“How Not to Give a Slideshow Presentation
Guest Post by the SlidePro a French PowerPoint Presentation Design Agency who share some great Powerpoint presentation tips
If you ever dread either listening to or giving a PowerPoint presentation, it’s worth asking yourself why that is. Is it because you always find yourself bored when listing to a presentation? Or are most of the slide shows you’ve had to sit through in the past horrifically designed?
It is possible to craft a slide show presentation that’s both engaging and beautiful. The key is avoiding a few common pratfalls that are the difference between a presentation that fires your audience up or one that puts them to sleep.
Not Keeping Your Slides Concise
A common mistake most people make when crafting a presentation is putting far too much information on each slide. The point behind a PowerPoint is to concisely sum up the points you are trying to make in your verbal presentation. Don’t force your audience to read through a giant wall of text.
This also means you should not read directly off your slides. Your audience should be able to use your slides as reference, to help better remember the message you are trying to impart to them, but they should not have an entire transcript to attempt to sort through.
Powerpoint Presentation Tips: The less cluttered, the better. Not only will your slides look a lot cleaner when the information presented is more precise but you’ll help guarantee that your audience will be paying more attention to you.
No Consistent Templates
There are plenty of beautiful PowerPoint templates out there. But don’t make your presentation a chance to show off every single one of them. Ideally, you should be keeping the design of your slide show very consistent. Utilize the same or complementing font throughout the show. Don’t change background colors or the template on a whim. Every part of your presentation must look like it fits together.
PowerPoint Presentation Tips: A consistent design will also make sure that your audience will be more focused on the content of your speech, and not trying to figure out what kind of crazy font you’ll use next.
Just as your content matters, so does your delivery method. Keeping your theme consistent is one thing. But ensuring that the theme you’re using works is even more important.
In general, you want to make sure that your font is easy to read and understand. Dark font with a light background is recommended. If you insist on a dark background, stick with q light font. Audience members should not have to strain to read what’s on the PowerPoint.
Powerpoint Presentation Tips: When selecting colors, it’s helpful to refer to a color wheel. Colors opposite one another on a color wheel generally go together while colors side by side often clash. Play around with your slides and see what you can come up with.
If you’re not sure what design you should go with for your presentation, it’s often safer to use a template or hire the professionals. Don’t try to guess what looks good on your own, always get a second opinion. Ask your graphic designer friend or that one colleague who always says what’s on their mind.
Not Including Graphs and Charts (If Relevant)
Sometimes, graphs and charts might be exactly what you need to illustrate a specific point. But don’t include a graph or chart if it’s not relevant or truly necessary. Many fantastic presentations are able to do just fine without the addition of a visual chart. But certain topics, such as anything to do with finances or statistics, are lent credibility with the addition of something to truly visualize the point you are trying to make. You can’t, after all, show that profits fell in the third quarter if you don’t provide proof or have a way to visually relate that to the audience.
Not Planning or Rehearsing Ahead of Time
The worst presentations often have one thing in common – the presenter did not prepare properly. Whether they did not rehearse, or their slide show was disorganized, there’s only one remedy – make sure you outline every component of your demonstration.
Along with a script for your speech, you should be outlining what you would like to put in your PowerPoint as well. Remember, like we said earlier, only summarize your points in the PowerPoint. Don’t use it as your sole medium of information. But you want to make sure that what’s on each slide matches up with what you are planning to say for the best results. While you should not read off your slides, you should also make sure that your slides match up with the point you are trying to make.
That’s why it’s also helpful to rehearse a few times before you’re set to present. Enlist a few friends (or that particularly honest colleague) and ask them for feedback. Make sure you’re also testing out the equipment you’ll need to use for your presentation. Nothing sets back a fine PowerPoint back like technical difficulties.
Being a Dull Speaker
It’s not just pretty slides that will make sure your presentation is a hit. You need to make sure you’re an engaging speaker too. It may be helpful to take a public speaking class, or to join a public speaking club, where you can learn how to deliver your messages in a way that ensures that you’re keeping your audience’s attention.
Creating a beautiful PowerPoint takes time and effort but it is possible if you avoid these common pratfalls. Whether you design one yourself or enlist the help of a skilled professional, a strong slide show both enriches a presentation and helps provide a way for audiences to better relate to your topic.