10 alternatives to ‘misery’ of slide shows

Dr Nick Morgan is one of the top communication theorists and coaches in North America. And he doesn’t mince words when it comes to slide-based presentations.

Nick Morgan describes most of the thousands of slide shows delivered every day as excruciating.

‘Human misery on a massive scale,’ he calls it.

He’s come up with 10 ways of getting an audience to engage with a speaker – without a single slide.

  1. Use props. Show something. Pass it around. Let the audience get physical.
  2. Use music. Harness the emotional response created by music. Just make sure you follow the copyright rules.
  3. Use video. A well-chosen clip can connect with an audience and convey information more effectively than slides.
  4. Use a flip chart. Create an image for the audience. Low tech, high results.
  5. Ask the audience – to tell stories.
  6. Ask the audience – to work in groups and tackle a challenge. Get them to report back.
  7. Ask the audience – to play a game. Simple questions and modest prizes will reinforce your message.
  8. Ask the audience – to design something.
  9. Ask the audience – to create videos. Hand out flip cams to groups and get them to create video responses to what you are talking about.
  10. Combine any 3 of the above. You will create a huge audience buzz. 

Morgan has this advice for anyone planning a presentation: ‘Stop thinking of a presentation as a static activity where you show slides to a catatonic group of fellow humans. Treat them as co-conspirators in something exciting, educational, and fun.’


Neil Everton

Written by Neil Everton

Neil Everton has distilled a lifetime’s experience with some of the world’s top news organizations into his Media Mastery training aids for anyone worried about talking to reporters. The video, books, e-books and workbooks are available in the Podium Coaching online store.


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