4 Mistakes You’re Making in PowerPoint Presentations

220217 paper balls lg

NEW! Listen to article

PowerPoint is so ubiquitous that many individuals take it without any consideration. And, as a result of it is so easy, many do not take the time to really get probably the most out of it.

Even worse, too many assume “PowerPoint” and “presentation” are synonymous, believing that each one it takes to provide an important presentation is a slick set of slides.

But nice displays aren’t the results of likelihood, and they’re undoubtedly not one-size-fits-all. Even in case you are an skilled presenter, likelihood is you’ll be able to enhance a number of issues in your subsequent presentation that may assist sway the viewers.

Best of all, most of these widespread errors are simple to repair, and fixing them pays off with enormous dividends.

So, let’s run via 4 of the largest errors folks make when making a PowerPoint presentation, and a few approaches for overcoming them.

Mistake No. 1: You aren’t serious about your viewers

If you are taking just one factor away from this text, it ought to be this primary level. No matter how simple you assume your presentation is, it at all times advantages from an adjustment in order that it speaks to the distinctive desires and pursuits of your particular viewers.

Consider the next to get a way of why this issues:

  • Your viewers may have numerous ranges of data about you and your product: A busy, C-suite viewers will need to hear various things than a product supervisor.
  • The viewers could have heard three different pitches for a similar service this week.
  • A small group could profit from more interplay, whereas a big group could profit from a more presenter-led model.
  • Some folks watching could have heard your pitch already.

In every of these situations, you’ll need to tailor the size, stage of element, and general strategy to match the particular viewers. If you have been to current the identical factor to all of them, you’ll have little success.

Mistake No. 2: You aren’t telling a narrative

If you do any analysis into the artwork of making higher displays, you may virtually actually come throughout the subject of storytelling. Unfortunately, a lot of the articles you may read are frustratingly obscure on what that’s. As a consequence, too many individuals assume it is a gimmick and do not give storytelling the attention it deserves.

Presentation storytelling can imply a variety of issues, however in its most elementary kind, it merely means placing your concepts into context.

There are a number of methods to do this. First, you can begin by writing headlines that construct to a bigger level. That will assist take your viewers on a journey from the begin to the top of your presentation, which is all storytelling actually is!

Another efficient option to inform a narrative in a presentation is to focus on benefits rather than features. If you need members of your viewers to know the main points of your product, give them a reality sheet. If you need them to know how their lives (or enterprise) will enhance because of selecting you, speak about advantages. By displaying how issues will enhance (or “benefit” them), you are describing a change over time, which is the core of what a narrative is.

The beauty of tales is that they’re customizable. You can tweak the best way you body advantages, or the best way you information your viewers from begin to end, based mostly on the distinctive wants and pursuits of that viewers.

Mistake No. 3: You aren’t contemplating format

Too usually, folks deal with PowerPoint displays as all-purpose paperwork that operate as in-person displays, leave-behinds, and generally even separate items of promoting collateral. But the reality is, the PowerPoint you share in individual ought to be totally different from the one you share on-line, and each ought to be totally different from the one you permit behind as a printout or PDF.

Let’s check out what’s totally different about every model of PowerPoint, and how one can design your slides (and presentation) to greatest swimsuit every format.

In-Person Presentations

When you consider PowerPoint displays, likelihood is an in-person presentation is what you image. People gathered round a desk, slides on a display, a speaker commanding the eye of each eye in the room. For persuading an viewers, nothing beats an in-person presentation.

When making slides for an in-person presentation, your content material ought to be minimal and centered.

The motive for that’s an excessive amount of info on a slide defeats the aim of presenting in individual. The worth of an in-person presentation is the private connection you can also make together with your viewers, so whenever you’re in the room, you need folks centered on what you might be saying, not shifting their consideration to read full sentences on a slide. That’s as a result of any time that your viewers are studying what’s in your slide, they are not being attentive to you.

So, use the content material in your slides to bolster your story (more on that later), and ship the principle level your self.

Virtual Presentations

We’ve all grow to be conversant in digital displays over the previous couple of years. And in the event you’ve given even one among them, you have in all probability seen that it is slightly totally different from standing in entrance of a room and talking.

In a digital presentation, you need to work more durable to maintain your viewers engaged. That means utilizing fewer phrases and distracting graphics on slides. It additionally means that you could be need to think about altering the size of your presentation to keep away from viewers’ checking their e mail or on-line procuring when they need to be listening to you.

Although technological challenges are a giant concern for in-person displays, these challenges are magnified whenever you’re presenting on-line. Connection speeds can range, animations can seem uneven, pictures could be pixelated, audio can lower in and out. Each of these situations can change from minute to minute, they usually have a destructive influence on the vibe of your presentation.

So, when designing a PowerPoint for a digital presentation, you need to keep on with the best-practices of simplifying your design, stripping out any extraneous parts, and tightening up your general timing.

Leave-Behind Presentations

Many (if not most) occasions, you may need to ship over a model of your PowerPoint for the viewers to overview or share with individuals who did not attend your presentation. It may appear simple to ship out the identical doc you introduced, however that is the place the worth of contemplating your viewers comes into play.

When watching a leave-behind presentation, readers have time to concentrate on every slide and undergo (and again over) your presentation in element. And with out you in the room to ship the large concepts, they’re going to want extra context and clarification. That means if you wish to make your case clear and compelling, you may want so as to add info that the in-person model of your presentation ignored. This is the place you can begin writing in full sentences reasonably than giving temporary bullet factors or together with extra slides.

The different massive distinction between in-person and leave-behind displays is design. Animations, video/gif, even colours will all render in a different way (if in any respect) on the printed web page or as a flat PDF. So, if you’d like readers to have the most effective expertise, you may must create a flattened model of your presentation—one that’s designed with the particular issues of the studying format in thoughts.

However, that is not so simple as simply exporting your present PowerPoint. Many graphics created in PowerPoint do not switch effectively to a special format.

The answer to this downside is definitely the ultimate massive mistake that individuals make in PowerPoint…

Mistake No. 4: You aren’t testing your presentation

It’s the day of your massive presentation, and also you’re banging out the previous couple of slides to suit in all of the suggestions out of your group. You give it a as soon as over, smile that it is all trying good, then share out the ultimate file.

And then the assembly begins. There’s a typo on Slide 2. The wording on Slide 6 is sort of awkward whenever you say it out loud. Are the numbers in that chart even proper? Wait, why does that animation pause midway via?

If you are like us, most (if not all) of that sounds acquainted, as a result of it is occurred at the very least as soon as earlier than. But the excellent news is, there’s a straightforward answer: observe.

Many folks appear to assume that as a result of they’ve given plenty of displays in the previous, or as a result of they know their topic effectively, they need not observe their presentation earlier than giving it. But in our expertise, there’s by no means a time whenever you will not profit from taking a couple of minutes to run via your work. And if it is more than a couple of minutes, even higher.

From higher writing to sharper design to fewer errors, there are such a lot of causes to take the time to observe your presentation, and no causes to not.

* * *

If you have seen a number of of the errors from this text in your individual displays, don’t be concerned! Even specialists are prone to profit from contemplating every of them earlier than giving their subsequent presentation. If you retain them in thoughts earlier than you begin every new presentation, you may discover that the little bit of additional time you spend will result in a variety of nice outcomes.

More Resources on Great Presentations


Boring Presentations? Apply Content Marketing Principles to Level-Up Your Presentation Game

Presentations: ‘Show and Tell’ Author Dan Roam Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.