Are you in a Document mindset or Whiteboard mindset?
Do you know that the mindset you need to create effective slides is very different from the mindset you need to create your documents?
If you are in the wrong mindset, your slides would end up looking wordy and boring.
In this article, I will show you how to develop the right mindset to build clear and effective business slides.
First, let us understand the mindset of idea expression:
An idea inside your head is worth nothing.
The idea needs to be expressed for it to have any value in the real world.
There are many ways you can express your ideas for it to be understood by the intended recipient.
You can express your ideas through your talk, through your words, through your sketches and so on.
Each type of expression requires you to be in a certain mindset, for your ideas to come out clearly.
The best part is – you can choose to be in a certain mindset, if you try consciously.
Our default mode is to be in ‘Document creation’ mindset:
What is a ‘Document creation’ mindset?
It is a mindset, where you express your ideas using written words. It is the mindset of a writer.
To express better, you look for better words and better sentences.
Your everyday work requires you to be in this mindset.
Think about what you do every day as part of your business…
• You speak – which is all about using words to express your thoughts
• You write emails – which use words to express your ideas
• You write project reports which are word documents
So, expressing ideas through words comes naturally to you.
The problem is – you tend to be in the same mindset, even when you create your PowerPoint presentations.
So, you end up putting a lot of text (or worse, full sentences) as bullets points on your slide.
Since PowerPoint is a visual medium, your audience expect you to communicate through visuals. When they see a lot of words on the slide, they get confused and disappointed.
That is where the ‘disconnect’ happens.
If you want to create effective PowerPoint slides for your business presentations, you need to flick the switch inside your head from the ‘Document creation’ mode to ‘Visual expression’ mode.
What is the ‘Visual expression’ mode?
It is the mindset you should be in when you are inside a classroom trying to teach a concept or idea to a bunch of students.
Let’s say, all you have in the classroom is a whiteboard to support your talk. Will you just write everything you want to say?
Of course not.
You automatically start drawing some simple labeled sketches on the whiteboard to express your thoughts. The sketches need not be fancy. They may just be a couple of circles and arrows. You complete your explanation with your verbal narration of your sketches.
It is the same mindset you need to be in – if you want to create clear and memorable visual slides for your business presentations.
Your PowerPoint slide is nothing more than a whiteboard for your talk.
When you get in the mindset, your primary mode of expression changes from words to visuals.
This is a major mind shift. But, it is essential to have that mindset, if you ever want to grab and hold your audience’s attention inside a boardroom.
You stop painting word pictures. Instead start using pictures with words.
Start creating visual anchors to organize and visualize your thoughts.
Watch your slides transform themselves right in front of your eyes.
Is it easy to make that mind shift?
May be or May be not.
But, you can make a start with this simple exercise.
Exercise to get into Visual Mindset
For the next 5 minutes, I actually want you to try this exercise.
Yes. Don’t just read what I am about to say. Do it.
Step 1: Pick a simple idea you want to express. The idea could be something simple – like explaining a rule in your favorite sport, or the procedure to prepare a cup of tea etc.
Step 2: Switch on the voice recorder in your phone. The idea is to ensure that your talk is recorded.
Step 3: Pick up a piece of paper. Imagine it as the whiteboard to explain your idea. Start sketching your ideas as you talk. You are allowed to write just the labels on the paper and not any text.
Once you are done, pick up the paper and share it with someone you know. Ask them about what do they understand from your sketch.
You’d be amazed at how much they can pick up from your simple labeled sketches (even without your narration).
Now, try the same exercise once more. This time keeping the feedback in mind.
You’ll see that your sketch is vastly improved than your first version.
Now, you can use the same approach to communicate your ideas for your business presentations too.
It might take a bit of practice. But, if you keep this mindset alive, you’ll soon be a master of visual expression.
Do you need a more structured help to express your words into visuals?
Then, I highly recommend you take a look at our ‘Ramgopal’s PowerPoint Mastery Program’. It is the most comprehensive and creative PowerPoint training online for business presenters.
I especially invite you to take a look at our – ‘Visual Slides Mastery’ section of the program, where I teach you how to convert any text-based slide into clear and memorable visual slide in 4 simple steps.
The steps are simple enough for anyone to follow and create clear and memorable visual slides, and yet are robust enough to express any complex idea – because the steps are based on cutting edge neuroscience.
In fact, Ramgopal’s PowerPoint Mastery program is the only program you’ll need to create professional looking business slides that are clear and memorable.
Why don’t you click on the following link to check out more details about the program?