. And there is value in revealing what the next point is, as you say it? Yeah. Because like providing the handout to everybody. Yeah, if you put the entire however much information you have on the screen up there all at once. They’re gonna read it a lot faster than you can address it. Yeah. Uh, two things happen there. One is, while they’re reading it, they’re not listening to you. Because they have to choose Am I going to read what’s on the slide?

Or am I gonna listen to you? Well, if it’s, if it’s, if it’s just a simple concept with not many words, they can glance at that and get back to you no problem at all. Yeah. But if you put multiple bullets up there all at once, they’re going to read through it. And not only do they know where you’re at right now they know where you’re supposed to be. And then there may be even a sense of impatient like, when are you going to get to that red bullet there? You’ve been on this first bullet for 10 minutes. Now what? And so it creates a distraction.

Roy Barker  43:33

For the for the audience. Yeah. And I’ve even seen, where the fourth, the fourth point, really hit somebody hard. And so instead of listening to one, two, and three, they’re frothing at the mouth, they’re, they’re waiting for you to get to four, because they’re gonna jump, you know, they’re gonna jump in there and say something. So they’ve totally missed anything that you said prior to that,

Mike  43:56

Oh, that’s good. That’s a great point. Or that fourth bullet may have reminded them of a story, or reminded them of something that’s on their to do list that they forgot to record. So they’re breaking out their phone. And yeah, you got to we got to be careful. So it’s best to keep the audience with you as much as possible. Now, don’t be showing them the whole, you know, where are you going for the whole next five minutes? Where are we at right now let’s keep the focus on where we’re at right now.

And you can do that with the way that you reveal different bullets. But once again, remember, you don’t want you don’t want a lot of bullets on screen. Like I try to not have more than three, okay? up on the screen at the at the same time. That also gives me the freedom to use larger fonts. Yeah. Because I’m trying to keep a bullet to, I don’t know, three to seven words or something like that and not have more than three on the screen. If I need any bullets at all. A picture does the work better? Perfect. Yeah. You know, it’s all about Connect. Getting your audience to the message.

Roy Barker  45:01

what works best? Yeah. And, again, I know a lot of this stuff is dictated by the message, what we’re doing, where we’re doing it and all that. But is there a good link? Like, you know, if we start getting into 30 4050, you know, 60 slides, you know, at some point is like, Oh my gosh, you know, can somebody just put me out of my misery? So,

Mike  45:25

is there a good target that we want to try to shoot for? We know when possible? Wow, that I know, this is a frustrating answer. But it’s so much depends on the purpose of your message. Some people try to put way too much content on a single slide, and it’s frustrating for the audience. The good news for them is there’s an infinite number of slides available. Right? It can be as long as you need for it to be but then the question becomes, what do you really need? Right for it to be. If you’re moving too quickly through slides, that creates a sense of frustration for your audience.

Now, especially if there’s more content on the slide, then you’re even addressing because you’re trying to move too fast. And you’ve probably seen this happen with presentations, I know I have, where someone was trying to cram too much information into a presentation. So the last 10 minutes, they’re talking 90 to nothing, because they’re trying to end on time, but they feel like they have to get through every slide, right, which sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t know, if the audience doesn’t have the slide deck in front of them. And there are pieces of content that you can live without, it might be better for you to skip those pieces of content. And there’s ways to do that, that the audience never knows that you skip that piece of content, you could do that fluidly.

It’s just a matter of learning how to use their stock, use your software. So the number of slides, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and how much time you have within to accomplish it. I would say that, if you’re staying on us a slide, wow, if you’re staying on a slide for less than a minute, that he should probably question whether or not you have paced your presentation appropriately now, especially if there’s multiple points on a slide that you’re having to discuss. But once again, that’s a general rule. It depends on the situation that you’re in, and the kind of information that you’re having to share with them. But yeah, it is it is easy for people to get carried away, where I have way too many slides. And and they create frustration for their audiences they

Silence is Golden

Roy Barker  47:39

do so yeah. And what about the mentioned? You know, that silence? What about a silence as punctuation you know, as when sometimes when we speak? Now there’s some people are scared, they’re like, Oh, I can’t have any silence. But you know, you read a lot about that. Sometimes, taking a breath is a good point of emphasis. So, you know, as we put up a picture is an okay, you know, just a moment of silence to let people take in what they’re saying without feeling like we’ve got to feel all this space with words all the time.

