During my Excellence in in Training Courses I ask participants for a list of things trainers do with PowerPoint that annoy them as students. The list is pretty consistent from class to class.
Here are 7 ways that are guaranteed to annoy your audience with Powerpoint:
- Too much text on the slides.
- Text is too small to read.
- Reading from the slide to the audience.
- Poor choice of colors making slides hard to read.
- Too many slides for the allotted time resulting in the instructor blasting through the slides.
- Making the PowerPoint the focal point of the presentation.
- Slide is too busy – Stuff flying in, flying out, sound effects, etc.
Let us take that list of 7 and turn it into a To Do list for using PowerPoint:
- Few words and more high quality pictures on your slides.
- Minimum of 32 size font using Helvetica or some other easy to read font. The bigger the room, the bigger the font size.
- If you have a quote or other text on the slide shut up and let the audience read it themselves. They cannot listen to you and read at the same time.
- Keep color choices simple. When in doubt, check it out. Create a slide in the colors schemes you think will work then project onto a screen and stand in the back of the room. If you cannot read it, then go to something basic.
- Have the appropriate amount of slides for the allotted time. If you discover you have too many slides, and it happens to all of us, then hide slides on the break or use the tools and shortcuts that allow you to jump ahead without anyone knowing.
- Make You the focal point of the presentation. PowerPoint is simply an aide. If the screen is in the center of the room and is distracting then blank the screen while you are expanding on the teaching point.
- Use animations very sparingly.
There are a lot of fancy things you can do with Powerpoint, Keynote and other presentation platforms. Remember that just because you can, does not mean you should.
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