How to avoid Death by PowerPoint

Remember the last time you viewed a PowerPoint presentation? Was it engaging and inspiring or did it leave you feeling bored – eyes glazed over and counting the seconds until it was over? This is known as the dreaded Death by PowerPoint.

PowerPoint can be a fantastic presentation tool, but it is only a tool. The presenter makes or breaks the presentation! There are some classic mistakes presenters make which can lead to Death by PowerPoint.

These include putting too much information on slides, using poor images and fonts and reading directly from slides instead of engaging the audience with stories and ideas.

As a presenter, there are many varied ways to add some zing to your PowerPoint presentation to help your audience stay focused and interested.

Know your message – Consider your message and the reason for your presentation. What do you hope to inform others of? What is there to gain from it, or what do you want people to do with the information you present? Remember that you know your topic inside out, but this may be the first time your audience has ever thought about this matter. Make sure your message and presentation objectives are clear.

Make a good first impression – Make sure the first slide is attention-grabbing and on topic. Your presentation needs to stand out and be different from the start to pique interest.

Leverage visuals – Use visuals that make sense for the presentation subject and that can support your points. This can include graphs, infographics and photos. Often images are more memorable and interesting so will drive audience engagement. It is important, however, not to overdo it. Unrelated images will distract and confuse your audience and gimmicky animations can become distracting and seem unprofessional.

Know that less is more – Use fewer words on your slides and use bullet points where appropriate. This will allow your audience to quickly read and digest your words which makes a bigger impact than if they have to read lines of text.

Cut the number of slides – You want the content of your presentation to support what you’re saying, not act as a script, so use fewer slides and incorporate more discussions and ideas into your presentation.

Get funny and personal – Present your information with personal stories and humour to keep people interested. Stay on topic but keep it light where possible.

Involve your audience – Keep your audience engaged by asking them questions, undertaking polls or breaking into groups for discussions.

Talk to AVPartners today about how to take your next presentation from good to great.