PowerPoint Mistakes to Avoid

July 13th, 2012

PowerPoint presentations are the vacation slide shows of the business world: we’ve all sat through mundane ones that seemed to last forever. But there are a few tips that you can follow to prevent creating a PowerPoint presentation that bores your co-workers. This is important: You create PowerPoint presentations to distribute your message, promote products and get results. You can’t make this happen if no one’s listening to them.

Don’t Forget Creativity

PowerPoint is very easy to use, but this doesn’t mean you ought to be lazy where creativity is concerned. Try to produce imaginative ways to make your slides more interesting. Maybe use an unforgettable quote that relates to your subject, or use a mnemonic device to help retention. Don’t just put a bunch of slides up that have bullet points on them.

Rather, use the opportunity of having a visual aid to enhance your presentation. That is the advantage of using PowerPoint; to help memory retention through visual stimulation.

Come with Solutions

Giving solutions or insights into the data you present is another way to help make your PowerPoint memorable. If your meeting is not merely to inform your audience but get them to think about the data and possibly come up with suggestions for improvement or change, get them thinking along the same lines as you by giving them some creative ideas to ponder.

Also, if the purpose of your presentation is to simply inform, add some intriguing details to the data. Tell them why there was an abrupt spike in revenue last quarter, or why sales suddenly dropped. The more well rounded a picture you can lend to your data, the more likely your audience will remember it.

Don’t Get Too Fancy

While you should be creative when you create your slides, don’t opt for all the bells and whistles. A frequent mistake managers make is using pointless graphics and pictures, thinking this pop of color will draw the attention of the audience. What it commonly does is distract. Additionally, many people simply read their slides to the audience, this is redundant and can bore, if not annoy, the audience. They will just read your points. Instead, focus on the most important item and go in depth. Otherwise you could have just emailed the presentation to them and saved your breath.

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