July 28, 2021

3 Powerpoint Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Microsoft Powerpoint has become the fabric of many modern-day meetings. How did this Microsoft corporation invention rise to become an everyday modern presentation asset for professionals worldwide, scaling its market keenly contested by the likes of Prezi and Keynote for macintosh?

Many people use PowerPoint for different purposes, from the consultant preparing a pitch or a business plan to a sophomore designing a house party flyer. However, some simple mistakes will always go unnoticed, regardless of who is using the PowerPoint. On that note, here are three PowerPoint mistakes and you most likely will not realize:

1. Too Many Slides

Doesn’t it feel like fun just adding up new slides? While enjoying this ride, it’s essential to remember the objective of the visual communication platform. PPT was created for brevity, and as simple as this sounds, that’s all there is to it. In its early stages, when it was the newest cool in town, all these digital-savvy startup mongers who used to be the software’s significant patrons aimed at: “Here is my idea, fund it.” Presentation experts have long underscored this need for concise storytelling on PowerPoint.

Having a tall number of slides defeats this purpose and may spit you out as a novice. In communicating your points to your audience for the first time, a title slide, a content slide, and a few additional unique slides should do. It’s enviable to see a PowerPoint company or those PowerPoint presentations at TEDx having an agenda slide with the next and only remaining slide featuring a select few visual aids. So, the next time you’re creating your perfect template, remember always to bring out the power in the points.

2. Overly Bright Colors

Sometimes, it’s tempting to go for that neon background with the orange serif to match all the funk in you. As much as expressing yourself in your presentation is essential, you may want to think of others first. Before you get creative with flashing lights and strong colors, consider the people in your audience that may be sensitive to flashing lights. For example, flashing lights in a presentation could trigger seizures in those who have epilepsy. The best way to avoid this in your PowerPoint presentation is to stay away from flashing or flickering designs and overall content.

A color scheme too bright might be a disservice to someone in the audience, as your lead supervisor. Especially for budding founders looking to communicate your business goal, a plain white background neatly marked with your logo and a clear font could give you an effective presentation and a sure recipe for opening the checkbook.

3. No Numbers On Slides

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Imagine a founder with a very visual PowerPoint of his business plan after going through over fifty slides. The chief financial officer wants to refer you to the slide where the money is but guess what: no numbers. Having numbers enables a presenter to navigate through the slides with many conveniences.

It also helps your audience to take notes effectively. If they can write that seemingly confusing number down, they can quickly bring it back up after your presentation for more insights. To the students, the defeatist mentality that your supervisor makes notes during a presentation may always turn out to be a mark deducted; that’s not always the case. Some lecturers take notes during presentations to revise their study materials.

Generally, it takes a lot of considerations to give a compelling presentation. It’s advisable to anticipate your audience, read the room, and tailor your presentations to your audience’s information gap and technicalities. An excellent presentation gets that tag only when an audience wills it, not when it has many colors and art.

About the author 

Peter Hatch


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