How Not to Use Powerpoint

OK. Show of hands: How many of you have witnessed a bad Powerpoint presentation? Let’s see, looks like it’s just about everyone out there who is vertical and above ground.

Don McMillan hits most of the big time mistakes. So, to keep it simple, do the opposite.

* Put just a few key ideas on each slide.
* Use the same, simple, attractive design as a template for each slide.
* Don’t use too many slides, too much data or too much animation.

The common theme here is that presentation software can distract from what you want to say rather than enhance it. If you have too much information on slides, people are busy writing down what they see on the screen and ignoring what you are saying.

One suggestion my friend Greg Jao makes to overcome this is to put questions on your slides rather than information. Doing so creates focus but also gets your audience engaged with what you are saying. It turns your listeners from passive sponges into active participants.

Stay focused on the purpose of why you are speaking–to influence your listeners. To do that, you can’t let technology rule you. Rule the technology.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.

One thought on “How Not to Use Powerpoint”

  1. Greg, where were you two weeks ago when I was putting the finishing touches on my Powerpoint? (See, I can do questions. I just didn’t do any at all on my Powerpoint. 🙂

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