Is Your PowerPoint Presentation Worthy of Your Attendees’ Attention?
Nov 05, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

Here are some pretty astonishing facts about Microsoft PowerPoint:

  • It has been the communication software of choice for more than 22 years
  • Over 1 billion computers have PowerPoint installed on them and
  • It is estimated that 350 presentations are given every second worldwide.

But the question of the day is: Are these presentations any good? According to Jesse Desjardine, Head of Social Media at Tourism Australia, most presenters make 5 common but avoidable mistakes when they develop their presentation. Below is a recap of those mistakes along with a way you and your speakers can fix them to ensure your presentation services audio visual system isn't a waste of your money. 

PowerPoint Problem # 1: The Slide Has Too Many Words

As subject-matter expert, sometimes speakers try to cram as much information onto a slide. The problem with this is the speaker sees one thing and the attendee sees the following: 

blah

The message is clear: Less words. More space. 

PowerPoint Problem # 2: No visuals. 

We just experienced Hurricane Sandy which was devastating to many homeowners and businesses up and down the East Coast. You can read all about it but until you see a visual of the intensity of the storm, it doesn't make much sense. Here is a photo from the storm that captures Sandy's power: 

hurricane

More visuals. Less words. 

PowerPoint Problem # 3: The Quality Just Isn't There. 

In an attempt to make the presentation "cute" with visuals, graphics and animation, the presenter can lose their message content. Just like a good book, a great presentation has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. How do you know if your presentation has lost its value? Run it by your friends, your spouse or your co-workers who are not familiar with your talk.

If they look like this at the end of your talk

perplexed

You know you have a problem and need to start over. 

At the end of each slide, you need to ask yourself two very important questions: What is the point? Why should your audience care? 

PowerPoint Problem # 4: The presentation is full of mixed fonts, colors and grammatical errors. 

Having a presentation full of many different font types, color schemes and typos can be overwhelming to most attendees and definitely detract from your message.

Here is a good example: 

too much

What is the message? I have no idea other than they want to teach you about Prefixes and Suffixes. What would an attendee walk away with from this type of slide? 

PowerPoint Problem # 5: The speaker is just winging it. 

wing

If I heard this one time, I heard it a hundred: "Well, this isn't my presentation. It is my boss', co-worker's, trainer's or (you fill in the blank). They couldn't be here today, so I stepped in."

What does that say about you? Your company? Your boss? 

It says you and your organization don't give a hoot about the presentation or the attendees. 

In each of these instances, it was very clear to me before I even approached the speaker that he or she did not prep for the talk. They were uncomfortable in front of the audience, they could not answer any questions and they skipped many of the slides because they had no idea what was on them. 

Don't let your speakers wing it. Only 25% of speakers spend more than 2 hours preparing for a high stakes presentation. Make sure your presenters are a part of that 25% and they will go far and you will look good. 

Are you event planning in California? Consider AV Event Solutions for all your presentation services audio visual needs! Fill out their Express Quote form where they can turn around your quote in 4 business hours! 

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