7 Tips on How Twitter Can Save Painful PowerPoint Presentations

Matt Farrell USA SwimmingAt first glance, Twitter and PowerPoint are worlds apart. Twitter is skateboarding and Powerpoint is corporate. Comparing the two is cringe-worthy to most, but it shouldn’t be.

Just mentioning “PowerPoint” can immediately bring out the sweats as we have all suffered through presentations that have been read to us or are so loaded with information that they might as well be a text book.

But I love PowerPoint. My co-workers make fun of me for it, but I don’t care. The clip art, templates and animated graphics are easy targets for ridicule.  But, I love the rhythm of a good presentation, where the content is the hero and PowerPoint becomes invisible.

When a speaker uses PowerPoint to take a complex or detailed subject and make it digestible it’s a win for the speaker and audience. The same could be said for note cards, Big Chief tablets, Prezi or Keynote. They are just tools to deliver a message and most of PowerPoint’s flaws come from us vs. the program.

So, that is where Twitter comes in to provide some inspiration on delivering a great PowerPoint presentation. Here are 7 tips how Twitter can save painful PowerPoint Presentations:

1. Convey One Idea Per Slide. We have all seen the slides with too many bullets, blocks of text or charts too small or hard to read or comprehend. I find it vital to only try to get across one point per slide.

2. Get to the Point. Being restricted to 140 characters in Twitter forces us to communicate concisely. Each slide should quickly get to the point (see #1 above) and then the speaker can provide context to that point with information that is NOT on the slide.

3. Use Slides to Complement the Speaker. Think of your slide as a dance partner vs. a crutch. It is there to support you, not carry you. On Twitter text supports the main hero image.

4. Find a Rhythm. If you spend 10 minutes on one slide, it inadvertently sets the audiences expectations that every slide will be this long. I find adding more slides in the presentation but moving them through more quickly establishes a pace for the speaker and the audience much like Twitter. Even if they tune out on one slide, they know a new topic is coming soon so stay engaged.

5. Use Images. In my personal Twitter account, the posts with images or graphics will perform 5-10 times better in engagement rate than text tweets alone. We have all glazed through a steady stream of text until we hit an image that stops and draws attention.

SwimToday Slide

6. Convey Emotion AND Information. The best Twitter posts get a reaction, whether they are funny, sad, serious or sarcastic. Boredom is not an emotion.

7. Make Your Slides Tweetable. Audiences are more likely to want to tweet out your info, so make it easy to digest and communicate. Some audiences will even take pictures of your slides and tweet them.

We are only as good as our last tweet (or presentation). Users want and expect instant entertainment or they move on to someone else. Presentation and tweets are the same.

For additional presentation samples from USA Swimming, please see the Club Marketing & Fundraising resources at USASwimming.org.



Categories: Marketing

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3 replies

  1. Great analogy – I especially like “creating a rhythm” and “conveying emotion”. Information is better digested when it’s easily to follow, relatable and impactful.

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