PowerPoint is a tool designed to aid in presentations. It includes transitions, effects, graphs, 3-D stuff, and other presentation helpers. However, one of the biggest problems with this is the user input. An effective PowerPoint highlights the main points of your presentation, while you yourself go into detail about the significance of each idea. Also, it gives your viewers something to look at.
Because it gives everyone “something to look at”, I’ve noticed that it’s become somewhat common to stick ALL your information on a PowerPoint. Then, a few things can happen:
- Laziness – The presenter decides to go without notes, as, after all, the information is right there! So, all one has to do is say everything word for word. Then, if you have used poor grammar or horrid spelling, you get to inadvertently point it out to everyone as you reach the trouble area, where everyone else has already read the potential problem and is anticipating how the presenter will handle it.
- Boredom – You can’t speak faster than one can read, usually. So, your audience is awaiting the next slide while you’re still reading the first bullet point.
- Apathy – This is especially prevalent when you’ve given handouts of your presentation. If all that the presenter plans to say is on there, why should you, as an audience, care? You can look over it any time you like, without missing any information. So, feel free to take your time playing with your phone or doodling in the margins. You’ll get to the material later.
- Monotone – It. Gets. Very. Tedious. When. You. Are. Reading. What. You. Are. Trying. To. Say. Without. Any. Feeling. Whatsoever.
Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make clear the truly important points of your presentation – in fact, it’s a good idea to read aloud and type out those ideas, for added effect. Also, explain any graphs you may use, especially if you can make the data look nice while demonstrating the importance it has to your overall idea.
Seriously, let the PowerPoint be an outline; the real meat and potatoes of your presentation should come from your ability to speak with emphasis and influence. Also, your eye contact with people and not the glow of a screen will help you gauge how well you’re doing, and may let your audience feel like you’re connecting with them.
Let Putting Everything That You Plan to Say On Your PowerPoint Die
(Ironically, that sounds a bit wordy.)