5 Ways to Ruin Your PowerPoint Presentation
by Matt Groenm.email@example.com
Microsoft PowerPoint is a phenomenal tool for organizing and presenting information in a professional setting. Of course, it takes more than just a little tech-savvy and large font to put together an effective educational or sales presentation. Now, I could give you my opinions on some of the elements of every great PowerPoint presentation, but what fun would that be? Instead, here are some tips to turn your strong presentation into an absolute disaster.
1. Choose a very busy background
I can’t tell if that’s an exclamation point or if that guy is getting gored in the leg by the bull
First, time to choose a background for your slides. You’re probably considering a simple, light colored background for your slides, right? Boooooorrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiing! Do that and people will just be looking at the words on the screen. We all know that the words in your presentation are one of the least important aspects. Instead, use one of those awesome background templates you can get online – maybe the one that has a picture from the running of the bulls in Pamplona. And don’t worry about whether or not your audience will be able to read the words – just use black text over the white part of the background and white text over the black part of the background. Foolproof.
2. Write a LOT of text
You can read this size 4 font from the back of the room, right?
Okay, you picked out your slide background, now let’s figure out what you’re going to say. Rather than briefly stating your point with a couple of words or a short phrase, you should definitely write out whole paragraphs of text. That way, when you advance the slides you can just read aloud what is on the screen verbatim. Audiences LOVE that. One other note, make sure to use a smaller font size so you can squeeze lots of text on each slide – you can never have too much great content!
3. Use plenty of animation
Are those two words sword-fighting each other?
Well, you’ve got your text on the slides, now it’s show-time. Remember, you’re not there to professionally present information, you’re there to entertain. Hey look - this text is popping up in a checkerboard-pattern. This one is swirling in like a tornado! This one bounces like a racquet ball! All on the same page! This isn’t a business presentation; this is words like “value-proposition” and “strategic marketing” performing Cirque du Soleil stunts. Did you see that? The word “Loss” just flew up in the air, exploded like fireworks, and re-assembled itself into the word “Profit” – amazing!
4. Include unrelated audio/visuals
Scooby Snacks are for closers
You know what? Now would be a great opportunity to indulge a juvenile interest that you typically avoid discussing at work. Have a collection of Scooby-Doo episodes that aired when you were a kid? Go ahead and insert a clip of Scooby and Shaggy running from a mummy and crashing in a heap at the bottom of the stairs after the staircase they were running down turned into a slide half-way to the bottom – this totally works as an illustration for why your prospect needs to invest in new order-processing software.
5. Share everything
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word ‘unnecessary’ as…
Finally, you are an expert so you can anticipate what the audience wants before they even ask for it. So rather than giving them a brief, 10-12 slide presentation and having them ask all kinds of questions (lame!), it’s probably best to overwhelm them with information. I figure if you can put together 35 or 40 slides, you won’t have to worry about anyone requesting an encore to your masterful performance.
Well, that should get you well on your way. PowerPoint is packed with features and toys for you to play with as you put your presentations together. However, keep in mind that in PowerPoint, as with conflict, discretion is the better part of valor. Remember your purpose, keep your audience in mind and don’t get carried away.
Thoughts? I know you’ve sat through countless PowerPoint presentations; what are some memorable examples you’ve seen of someone getting sucked into the PowerPoint vortex?