You are not Al Roker.

You have probably seen this in a presentation. You may have done this yourself (I know I have). Slides are projected on a wall, probably complex slides, maybe a diagram. The presenter proceeds to stand in front of the screen, possibly having their slides projected onto themselves, and begin to gesture wildly at the imagery in their slides. “You will see over here…” “it then moves to stage 2…” Stop it! You are not the weatherman.  There are no cold fronts on your slides, so don’t gesture as if they were. 

Ok, that may be a bit dramatic, but its true. If you take the time to plan your slide animations well (and use them appropriately), you don’t need the wild gestures. Communicate a process with subtle motion. Fade your next point in as you come to it. Better yet, design your slides so you don’t even need those. Keep one idea to a slide.

Remember, your slides aren’t the show, you are. You don’t want your show to feature you waving your arms around wildly, do you?

P.S. This is no slight on anyone in the weather profession. I took a weather class in college, and didn’t do so well. What works for them may not work in other situations. Also, if you are a cheerful weatherman working for the Today Show, you just may be Al Roker.

Posted on April 14, 2010 .