November 2, 2007

Annoying PowerPoint survey

Following up on this post, I've just been reading the results of Dave Paradi's Annoying PowerPoint Survey.

I'm not at all surprised by the results. The top three things that annoy people about PowerPoint presentations are:

* The speaker read the slides to us - 67.4%
* Full sentences instead of bullet points - 45.4%
* Text so small I couldn't read it - 45.0%

Here's the thing: many of the people who are victims of bad PowerPoint are also the villains perpetrating it!

"Why is that?" you ask. Well, when you're in the audience, it's pretty easy to name the things you don't like about a presentation. You're an observer, even a critic.

But when you're making your own PowerPoint, suddenly you realize that you must have every possible concept and data point on each slide.

You don't want to leave anything out. Every minute detail is critical. You want your audience to see how much you know and what an expert you are. How do you do that? By packing each slide with dense text and 47 bullet points.

Then, you spend so much time preparing the data and charts for the slideshow, you don't have time to practice the presentation, so you end up reading it off the screen.

How do you break this cycle of hating bad PowerPoint but making it yourself?

Make a commitment to learning the principles of effective visuals, whether they're flip charts or computer-generated. Here are some resources for you:

* Blog post: Why you can't read slides and listen to a speaker at the same time

* Blog post: New research about PowerPoint titles

* My article on "old-school" visuals

* My public speaking e-course, "7-Week Shortcut to Public Speaking Confidence" (week 4 covers visual aids and PowerPoint)

* Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

* Cliff Atkinson's book, "Beyond Bullet Points"

If you hate bad PowerPoint, don't be a perpetrator. Break the cycle!

And FYI, if you don't have the time or the inclination to learn about creating better PowerPoint presentations, I can make them for you!

On The Everything Page you'll find everything you need to build visibility, credibility and influence through engaging presentations that move your participants into action: freebies, low-cost products and courses, and 1:1 coaching!

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