3 PowerPoint Practices That Make People Cringe

Technology is Great… When You Know How to Use It

Don’t turn people off when you present. These annoying habits will distract people. Build slides that help instead of hurt your message.

Here are three unfortunately common mistakes and how to fix them…

 

1    Speaking Notes on the Slides
     What the audience is thinking:  I can read. There’s no need for you to read your slides to me…
      And now you’re turning your back to us while you read the slides so I can’t hear you either. How nice.

     Correction: Slides are meant for images that support your point. The best slides have less than
                           10 words. Yes, I mean total. Less is best.

 

2  “I know you can’t read this (graph, table, etc.), but I wanted to show you….”
 
   What the audience is thinking:  Too lazy to make handouts so now you want me to squint. Sigh…
     I still can’t read it. Frustrating.

     Correction: Distribute handouts if you *must* use this slide. Don’t make me miss important information.

 

3  Using acronyms
     What the audience is thinking:  I don’t want to look stupid. I’ll quickly search for that on my phone…
     Oh, that must be what they meant… Oh crap! Now I’ve missed their next point…

     Correction: Spell it out. SME could mean small- and medium-size businesses or subject matter expert.
     If someone says they will nominate an MVP for an award, do they mean their most valuable player or the
     best of their minimum viable products. The exception is something like IBM because people don’t
     normally call the company International Business Machines. 

What makes you cringe most about bad PowerPoint presentations? And how do you fix the issue? Share them below.

 

Catherine Doucette MEd, CTDP is a Training and Performance Consultant who delivers customized business communication and leadership training and helps businesses grow through strategic planning and problem solving

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