PowerPoint’s a must in the field of presentation. However, critics have raised several points against it, one of the most notorious being “Death by PowerPoint.”
Under its premise, this phenomenon is when a presenter bores a reader with their lengthy and rather clunky slide deck. However, is it really the presentation tool’s fault, or does the speaker have a hand in the mishap?
Find out how you might be misusing your slides:
It’s Not Your Crutch
Don’t fall into the trap of using your slide deck as a safety blanket.
It’s still necessary to practice your public speaking skills even if you have a winning deck. Reading from your slides will only cut off the personal connection you need to establish between yourself and your audience. Be more natural in your presentation and drop the script. Rehearse your pitch in front of a mirror and try to incorporate things that will further engage the audience, like your body language and posture. Make sure to maintain eye contact as you speak to people so that you appear both conversational and professional in your delivery.
You Have Too Many Slides
This well-known phenomenon, “Death by PowerPoint,” occurs when an inexperienced presenter drowns the audience with a barrage of slides and innumerable bullet points.
Remember that people can only process so much information at once, so it’s important to keep your presentation as short as possible. Leave out things from your slide that aren’t direct key points. Covering too many topics means you’ll be adding more slides to list them in. Business expert Guy Kawasaki formulated the 10-20-30 rule as a guide for presenters. Stick to 10 slides in 20 minutes, and don’t go below a 30-point font size. Your audience will only remember the highlights of your presentation, so don’t bombard them with too many slides that can distract their memory.
Your Design Might Need Tweaking
Some design choices can be detrimental to your overall slide deck. Since PowerPoint is primarily a visual tool, the way its aesthetics contribute to your core message affect people’s reception of it.
Take a step back and reconsider your deck’s design. Tap into its different aspects, like color and layout. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so use the appropriate hues for your deck to get the right attention. Make use of white space to draw attention to important elements on your slides and let your audience’s eyes relax at the same time.
As the presenter, make sure that it’s not your own design choices that are holding you back from delivering a good pitch and presenting a well-made deck.
A deck isn’t an excuse to slack on your speech, so make sure to treat it only as a visual aid reserved for your key points. Cut back on the amount of slides you have and leave room for you to expound and explain each part of your presentation. Tweak your design to evoke the right response from people.
If you want a deck ready for your brand to use without the added hassle, contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!
Hedges, Kristi. “Six Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint.” Forbes. November 14, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/11/14/six-ways-to-avoid-death-by-powerpoint
Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. http://guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule
“Understanding Information Overload.” Infogineering. www.infogineering.net/understanding-information-overload.htm
Featured Image: “Confused” by CollegeDegrees360 on flickr.com