3 Most Common PowerPoint Mistakes
In order to keep the mob from grabbing their pitchforks and roasting you in your post webinar or event survey you must avoid these three simple mistakes. If you do even one of these errors you could be turning away potential clients, major dollars, and or loosing your following.
It’s pivitol that you take the time to truly reflect on your presentation and review it with a fresh pair of eyes to make adjustments as needed. Or, if you have marshmallows you can roast on those pitchforks and make s’mores, it’s always a choice;)
Here are the top three mistakes I see on a daily basis and of course tips that will help you correct or avoid them altogether.
Mistake 1: Death by text
This is an actual slide from a very nice client..
When I saw this slide pop up in the presentation I was shocked. There are some easy guidelines for presentations and text (notice I said guidelines and not rules):
- Always make sure the text is legible and easy to read
- The audience should be able to read your text within 3-5 seconds
- Too much text means they have to make a choice of either listening to you or reading your text
- Follow the rules of hierarchy
- If you have more than 4 bullets duplicate the slide and add your additional bullets to the new slide
This slide breaks almost all of the rules. This much text that is difficult to read starts frustrating viewers They panic becuase they can’t read what you wrote, they don’t have time to write things down, that they didn’t hear what you were saying because they were trying to read. AHHHHH!!!! The only thing they can concentrate on is, I hate this presenter!!!!!
Some attendees won’t voice their frustrations they will just have this feeling that they didn’t like you and that your presentation was aweful. This risks you not being hired again for a presentation, not garnering respect from your team, and creating unhappiness in those attending said speech.
If you follow the guidelines for text then you are creating an environment which is easy for everyone to grasp the story and context you are presenting.
Mistake 2: Chaotic imagery
Graphics that don’t share a common color pallet or theme cause uneasiness. If you are using or drawn to images of real life photography then use those throughout the presentation. If you are using hand drawn graphics than continue that theme. I can’t tell you how this helps visual learners and the continuity of your story.
Can you use a graphic that doesn’t match everything else you’ve used? Yes, absolutely! Do it with purpose though and for a reason to shake up the conversation not because you are too lazy to find images that don’t belong together.
You can easily tie images together that don’t have a common thread by adding a similar filter to them
Anything that brings continuity to the slides will help tell the visual story of what you are communicating in a classy, cohesive way that will ease your visual learners into loving you!
Mistake 3: No road map for the conversation.
When you are building out your presentation, have a clear process to your story. There needs to be a beginning, middle, and end. If you show an agenda, think of it as a list of the chapters that make up your story. You don’t skip chapters. You don’t half way through the story get focused on a story that isn’t relevant or appropriate for this audience.
Lead the audience through your presentation with your slides. If it’s for education show the agenda, go through the presentation hitting each point you outlined in the agenda, and then end by summarizing the learning. If it’s motivational start with your best story that flows into your thoughts and how to accomplish their goals and end with a story that leaves them lifted or ready to take action.
If your slides are pulled from a variety of other presentations take the time to tie them all together with look, feel and transition slides. Put the work in to show the audience they matter, their time matters and you appreciate them taking time out of their lives to listen to you. It’s a gift they have chosen to stop everything they could be doing and spend time with you. Treat that gift with outstanding insight, and presentation skills.
With care, attention to detail and a thoughtful through line you will keep the pitchforks at bay and have the crowd cheering for you.
Good luck! If you have any other questions or ideas to add comment below.
Hi, I'm Misty Megia!
I’m a Creative Director for high-achieving leaders who want to unmute themselves to give presentations that move people profoundly through my Corporate Speaking Program and my Theatre of Public Speaking Program.
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