Mike  48:13

You are You are right, you’re right on the money there. That is that is good. That would apply not only to an image that would challenge people to think it could also reply to a perhaps a quote that you’ve put on the screen now. And maybe you put it up there, and maybe you maybe you verbalize that quote, maybe you don’t maybe you just let it sink in now, and let them read it and think about what it’s saying and how it applies to them. Those times of silence, will they create a variation that helps maintain engagement, if things are too predictable.

If the speaker keeps using the same intonation through people check it out, the people check out, mentally check out. But when there are differences, pauses or increases in volume or decreases in volume that are not a part of a just overall predictable pattern that helps people stay engaged in the presentation overall. So yeah, that moment of silence can be a part of what creates a sense of interest in engagement in the audience. Yeah, cuz

Roy Barker  49:27

what I’ve seen before is, you know, if you’re talking too long, talking too long, and somebody maybe they’re downright notes or, you know, thinking about, you know, like you said what they need from the grocery store on their way home, sometimes that pause, it gets hurt, because they’re like, Oh, this thing just and yeah, you know, so that you kind of get them to look back up and nothing kind of reengaged sometimes. Yes,

Mike  49:50

I’ve done that many times, especially when I was having to facilitate a training that was longer than ideal, right. So If you’ve got an all day training, after the first two hours, you’ve got to struggle, the next six hours of that training. And, and it’s it’s a struggle for the presenter to keep their energy up. It’s a struggle for the audience to stay engaged. So anything you can do that creates that moment of Oh, what’s going on? is like a mental reset. Yeah. Because there’s a little bit of energy that comes along with Wait, what’s going on? Yeah, they can maybe hold, you know,

Roy Barker  50:28

they can just ask me a question. And I was like, Yeah, yes. Well, he mentioned a quote. So that’s something cites references, you know, back in the old days. At the end, you know, if we had to cite a lot of date, cite a lot of other works, put the references at the end on a slide. Sometimes I’ve seen him on that slide with any, any hard and fast rules on that, or just as long as I get, give the credit where credit’s due, I like to put it on the slide. Okay.

Mike  51:07

And, and it doesn’t have to be big. You know, it may be where you have to look to see it, but Oh, there it is, there’s a reference. And that creates more respect for you as a presenter, that you are citing your sources, that’s good. That means you’re doing your homework. Similar thing would be true for images that you use video clips that you use. First of all, I need to make sure you have permission to use those.

Right, exactly. When you do you cite that source. So even in in my, in my blogs, ones that I that aren’t my images, you’ll see in the bottom right hand corner of the image itself, in a kind of contrast, in color font, where that image came from. Now, this is a way of honoring those who created that, that image. So that’s the way I like to do it, I like to do it right there on the slide. If you do it at the end, then there may be people who are wondering the whole time. So where did this come from? Do they have permission, but you put it right there, then it alleviates that distraction immediately.

Image Ownership

Roy Barker  52:08

Yeah, it’s a little, little different situation. But if your presentation, it may eventually end up living online, the that the image issue is a lot bigger than people think. I’ll just quick story that, you know, had a person I knew that she managed a website for her company. And, you know, she just pulled pictures off the internet and pop them up there. And you know, for years and years, not really thinking much about it. Then, you know, one day the company gets a bill in the mail in the mail from Getty Images for about $800.

Thanks for using our images. Now, here’s the bill for that. So the point is that sometimes we think, oh, we’ll just slide this image in, it’s gonna be on presentation, nobody’s gonna see it, but my audience and then this thing ends up living online somewhere, and then the person who owns that image finds it. So like you said, it’s better just to, you know, make sure you have the permission to use that,

Mike  53:09

right. And there are easily accessible sources of free images that are good images, right? So doing this does not have to cost you a lot of money, it’s more of an ethical credibility issue, to make sure that that you have permission to use the images that you use, realizing that there are people who put great images out there for free. Sometimes I you know, I just end up having to pay for an image because there’s nothing that matches, it has nothing that accomplishes what I want to accomplish that’s found on those resources, right? Most of the time, I can find what I need there.

Roy Barker  53:45

Yeah, yeah, and there, we don’t want to get off in the weeds on that too much. But there are a lot of reasonable sites, I can remember when they were acquired by Adobe, but I mean, I used to pay like $15 a month, and it was a great, you know, a great selection of all kinds of images, some cartoonish but some real people. And then also we kind of can mention, you know, again.

