What's More Powerful Than Words…

May 23rd, 2007

As Harlan McCraney, President Bush’s fictitious speech writer in the Presidential Speechalist skit, Andy Dick asks the poignant question, “What’s more powerful than words?” His answer: “No words.” The phrase has become a fun joke around the office to help break through a slow point in a brainstorm or in any number of other situations.

And while Andy Dick meant it, and we take it, as a joke, there’s one medium where it should be the golden rule and not the gag. That place is PowerPoint presentations. And the “No Words” rule was never more evident than during a viewing of the world’s top presentations as presented by online presentation community, Slideshare.

The presentations were eye-opening. Whether they were addressing the changing face of the world’s population or introducing a new food product, each of the winners demonstrated complex topics in a clear and concise manner. How? With interesting visuals and minimalist text that grips the viewer even without the aid of an actual presenter.

So next time you’re doing a presentation, remember: PowerPoint is a visual aid designed to accompany a speaker, not a book on a screen. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make it simple, make it surprising and make the text sparse. Because just like Harlan McCraney says, no words can be a powerful thing.

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