PowerPoint presentations are excellent tools for conveying information in a concise and visually appealing way. However, as with any tool, there is a right way and a wrong way to use them. Far too often, people make avoidable mistakes when creating their PowerPoint presentations that can end up detracting from the overall impact of the presentation.
Here are some of the most common PowerPoint presentation mistakes that Hugues Joublin of Joublin Consulting wants you to avoid.
Common PowerPoint Mistakes to Avoid per Hugues Joublin
Not Knowing Your Audience
According to Hugues Joublin, one of the most important things to consider when creating any kind of presentation is who your audience is going to be. Different audiences will have different needs and expectations, so it’s important to tailor your presentation accordingly.
For example, if you’re presenting to a group of experts on the subject matter, you won’t need to explain basic concepts in great detail. Conversely, if you’re presenting to a group of people who are not familiar with the topic, you’ll need to provide more explanation and context.
Thinking slides rather than story flow
So often, people start working on their slides before they have a clear idea of their story flow. However, a presentation is first and foremost a story, with key messages and key data. One should always spend time first on defining the flow of the presentation and the key take aways, before rushing to the slides creation.
Making it Too Text-Heavy
While PowerPoint presentations should include some text, they should not be overloaded with blocks of text. including too much text will make your presentation look like a wall of text, which is off-putting for most people and will likely cause them to tune out.
Instead, focus on using bullet points and short phrases to convey your main points. You can then elaborate on these points verbally during the presentation.
Using Complex Jargon
As per Hugues Joublin, another mistake that can lose your audience’s attention is using too much jargon. When you’re presenting on a topic that is industry-specific or technical in nature, it can be tempting to rely heavily on jargon. However, this will only serve to alienate your audience and make it more difficult for them to understand what you’re saying. Whenever possible, try to use plain language that everyone can understand.
Going Overboard with Visuals
While visuals are an important part of any PowerPoint presentation, you don’t want to go overboard and include too many. Displaying too many visuals can make your presentation look cluttered and can be distracting for your audience. Stick to using a few well-chosen visuals that support your main points and help illustrate your ideas.
One of the most common mistakes people make when giving a PowerPoint presentation is not rehearsing beforehand. It’s important to practice your presentation so that you can ensure that it flows smoothly and that you’re comfortable with the material. Additionally, rehearsing will help you catch any errors or typos in your slides.
Reading From the Slides
Another mistake to avoid is reading directly from your slides. Your audience can likely read faster than you can speak, so they’ll likely end up getting ahead of you if you try to read verbatim from your slides. Instead, use your slides as a guide and refer to them only occasionally. This will allow you to make eye contact with your audience and keep them engaged.
Failing to Proofread
One final mistake to avoid is failing to proofread your slides before you present. Even if you’ve rehearsed your presentation several times, it’s still important to check your slides for any errors or typos. Nothing will make you look more unprofessional than presenting with a slide that contains a glaring error.
By avoiding these common mistakes, Hugues Joublin promises that your PowerPoint presentations are effective and engaging.