No, reading all the words on the slide is the close but it’s not the biggest mistake that presenters make when using PowerPoint. The biggest – and I see this so in almost every presentation – is –
Information overload on each slide.
Too much text. That’s the first and most often seen. Far too many ‘bullet points’.
Then we have the complicated graphics. Charts of every shape and type. Arrows from here to there and back again, trying to link the message,
Pictures that can’t easily be seen, Too many pictures !
Where do I look ? What’s important ? This is so confusing and takes away from the core of the message.
In simple terms, while the presenter is talking in this situation, the audience is trying to take in the text and images – and isn’t listening to the speaker.
There are many ways to overcome this, many ways within the design of PowerPoint but my overall message when putting your PowerPoint presentation together, think “Do I really need all these words/images/charts/arrows to convey my message ?”
The answer – of you’re really being honest – will likely be ‘No’.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re developing your visuals, is that PowerPoint, or for that matter, the video you’re showing or flipcharts you’re using, with very few exceptions, are not your presentation, they’re an aid to your presentation. You are the expert, those you’re presenting to want to hear from you and not be confused by an overload of text and charts and the like.
But what if the images and charts, even many photos, are the essence of your presentation, let’s say you’re a property developer and you have images of the properties, or you’re message is about endangered species of animals and you need to show photos or a new scientific development about the working of the human heart.
Sure, there are exceptions.
I’ll show you how to present these – correctly – in my Presentation Skills workshop.
When you don’t make this, the biggest mistake, you will engage your audience in a way that will increase impact – and they will remember more of your presentation.
So what about the second Biggest Mistake with PowerPoint.
Join me for my next blog in this series.