Barak Obama’s slides – how they could have looked

In my last post, I spoke about the very poor slides from a recent presentation by by Barack Obama. – the so-called "Yes we Can" speech. Firstly an apology- the slides were not created by Obama, but were created by a blogger to demonstrate how poor slides can ruin a presentation. Sorry for the miscommunication.

However, they are a great example of poor slides, so I have dissected them and shown what could have been done.

The main problems with the slides is that there is far too much text, and there is such missed opportunity for great visuals (I have left the original slides in the bottom left for reference).

I removed the agenda and second hope slide – they were redundant.

Yes we can! – simple and patriotic

Thank you – personally I don’t think that you need this slide, but if you have to have it, show visual of what/who you are thanking (I just stuck the picture of the family in to illustrate).

Time for change – representing the diverse culture of American people.

Change isn’t easy – difficult to break out of the mold – Lego people.

What we’re up against – a brick wall.

What I see – the title does not interest me. Obama is actually speaking about what he sees in his country, so I have renamed it to My country. The picture is a vivid picture of inner-city buildings with fences and graffiti.

We cannot loose hope – picture of patriotic child representing hope for the future.

What I know – also boring title. Obama is speaking about we can achieve, so I called it We can. I am not too sure about the picture of the children, perhaps a bit too cuddly. It also makes a good climatic transition into the last slide, which is…

Yes We can – some stars and strips.

Which slide deck do you prefer?

How NOT to use PowerPoint

Barack Obama?s "Yes We Can" speech injustice in PowerPoint

This is a mock-up of a slide deck from Barack Obama – "Yes we Can" speech. It was not created by Obama, but were created by a blogger to demonstrate how poor slides can ruin a presentation.

Let's go through it slide by slide.

All slides: The template is boring. It is one of the default templates that is installed with PowerPoint 2003. The lime green does not work.

Agenda: You are giving a speech, not running a day long seminar – you don't need an agenda slide.

Thank you: Thanking people is great (and important), but do you need a slide for it?

Sides 4-10: Such great opportunity to use visuals lost (change, time, diversity, status-quo, challenges, hope etc)

Slide 6: Can the people in the back row read the text? They will spend their time trying to read the slide, and miss what you are saying.

Slide 9: At last, some pictures, but clipart? How about some high-quality stock-photos illustrating your point?

Slide 11: The pot of gold is just cheezy.

What else could have been changed?

The 13 P’s of creating a speech – a speech outline from Ken Annandale

When Ken spoke a few day ago, he gave us a very effective speech outline – the 12 P’s of creating a speech. I think that it is pretty self-explanatory – enjoy!

  1. Preparation
    1. Point description (ask yourself)
    2. Purpose Objective (Why am I doing this presentation?)
    3. People -Audience (Who is going to listen to me?)
  2. Introduction
    1. Promise Attention grabber (How do I get their attention?)
    2. Present Position (Historical situation What was the situation like before?)
    3. Perfect Position (Ideal situation What could it be like in future?)
    4. Proposal Recommendation (What is being offered as a solution?)
  3. Body
    1. Pertinent Points (features / facts – How does / will the solution work?)
    2. Persuasive Points (benefits / emotive – What?s in it for them / us / you / me?)
    3. Points to Ponder (Aspects that may concern them)
    4. Problems (Allow them to ask questions)
  4. Close
    1. Pr?cis (wrap up – repeat everything you said in brief)
    2. Plan for Action (Ask them to react to your suggestion)

Here is the mindmap file.

For more information on Ken, his website is


Going pro – speaking tips from Ken Annandale

Ken_annandaleLast night, I attended a presentation by Ken Annandale, one of my favourite speakers. Ken spoke about the business of being a professional speaker, and I am going to share some of my learnings over the next couple of posts.

Today, I will mention some great tips from Ken on how to be a better speaker.

  • Read profusely ? books, magazines, newspapers.
  • Watch other speakers
    • Live
    • On DVD (recent and old speeches ? see how the styles have changed over the years)
    • Dissect the speeches
    • Listen to the message
    • Watch the delivery
    • Analyze the structure
  • Try to meet and learn from other speakers
  • Address different personalities in your speeches (eg extrovert/introvert, or choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic)
  • Address different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
  • Appearance ? whether you like it or not, you will be judged and stereotyped by your appearance. Make a conscious decision about what you are going to wear, and what your stage image is. Remember, you are not just giving a speech, you are putting on a show. Package yourself accordingly.
  • Have quality business cards. No home-made cards please. They are simply not professional enough.

In my next post, I will discuss a great speech outline that Ken suggested using.