A client recently sent over a deck of slides for a big presentation on leadership.Â The first slide was a quotation from Jack Welch, the former GE Chairman.Â
â€œMy main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.â€
What a great quote!Â
But what value do you add to the audience by putting it on the slide? Â None. Thatâ€™s why we advise our clients never to put quotes on slides.
Remember that the speaker is the most important visual; far more important than any slide.Â Youâ€™re there as a leader to influence your audience with your ideas and your intensity.Â
When you put a quotation on a slide, you undermine your presentation by diverting attention from you to the slide.
And you certainly donâ€™t undermine the impact of the quotation by delivering it without the slide.Â Indeed, we think itâ€™s far more impactful to look at the audience and state the quote from memory, or if necessary from a cheat sheet.
You come before you audience, with a blank screen. Here’s how you start.
Weâ€™re here today to discuss leadership training. And when weâ€™re talking about this issue, Iâ€™m reminded of a quote from Jack Welch. He said, â€œMy main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.â€
Now thatâ€™s the way to grab your audienceâ€™s attention.Â Having your audience look at a slide while you read it to them won’t have near the impact.
By the way, if youâ€™re looking for quotations to use in presentations tryÂ www.wikiquote.org.