This is one of my things is, you know, that’s where if you can fit an image that you take that fits with the subject matter much better, because I like to see, you know, especially if I’m in a presentation for a product, I want to see your equipment, you know, your stuff. I don’t want to see a stock picture of, you know, here’s a really cool delivery truck. But yeah, I don’t know who that belongs to your browser. You know, it’s not your zone anyway, that’s like that.

Mike  54:37

Yeah. And another thing to keep in mind there is making sure that those images are high quality.

Roy Barker  54:45

Yes. All right.

Mike  54:47

And, and that they are being saved and used in ways that protect that that quality, because you could lose some credibility if an image is what I call bitmap. You know, you can see the pixels in it and stuff. So you want to avoid that. But I mean, Nowadays most the time, even the pictures we take with our phone are great resolution. Right? So then it’s just a matter of did we frame it? Well, does it? Does it look good? Now that leads into another interesting topic that has to do with with our visuals.

And that is, how up to date, do our visuals. Look? How up to date does our slide deck look now, because I bet you at a glance could look at a slide deck and think I bet that was made in 2003. Because of the types of graphics that were used, because it was more boxy than widescreen, you could just glance at it and and see. And I’ve seen presentations where people are, they are promoting a modern product. And they’re talking in terms of technology, but the layout of their presentation and the types of images that they’re using.


look old.

Mike  56:16

Yeah. We’re gonna discount that this this isn’t a new technology, because it can’t be it looks like 2003

Roy Barker  56:23

Yeah, I mean, you can see the digital dust on the slides as they’re going through the lag. Like, it’s like in 2000, we came out with the G, you know, the G 3000. And so, you know, over time now we’re on the G 8000. But all we’ve done is gone back and change the, you know, the 1000 to the 2000. But everything else is basically still right. Yeah, they got the, the image that we use was black and white with the Edsel in the background. That’s not helpful. Yeah. Right.

Mike  57:01

So make sure that your, your slide design matches, right? The the image that you want to portray to the customer? And if you want it to be modern, make sure that the the What am I thinking of? There’s a word for it. I just, I just lost it. You know, whether it’s more boxy or widescreen, yeah, is appropriate. The types of fonts that you’re using are appropriate, right? Whether you’re using something that looks more clipart, or more image based, is appropriate. Right? For your goal, aspect ratio, that’s what I was trying to think of, is the aspect ratio of your design, is it is it appropriate for the message you’re wanting to send,

Roy Barker  57:49

you know, I just had this last night I was messing around with an image that I created, it wasn’t a picture, but just something that I put together on Canva. And it was in a certain aspect ratio, and I needed it in a different one. And so I just, you know, put pull the corner and drag it out. But when it did, it became very blurry. You know, and we talked a little bit about that earlier about the image quality and not messing that up.

But it’s easy to do, and not all images, you know, stretch or move equally, and they can get if it’s a square and you try to make it a rectangle, it can get very distorted. So those are, you know, things that we just need to pay attention to, even though they’ve got the box and it is rearranged. But that doesn’t always mean that it works out when we get to the point we needed that.

Mike  58:38

Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Yeah, a lot of images. It would be better to use the crop function, rather than just the drag function, right? Which means you’re gonna lose part of the image, but it’s not going to be stretched or distorted. Right? When reduce So yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. You don’t want to do anything that makes people think this person doesn’t know what they’re doing with this. Software.

Themed Backgrounds

Roy Barker  59:02

Yeah, exactly. One more thing, and I know we’re running way late. We could talk about this for the next two or three hours, but themes backgrounds. Okay, you know, where do we land on them? Again, we can do too little, and we can be way too crazy.

Mike  59:22

Yes, yes. Well, we referred earlier to how we went from like one extreme to another, you know, when when all these options came out, people were going crazy with it. And then other people were saying, Well, you know, all you need is black background white font or the opposite of that. And you rightfully recognize the the reality for most people is somewhere in the middle. Right? I think it’s hard to go wrong with keeping it simple. But that does not mean it has to be black with a white font, right?

You can incorporate The organizational branding into that process in a lot of organizations, they have well designed templates that do just that, the background is going to be a certain color, the fonts gonna be a certain color, it’s all gonna make sense with the branding. A common mistake that’s made, even now with presentations is feeling like the company logo needs to be on every slide. It doesn’t, or feeling like the name of the presentation needs to be on every slide. It doesn’t. And that creates visual clutter, right on the slide. Now, you know, if you’re working for an organization, that’s part of the template, you’re required to use a template, just roll with it. Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s what you got to work with.

