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A PowerPoint Presentation is Not a Literary Document

August 6, 2015 / Blog audience engagement, Powerpoint tips, ppt tips, Rick Enrico, slide content, SlideGenius

Since its release in 1990, PowerPoint has become one of the most-used presentation tools both in the boardroom and out of it. Its numerous features and user-friendliness have made it popular among on-the-go individuals in need of complementary visuals.

However, it’s for the same reasons that people tend to abuse PowerPoint when making slide presentations. Even higher-ups are guilty of overdesigning and creating a visually appealing but overflowing slide with too much content. Though done with the intention of improving audience learning, it’s among the riskiest behaviors that weaken your credibility.

If you’ve been using this software in your talks, seminars and meetings, steer clear from treating it as a literary document. Avoid this presentation trap by following these expert tips:

Avoid Overcrowding Text

Long passages and dramatic sentences are for books, not for slides. Throwing heavy-text at your audience is only effective at tuning them out from your discussion. Though your point is to convey a complete thought, it can still cause confusion when a bunch of ideas is presented at the same time.

Don’t risk losing your audience’s attention. Limit your content to a few points for a clear and concise presentation. Start by asking yourself: “Do they really need to know this?”

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Use Effective Visuals

In response to being too verbose, using effective visuals is a sure way to prevent your slide presentation from looking like a literary piece. Images, videos, or any moving elements are great substitutes for text.

Since visuals are processed 60,000 times faster compared to text, take advantage of them to make an influential and engaging pitch.

Don’t Read Your Slides

Literary works require thorough appreciation, but reading your slide while you’re presenting is like stating the obvious. This was actually pinpointed as the top habit that annoyed audiences in Dave Paradi’s 2013 PowerPoint survey.

When you read off each word, you lose your connection with your listeners, leaving them with this impression: “This guy spends a lot of time facing the screen.” Rid yourself of this bad presentation habit. At the same time, learn how not to depend on your script.

It’s okay to read bits of information from your deck, as long as you limit it to the absolute minimum to let you glide into a more natural and expressive way of talking.


Despite the fact that literary works such as stories make presentations successful, your PowerPoint slides shouldn’t be crammed with text just to instill a sense of drama to your audience. Got problems creating PowerPoint presentation that sell? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you design a deck with a selling edge!


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How Not to Depend on Your PowerPoint Presentation Scripts.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Latest Annoying PowerPoint Survey Results.Think Outside The Slide. August 28, 2012. Accessed August 6, 2015.
The Power of Visual Communication.” Billion Dollar Graphics. Accessed August 6, 2015.