3 Mistakes Rookies Make in PowerPoint {Easy Office Productivity Tip}

September 30, 2013

    So you have a presentation to make.  Maybe it's a new customer or maybe you've been asked to speak at a professional group or conference.   Since many people are visual learners it makes sense to have a PowerPoint presentation.   Here are 3 mistakes that you don't want to make on YOUR next PowerPoint presentation.  

Keep it Cluttered

If you want the audience to pay attention to your slides and not to what you are saying, by all means, keep your slides as cluttered as possible.  After all, you put all that time into them, right? People immediately read your slide once it's up, so keep it as simple as possible.  Include an easy to read title, a bullet point or two, and a graphic (but only if necessary).  If you are having trouble fitting it all on a slide, you have too much info.  Put it on more than one slide, or better yet, eliminate some of it.  And please -- skip the cheesy clip art!

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. - Author Unknown  

Make it Hard to Read

On the flip side, if they can't read the slide, then they are listening to you speak, right?   Maybe not.  Have you ever been so distracted by trying to figure out what you are looking at that you completely missed what the speaker was saying.   Me neither (cough). To keep your slides easy to read, be sure to use dark text on a white background.   If you insist on a dark background, use white or a VERY light pastel color for text.    And then make the font a little bigger, just for good measure.    

Overwhelm the Audience

Brevity is the soul of wit - "Hamlet"

If you want to lose the audience overwhelm them.   Write your slides in complete and complex paragraphs using as much jargon as possible.   If you use bullet points, put them all up at once. Seriously, though, your slides are just for the main points of what you are talking about.  Very, VERY few topics need a full slide of text in paragraph form.   A lengthy quote from another document might, or a page from a technical manual, but odds are, you aren't giving that type of presentation.   Also, if you are using one slide for more than one topic, show the bullet points one at a time.  

What makes you lose your interest in a presentation?

 Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more.  You can find her writing for various online and print publications.  To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on .