But if you have total control, you want to keep it as simple as possible. With the colors that are used. You know, now, it’s super easy in the presentation software to use the little eyedropper icon, you can pull your company’s logo in and just use that I that eyedropper thing to choose the color of your font so that it is one of the colors in your logo, choose the background color.

So it is one of the colors in your logo, you do want to make sure that the contrast is good. Because if if if the color of the fonts too close to the color of the background, it’s not going to be easily readable unless you outline it in a contrast in color, you want to make sure everything is still readable. But just realize you’re not locked into a black and white presentation in order for to have that type of simplicity, you can have that type of simplicity, and still be matching the branding of your organization in ways that communicate well.

Roy Barker  1:01:46

And if you work for large enough organization, if you check with them, like you said, they may have a template already put together, but also to the logos and images that you may need, they may have them. Because again, I’ve seen somebody go to a website, clip a logo off, and you know, it just doesn’t translate as crisp and clean as what they had hoped, you know, and it was like, Well, that was just the last ditch effort.

But you know, a lot of companies have image banks where like, you know, all of their stuff in different sizes, because they have certain color use. I mean, yes, there’s a lot that goes into that, that, you know, somebody like myself doesn’t really realize, but there’s somebody behind the scenes that has put a lot of thought into that this is green, number one, and this is blue number 12.

And, you know, all these things, because the way that they go together good, which I understand just saying Be careful, and you know, be respectful of your company, because that’s, you don’t want to if you’re doing a presentation for the C suite, and you know, you’ve cobbled together something that’s out of out of bounds, you know, you know, you don’t want the you don’t want your message to get lost, because the guy sitting there like that is not our logo.

Mike  1:03:03

So I think I think you benefit in a couple of ways. If you’re willing to check out see what templates are available, your products probably going to look a lot better because you did that. Yeah. And secondly, the organization is going to appreciate you because they put a lot of time and effort into creating these templates and creating these high resolution logos. So that your presentation, yeah, look, look good. So we’d encourage, you know, all listeners, man, if you work for a big company, make sure that you’re honoring the templates that they’ve spent so much time and money preparing for you to use,

Roy Barker  1:03:39

right? Because they are the thing, it’s sometimes we have a simplistic approach that me and you are the only two people that are ever going to see this. And that’s not always true. I mean, maybe, maybe it’s so awesome that somebody wants to take this and show it to somebody else outside of the company. And so that representation, you know, we just need to make sure that we are representing our company in the very best possible way. And not be like, that was a great presentation.

But you know, the aesthetics of it were so terrible that you know, I’m embarrassed to share it with somebody outside of our organization, because it looks so bad. That’s a good point. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, I know we are way over Mike, I appreciate your patience. The other thing just before we go, I was gonna ask, Is there any more, you know, larger global points that you wanted to get? And I promise I will asking questions. I’ll just let you.

Mike  1:04:32

No, I don’t think so. I think just going back to what we acknowledged at the beginning, making sure that you know your message know your audience and make the connection and that whatever visuals you use, make perfect sense. Given that process. They support your message. They are not a substitute for it.


Roy Barker  1:04:49

Yeah, we couldn’t cover everything. So what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna recommend that y’all go pick up big presentations in small rooms, by Michael Gibson be It’s a good read well worth it, it’ll put you on the right track. And then I’m gonna also give you a chance to put some information out there in just a minute. But before I asked you that, what is a tool or a habit that you use in your life could be professional, personal, but what is something that you do that adds a lot of value?

Mike  1:05:20

One thing that I’ve learned recently that’s been so helpful for me, is the limits of focused time. I learned that from a book called Deep work by Cal Newport. It took some pressure off of me, I used to feel like my ability to create and produce product was more of a self discipline issue than it actually is. I’m kind of wired in ways that I want to do things, right, I want to get things done. And, and that actually can be hurtful and unhelpful for me, when you have the wrong mindset.

So I was thinking, you know, for me to get stuff done, I just need to put my head down and focus and I can get it done. And if I’m struggling, it’s because I don’t have enough self discipline. And that’s actually not true, right? There are mental limits on focus. And for most people, it’s around two hours, if you work out that muscle, because it’s kind of like a muscle, if you work out that muscle get really good shape, you might be able to stretch it to around four hours, me realizing that helped me structure my days.

In ways that would protect that focus time, and I’m wired to be more of a morning person with that type of work. So when I was writing the book, I would protect the morning hours from like, 530 to 830, somewhere in that timeframe, where there’s no distractions, and I could get and I was able to get a lot more done in less time.

