You have been working tirelessly to get this work done for your client. Now is the time to present that work, how do you do that? Well obviously, with a PowerPoint. But, just like your work, creating a PowerPoint can be equal parts art and science. So today we want to give you five common mistakes that you can avoid when looking to make that next great PowerPoint presentation.
1. Having too much text
This is the by far the most common mistake when people are creating PowerPoint presentations. When it comes to presentations less tends to become more. It’s important to assist the audience and call out essential text you want to make sure. The text given becomes a roadmap for the audience to easily follow the story or information that is being given to them from you. There is no universal rule as to how much text there should be on a slide, just remember to limit the text to what is essential and keep some white space on the page.
2. Having too many images
Images and other visualization are an especially important component to any a PowerPoint. Yet, you must remember to use them only when needed, having an unnecessary number of photos can lead to a slide becoming cluttered and confusing. As with the first rule, use photos as a supplement to what you are saying, you do not want to make them the primary focus.
3. Having useless slides
When creating a presentation knowing how many slides there should be typically becomes a point of contention. This is a skill that is developed over time, often the volume of slides does not matter, what matters is how you utilize each individual slide. When there are slides with small side notes or poorly created transitions, that is when the number of slides begins to become an issue. To reduce the frequency of this mistake, simply taking a step back and asking, “Do I need this slide?” can work wonders in creating a perfectly concise PowerPoint.
4. Using complex charts or diagrams
Knowing how to effectively use charts to emphasize a point can be a deadly skill; however, you must make sure your charts are actually effective. Often people will create a chart/graph with far too many data points or numbers, effectively diluting the message of what you want the audience to see. When creating or inserting a chart, you must have a goal for that data, and make sure that goal can be clearly grasped by the viewers.
5. Never forget about the audience
This last mistake is more of a concept that ties the above points together. You are giving a presentation not submitting a report (unless the PowerPoint is in fact going to be used as a report), this is always important to keep in mind. It is far too common for people to create a presentation as just medium for information, versus being used as a tool to help enhance the message you are trying to convey. This information is being given to an audience and you should always keep this in mind.