mistakes to avoid

6 Mistakes to avoid when creating a presentation

6 Mistakes to avoid when creating a presentation with PowerPoint

Welcome back to PowerPoint Training Online where today we are going to discuss 6 mistakes to avoid when a creating a presentation with PowerPoint.

I have been creating and managing presentations for quite a few years now. I have also had the pleasure of being on the far side of the stage too.

I love presenting and delivering training to help people improve their knowledge on any topic. And when I do carry out training or a talk PowerPoint is always in my tools list to help me get the job done. I also know that I am not the only one. There are countless amounts of presentations created daily using Microsoft PowerPoint. The business world uses it, the military world uses it and you use it.

There are plenty of presentations which are out of this world. Just look at any Ted Talk. And not just Ted Talks, look at any major product release. iPhones, Android, Windows and Facebook. The tech world has it down. But for every great presentation there is also a hundred very bad ones. In the financial world, there are presentations that are filled with charts and numbers that will make you feel sick with all the ups and downs. There are presentations that have short stories typed onto every slide.

You do not want to be one of the bad ones. So today we are going to help you create a great presentation by going through the 6 mistakes to avoid when creating a presentation with PowerPoint.

The first of the mistakes to avoid

To many words

The first mistake that I want you to avoid is a very common one that is made. Too many words. A lot of people feel the need to fill a slide with text. They then go on to read from that slide when they are presenting.

This will not help you to build a connection with your audience.

Furthermore, a person looking at your slide will start reading the words. As they will be able to read much quicker than you. This leads to a multitude of problems. The audience is not listening to you. They are not paying attention to you which means they will not feel the passion coming from you. They will read the information from the slide, then switch off. You never want your audience to switch off.

The best work around for this is to use graphics or in some cases bullet points. Below there are three images. Which one do you feel looks the best.

Mistake 1b
Lots of words – too much information
Mistake 1c
Bullet points – look clean and tidy
Mistake 1a
Graphics – now this is better

The second of the mistakes to avoid

Too much information

Similar mistake one, if you put too much information on a slide. It is just going to make it difficult for your audience to pay attention. The first mistake to avoid looked at too much text, this time we are looking at information in general.

The best practice is to use the rule of three. Never build a presentation on more than 3 key points. And then to take it further never build a slide with more than 3 key points. Remember, you can always add another slide.

Ted talks are time limited. Each Ted talk must be finished within 18 minutes. Why do you think this is?

They know that if a person has more time, they will just fill the presentation with more information.

The third of the mistakes to avoid

No images

I can never understand why somebody would not use images. The maxim ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is a powerful statement.

An image can make you feel. It can allow your audience to feel a connection above what words can do. It will bring clarification much more than words on a screen.

We recently published an article on ‘Why you should be using graphics and images in PowerPoint’. This article will explain exactly why you should be using images in your presentations.

You can see from the images below just what we mean. Which one do you think looks more appealing?

The fourth of the mistakes to avoid

Too many images

Using images is great. It will excel your presentation to the top. But never overdo it. As we mention with mistake three, you do not want to have too much information.

Having too many images will overload the brain. The eye won’t know where to look and your audience will not be able to process all that information. Which is counter intuitive to helping people understand your point or message. You can see from the image below, it is about animals, but that is as far as you can guess with this one. It covers mammals, fish & birds. There is no common theme aside from animals. This would be great if you were talking just about animals. But then you are in the territory of providing too much information again.

mistake 4a

The fifth of the mistakes to avoid

Poor quality images and videos

By now you should know how important images are in a presentation. Videos are as equally important but if you are showing poor quality images and videos. There use becomes null in void. In the world of technology that we live in nowadays people will not tolerate poor quality.

You may think that you might be able to get away with it. But you will not. Your audience will spend more time talking and discussing the quality instead of the fine points which you talk about.

If an image is meant to be used at a lower size but you still want to use it. Then you need to retake the picture. Never settle for 2nd grade pictures.

The same goes for video. If you know the arena you are presenting in does not have good network access, then don’t stream from YouTube. Download the video and embed it onto your slide.

The sixth of the mistakes to avoid

Over the top animations and transitions

The final mistake I would like you to avoid is a serious one. Too many times I see a person that has never used PowerPoint or a tool like PowerPoint before. They start adding content slides. Ignoring all the advice above. Then they realise that you can do fancy things like animations and transitions.

Before you know it, you are in the audience looking at images, shapes, graphs and all sorts flying in from all directions. Objects fading in on top of other objects. An abundance of different animations leading to one big mess. And that is before they start using transitions. Curtains, flashes and checkerboard effects.

Both features when used in moderation can make any dull presentation stand out from the crowd.

I prefer to stick to using very basic animations, keeping them generally the same throughout the presentation. Unless one object deserves special attention.

Remember keeping it simple is the name of the game.

Now you know the 6 mistakes that you should avoid when creating a PowerPoint presentation. Go out and create the best presentation you ever have.

Cheers for reading,

Bye Bye

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Microsoft UK IE

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