PowerPoint presentations can be valuable sources of information and versatile tools of persuasion. They can also be complete jokes. Here are just seven common mistakes to avoid if you don’t want to fall into the second group.
1. Serif Fonts
Serif fonts may be beautiful when you’re six inches from a laptop screen, but when you’re an audience member sitting at the back of a room, they can turn into nightmares of squiggles and lines. Stick to sans-serif fonts for your presentation.
2. Colored Backgrounds
You may think it’s a neat idea to shake things up, but white backgrounds are the universal standard for a reason. They’re the most easily read by audience members of all heights, ages and vision levels.
3. Too Much Text
The audience can’t read your slides and listen to you at the same time. Unless you want them to tune you out, make sure your text is short, parsed and filled with things like check lists and bullet points so all of your information is easily skimmed.
4. Small Text
Always go a size bigger than you think you need for your PowerPoint presentation. Even if it seems crystal-clear to you, there might be someone in the audience who forgot their glasses, and they could be the viewer who matters most.
5. Animated Graphics
While graphics themselves are an excellent way to illustrate your points, animated graphics are nothing more than distractions. They’ll loop over and over again in the corner of your audience’s eye as they try in vain to focus on the rest of the slide.
6. Poor Proofreading
That misspelled word is going to look pretty foolish when it’s in a huge font being projected to a dozen of your investors. Make sure you double- and even triple-check your slides to eliminate typos and grammar mistakes.
You don’t want your slides to look like the digital equivalent of a kindergarten drawing. If you fear that they already do, it’s call to call in the experts. Companies like eSlide can help you with custom PowerPoint design that will impress and not depress your audience.
Whether you’re lecturing to a classroom or an expo, it’s important to put together a strong, high-impact presentation. Avoid these seven errors if you want your slides to be remembered for their content and not their font colors.