Presentations – PowerPoint – Leave the Laser Pointer Behind

One very common lament about presenters using PowerPoint is the unfortunate tendency so many have to talk to the screen, instead of the audience. It’s uncomfortable for an audience to have to look at a speaker’s back while he reads his slides. And, of course, it’s huge disconnect between speaker and audience, which is defeating the whole purpose of the presentation in the first place. So why in the world did anyone think the laser pointer would be a viable, effective presentation tool?

For those of us who love toys and gadgets, the laser pointer is almost irresistible. You hold the pen-shaped object in your hand, and with the click of a button, you can shine a pinpoint of bright red light on the screen to draw the audience’s attention to a particular item. You can move it around to circle some important item or make a flourish over some point. It’s fun, it’s high tech, and it seems to be state-of-the-art presentation technology.

However, I’m sorry to disappoint you gizmo-lovers, but this device, for all its high tech appeal, has absolutely nothing to recommend its use. Here’s why:

1. First of all, if your visuals are done with a good color contrast, which means the background will be a dark rich color (with light type on it), it’s extremely difficult to even see that little red beam on that dark background. I’ve seen presentations where the audience had no idea the speaker was even using a laser pointer because they never saw its light.

2. Secondly, the very nature of its use — having to direct the laser to the screen — requires the speaker to face and point to the screen. This means her back is turned on the audience and she’s talking to the screen, not the people in the room. Obviously, this is a big disconnect between the speaker and the audience.

3. There’s also a minor problem that can occur if the speaker forgets to turn off the laser beam and, while making gestures, ends up throwing that red light all over the room.

You can be the pointer. With the exception of large convention hall screens, the vast majority of screens are of a size that makes it very easy for the speaker herself to refer to the items on the visual. By stepping back to the screen and referring to the points on it, you are effectively directing the audience’s attention while keeping yourself in the picture and making purposeful gestures.

Barbara Busey, president of the training firm Presentation Dynamics, has been a professional speaker, trainer and author since 1990. She does training and speaking on the “dynamics” of how people “present” themselves, is the author of the book, “Stand Out When You Stand Up,” and is the creator of The Compelling Speaker, a unique presentation skills training program that combines advance audio CD instruction with a hands-on, ultra participative workshop. She now offers the Compelling Speaker Certification, a turnkey system — complete with training content & technique, business strategies, and marketing guidelines — that positions communicators to make a living training other business professionals to become more compelling speakers. Go to Compelling Speaker Certification to see her video, listen to her audio, and learn when the next Certification training is.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Barbara_Busey

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