Engaging PowerPoint Slides- Top 5 No Nos!

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Given the tech savvy ways of today’s society, almost everyone is able to create presentation slides for their meeting or projects with ease. The question is- HOW would they be able to avoid every single cliche rookie mistake and make it engaging instead?

Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy to achieve- just as long as you avoid making these 5 major ‘No
No’s.

1. Paying too little or too much attention to aesthetics

Visuals play an important part in each and every presentation as a means of capturing as well as retaining an individual’s attention.

Keeping in mind that your objective is to leave your audience with newfound information, your presentation should be engaging enough to warrant their attention and time, but not fanciful
enough to resemble a pompous peacock. Templates and backgrounds should be kept consistent throughout your slides and simple so that the audience can focus better, and your presentation would look less like a garish myriad an inebriated painter came out with.

Instead, what you can do, is to pay some attention to colour balance. The concept of colour is a powerful tool to grasp. In Art, colour evokes different emotions based on a person’s perspective
and culture. Similarly for business presentation, using the right colour could also improve overall interest.

2. Text Overloading

For better effects, don’t use overly complicated jargon or fill your slides with too much information. A little bit of even spacing helps draw power to your delivery and also allows others to focus and process at a more efficient pace. Keep your points short and sweet- everyone would feel dismayed or bored when met with daunting amounts of text.

Always remember that your presentation tools, including the slides, are there to support you inyour presentation and not to steal the limelight. A good presentation doesn’t necessarily need to be backed with slides containing a lot of information. If there’s a need to and if there’s a request, you could always prepare details and reports to hand out as a take away to your audience after
your speech.

The same goes for fonts. Different fonts evoke different feelings. If you are using a particular font set, make sure to use the same font set for the rest of the slides as well.

3. Using too much Animation

Animation effects like sound or slide transitions can spice things up once in a while and save your presentation from being as interesting as a stagnant pool of water. But the reverse situation could apply too- the overuse of animation effects can distract the audience from the points that you are trying to make.

Worse still, they’d think it’s cheesy if the effects happen to be repetitive. Not exactly the best impression to make.

It’s also best to remember that not all computers/laptops run at the same speed. The more animation-heavy your slides are, the higher chance of the effects lagging (becoming ridiculously slow or stuck), which would ultimately backfire on you.

Though that’s not to say that you should avoid the animation completely. Subtle effects are highly recommended- like a wipe, and other basic professional ones. Alternate the effects and
make sure not to apply it too liberally.

4. Failure to use Charts, Graphs and Multimedia

The appropriate usage of charts, graphics and forms of multimedia is also a fantastic way of breaking the monotony and engaging your audience. If your presentation slides require images, you can either take the pictures yourself as long as it’s high quality or you can purchase stock images from websites like Depositphotos so as to avoid copyright issues. High quality is a must when it comes to professional work! Enlarging the images forcibly will only cause the resolution to deteriorate and seem blurry.

Try your best to avoid using the clip art Microsoft powerpoint offers- chances are, your audience have already seen the same generic pictures hundreds of times.

Charts are also a good way to reduce clunky walls of text- Pie Charts, Vertical/Horizontal bar Charts, Line Charts and more. Make use of different chart creating software or websites to effectively display data without crowding.

Video or audio embedding is another highly recommended technique. Powerpoint making applications or software usually allow you to embed them directly into the slides itself so you
don’t have to face the hassle of switching windows or what not.

5. Stifling content

Nothing is as worst as having boring content. It’s the ultimate killer of both inspiration and attention. If you want to successfully retain interest, you have to do so by capturing the hearts and ears of your audience so to speak.

Create a hook- reel your audience in by coming up with something that entices or frightens them, given the appropriate situation. Once you’ve gotten their intrigue, you can continue on with the rest of your speech. In fact, you can turn the tables on them when they least expect. Ask them questions and listen to their feedback, engage their curiosity, show them that you are there to work with them, to teach instead of preaching.

Here are the top 5 major powerpoint presentation faux pas. Now that you’re aware, it’s time to contemplate if you are guilty of committing one of the No-Nos. Ask for the opinions of your colleagues and friends. Pitch your ideas to a stranger and ask them what they thought. If you can identify what is lacking, you can polish your communication skills until it shines.

 

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