I don’t like them. I think they are useless and are a product of the 1990s.
Presentations have a bad name. When people are told they “have to” attend a presentation, the image in their minds is of being sat in a room, listening to an unprepared presenter reading slides about a subject that is boring, full of jargon, has no story and no point.
So, as a presenter you are beginning your presentation with an audience full of preconceived, negative ideas about what you are going to talk about. if you begin your presentation in a way that confirms their expectations, you will already have lost your audience.
To overcome this you need to begin your presentation in an unexpected way. That is why the use of a contents slide only confirms to your audience that your presentation is going to be boring. Instead, eliminate the contents slide completely. All you need is an introduction slide with the title of your presentation. That slide should be on when your audience arrive. Then, once you get started you are straight in to your presentation.
This is a simple change to the ‘standard format’, but it can make a huge difference to the way your audience views your presentation.
Managing your audience’s expectations is one part of your presentation that is increasingly becoming more important. Audiences’ attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter and keeping your audience’s attention focussed on your presentation is becoming increasingly difficult. Today, you have to think like a movie director. To have to think about what will grab your audience’s attention and what will keep your audience’s attention. Following tried and tested formats for a presentation is just not going to do that today.