And take pressure off of myself. Right, right now, it wasn’t gonna do me any good to sit there for eight hours. Yeah, I was just gonna be staring at the screen because my brain was gone at that time. So maybe that’ll be helpful for some of our listeners realize that your ability to to think creatively or analyze data, it has limits on it. So don’t don’t beat yourself up. Trying to go beyond what you’re physically able to do mentally able to do instead plan around it and protect those times.

Roy Barker  1:07:29

Yeah, and it’s so you know, like myself, you bump into this, whether it’s creative or problem solving, and it’s like, just can’t get it can’t get it. Sometimes it cuz I’m like you used to be like, okay, I just need to think harder. Think longer think different. Yes. But now what I’ve realized is, is getting up taking a break, taking a little walk, even if it’s just walking around the house for five minutes. Come back and have so much more clarity, then yeah, for for me anyway. Yeah, I

Mike  1:07:59

think you’re right. So many of my best ideas have come after I’ve done a lot of research setting aside one for a long walk. Yeah, yeah, that’s good. I’m glad. Yeah,

Roy Barker  1:08:07

we need to be kind to ourselves. I think that’s one place. A lot of you know, a lot of business people are really, really hard on themselves. We just need to say, Hey, you know, what we’re humans. And, you know, I think like this, like, your suggestion is, you know, we need to figure out, we’re more in person, being the person set aside those blocks of, you know, taking those harder tasks when we are at our best.

And, you know, that’s Self Realization, we have to think about, when are we best? When are we clear, you know, get in our sleep and everything like that. So, right. Yeah, right. Appreciate that. Very much. So Mike, tell everybody number one, how can we get the book? And then number two, how can they reach out get a hold of you? Who do you like to work with? Somebody needs you to help them with the presentation? Or maybe even somebody needs some training would like for you to come in and do that for them?

Wrap Up

Mike  1:08:59

Yes, yes. Well, you can get the book at Amazon. You can get it in ebook format, and print or audio book, any one of those options are available at Amazon. If you just search for Big Presentations In Small Rooms on Amazon, it’ll it’ll pull that up. You can get that there. If you if you like to listen. We have a podcast and we have a lot of fun with that podcast, my host. And I we just tackled these different subjects. We laugh a lot. We share a lot of stories. And that’s available pretty much anywhere you listen to podcasts. So if you search for The Big Presentations Podcast, you can find a lot of helpful information there that I think you will enjoy listening to. If you’re looking for an encouraging community, there is a Facebook group called The Workplace Presentations Hub.

And it’s a place where content is released where people can ask questions and receive encouragement. And it’s focused on those who I mean their work involves making presentations. If you’re interested in booking trainings, throughout the years, I have had to tackle many different subjects at a training format, you can find a list of those at m r g Once again, that’s, for a list of trainings available, and there are links there, where you can contact me, if you would like help, especially if you’d like help for presentation design or coaching for presentations, you can find links there.

If you enjoy reading and read the book and want to read even more there, there’s a blog at big presentations calm, you can also ask for help through that site as well. So there’s multiple ways that you can contact me, I am on Facebook, and I am on LinkedIn, you could just search my name, Michael Gibson, or search Big Presentations In Small Rooms, you can find me there as well. And I post quite a bit helpful tips and hints and encouragement, you’ll find stuff from me daily on social media that can be helpful and encouraging for you.

Roy Barker  1:11:05

Awesome. Well, thanks again, we certainly do appreciate it. Again, reach out because there’s so much that we didn’t cover we would have liked to but it’s just, you know, there’s so many intricacies and there’s so much to do with presentations and then it’s who we’re presenting to what the information is so many variables. So reach out to Mike let him give you a helping hand and have the best presentation you can get it makes a world of difference. You know, because if you stand up and struggle with one presentation, you’ll never want to do it again.

And there’s such a powerful way to deliver information if we can just you know, get it right and we’re not going to always be perfect, but we can we cannot embarrass ourselves. There is help out here. All right. Well, that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I am your host Roy.

You can find us at we’re on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, if we’re not on one that you use, please reach out I’d be glad to get us added where you can listen easier. Also, we are on all the major social media platforms probably hang out a little bit more on Instagram, I’m very picture and visual focus. So that’s that’s kind of where I like to go. Also, a video of this interview will go up. When it goes live. You can find that over at our YouTube channel. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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