Millions of Twitter users collectively ruffled their feathers when rumors spread that Twitter lifted its 140 character limit. Those who weren’t quick to jump the bandwagon checked Twitter’s official announcement on the change. They were assured that the change only affected Direct Messages in Twitter.
And so, Twitter users were put at ease and continued to publicly broadcast their tweets. But what if something similar happened to PowerPoint? Let’s say that Microsoft announced that PowerPoint slides were now limited to a hundred per deck. And each slide will be limited to a hundred characters each.
Presentations will be forced to be more concise now that each pixel on a slide is prime real estate. But at least the files are going to be much smaller.
Rock the Nest
The above scenario is not as bad as it seems since this limitation shouldn’t obstruct a good pitch. Twitter and PowerPoint are at ends with each other on the surface. One could say that you chat in Twitter and then discuss on PowerPoint. But we learn more through our differences than our similarities.
A pitch is allotted a specific time and place to get all its ideas across, but a tweet will need to fight for attention and space on the web to get noticed. In the same way, not everyone gets the chance to have a time and place to be heard. Even with the prepared audience in presentations, you still need to fight to keep their attention focused on you and your topic.
Try to have a bigger stage in mind when delivering your pitch and aim to be understood on a greater level.
While Twitter rapidly sends out millions of tweets a day, PowerPoint presentations gradually spread out information per slide. This isn’t to say that presentations won’t be as effective when slides move fast. On the contrary, if you spend more than ten minutes to explain a slide, the audience will begin to expect the next slides to last just as long.
Avoid preemptively boring the audience by changing up your presentation’s pacing. Breeze through several slides, each containing only one main point. Make each slide memorable, or #tweetable.
A trending tweet is a force to be reckoned with. Getting a tweet to trend is the addicting and engaging aspect of Twitter. It’s like being placed in the spotlight over the Internet. And you can do this regardless of who you are, so the playing field is evened out. This is a large contrast to being a speaker.
Professionals, businessmen, and important personalities are expected to be knowledgeable in their fields. The experience they have makes them stand out from the average person. They already have the spotlight placed on them. It’s a matter of making themselves relatable to everyone.
Work with Your Strengths
The focus of the presentation is on you. Your deck is there to compliment you while you deliver your speech. There is enough time to get all your ideas across with this. If 140 characters are enough to spark discussions, a few slides surely can. Hasten the pace of your speech by making your slides keep up with everyone’s attention.
If possible, encourage the audience to take pictures of your slides, and let them tweet. Make others connect to your passion, help them understand what you can offer through your words and your experience. And most of all, value the spotlight placed on you.
Agarwal, Sachin. “Removing the 140-Character Limit from Direct Messages.” Twitter Blogs. August 12, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.blog.twitter.com/2015/removing-the-140-character-limit-from-direct-messages
Featured Image: “Hainan Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis hainanus)” by Sheau Torng Lim from flickr.com