Do you want to give an outstanding Microsoft PowerPoint presentation next time you’re in front of a room? Then this blog post is for you. These five mistakes kill PowerPoint presentations. Learn how you can avoid them, and give your best presentation yet.
The Secret of a Strong PowerPoint Presentation
You may feel you’ve succeeded by just surviving your PowerPoint presentation. However, your audience doesn’t know or care about that. They’re not impressed that you’ve taken hours to put together your PowerPoint, confronted your fear of public speaking and now you’re standing at the front of the room. Nope. They still care more about what’s important to them.
The secret to giving a good PowerPoint presentation is focusing on your audience and their needs. Remember, they may be fidgeting in a hard chair, squirming to get to the restroom, glancing at the clock or pinching their nose from the neighbor’s repulsive cologne. They might be hungry, thirsty, or have to make a phone call to a loved one. Remember what it’s like to be an audience member.
By focusing on them, you settle your nerves sooner and give a better performance. That’s why the following five mistakes and tips focus on getting into your audience.
The Top 5 Deadly Mistakes
Mistake # 1: No Spice
You might be promoting your company, your message, a product, a service or an idea that needs to gain acceptance. While your goal is important and you must adhere to it, remember to sprinkle your PowerPoint slides with interesting tidbits. Your audience wants to learn something new, interesting and relevant. Pepper your PowerPoint with a few quotes, shocking statistics and images that clearly demonstrate your point.
In just a few moments, you’ll discover exactly where you can find these tidbits to quickly insert into your PowerPoint. But first, it’s important to learn how to get your audience’s attention from the start. That brings us to…
Mistake # 2: Not Explaining What They Get
Establish relevance early. Let them know what they’ll get from listening and giving you their full attention. Bullet points work wonderfully well here. In fact, you can simply title your second or third slide, “What You Will Get from This Presentation.” Then give the answer.
Mistake # 3: Using PowerPoint Gimmicks
It’s sad to say, but people still lean on gimmicks as a crutch. Twirling text, fancy fades and too many fonts all distract your audience from your message. In order to avoid distractions, here are a few tips:
- Stick to a Clean Layout
- Pick Two or Three Fonts: 1 for the Header, 1 for Text, Maybe 1 for Sub-heads
- Use a Font Big Enough for Everyone’s Eyes to See
- Use Visual Aids, such Pictures and Graphs if They Support Your Point at a Glance
- Turn Off Your Antivirus & Email Alerts
- Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Remember this: The best presentation delivers your message to the audience and pushes PowerPoint out of the picture.
Mistake # 4: Giving Too Much
Don’t ramble. Some people feel they need to go above and beyond the outline because they’re feeling comfortable in front of an audience. They want to give as much as they can in the time they have left. Don’t be like them.
Remember to keep it short and to-the-point. If you want to give your audience something nobody else gives, then give them a break… literally.
Surprise your audience by finishing early. By leaving them wanting to know more, you create interest. By stretching it too long, they can’t wait to get away. So end on a positive note.
Mistake # 5: No Take-Aways (Specific Information They Can Use Today)
Let them have something useful. Reveal inside information. Give them a website to visit. Let them have something they can apply immediately… today. You want the reaction of, “Wow! That’s interesting. I’m going to check that out.”
If you see them scribbling furiously to write down the tidbit, then you know it worked.
Here’s something you can use right now. Remember how you were promised a place to find interesting things to insert into your PowerPoint? Here it is. Visit http://www.brainyquote.com. You can get famous quotes to support your points, and they’re organized to let you find quotes quickly. Also, be sure to place your quotes at the top of your slides for maximum effect.
See? You now have something you can use right now, and it demonstrates the point perfectly. Take-aways are powerful.
Now, you’ll remember this blog post and how it helped you deliver your best PowerPoint to date. You might want to bookmark, tweet, like or share this with a friend.
Do You Make These Mistakes in Your PowerPoint Presentations?
What other obvious mistakes do you see in PowerPoint presentations? Did we miss something? Leave your comment below and discuss.
This guest post was written by Eric V, marketing director for PresentationBundle.com. Visit us for amazing Microsoft PowerPoint charts and diagrams.