A PowerPoint presentation can be as good or as bad as you make it. Death by PowerPoint is a phenomenon that has been brought about by the poor use of this versatile software. The use of boring graphics, overcrowded slides, complicated graphs and too much animation. Too many objects and text flipping, twisting and floating across a slide just makes an audience dizzy!

A presentation needs to be created with the audience in mind and should engage and entertain from the first slide right through to the last. Once you lose the audience’s attention, it’s hard to get it back. Short, concise, clean and interesting slides will do the trick. You don’t need to tell them anything they don’t need to know. Choose the features and display options carefully – by all means use the animation and transition features (a slide that fades in is much softer than one that just ‘appears’) but just don’t overdo it. The speaker should use the technology as a visual aid to support and enhance what is being said. Too much dependence upon the presentation itself will result in it becoming a barrier between him/her and the audience.

A few things to bear in mind when you create your PowerPoint presentation…

  • Plan your presentation and set clear objectives
  • Use language your target audience will relate to and understand
  • Choose interesting, relevant images – avoid contrived images
  • Keep your slides minimal, concise and clean
  • Avoid using too much animation or too many bullet points
  • Brand your presentation and use your company colours
  • Most importantly, check the spelling!

A PowerPoint presentation that is planned, well-designed and consistently branded will leave your audience with a positive and professional impression of your products and services. If you get it right, they won’t drop off to sleep along the way…

Don McMillan points out the common PowerPoint mistakes – click here to watch his amusing video!