Believe it or not, PowerPoint has been around for 24 years. When you think about it, that is pretty amazing considering how many technology innovations have occurred since then. Think about Palm, Blackberry and the sundry of other hardware and software apps that are now landfill driven. Yet PowerPoint presentations still hang on. Why?
I believe PowerPoint still has presence because it is bundled with Office, it is easy to use and navigational friendly. However, out of the estimated 30 million presentations that are created each year, many of them are downright boring and mediocre.
The overarching problem with PowerPoint is: “People make the mistake of saying the slides are the presentation when you are the presentation,” stated Rick Altman, Author of Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck and How You Can Make Them Better.
According to a survey of ~700 respondents conducted by ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com, they identified the following audience annoyances:
- 72% identified it as problematic when the speaker reads from the slide
- 50% said unreadable, small text is a pet peeve and
- 48% stated slides with full sentences instead of bullet points is not good
Banned PowerPoint Practices
Meetings & Events Australia doesn’t allow the following in their meetings:
- Bullet Points
- Clip Art and
- Speakers that Read Directly from the Screens
In fact, they take it one step further and give speakers a tutorial on what is acceptable at their conference.
Without a doubt, PowerPoint takes a greater hit that it needs to. This app is just like anything else out there; it can be abused. PowerPoint isn’t boring or confusing, its the person who wrote the slides that should take the fall and that is usually the presenter.
Dave Paradi, Owner of ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com stated, “Many articles on this topic are blaming the tool – PowerPoint for the way people use it. We have seen people use this tool poorly for so long, there’s this groupthink that it must be the tool’s fault.”
Effective PowerPoint Solutions
Here are three effective solutions that were laid out in the July 2014 edition of PCMA Convene. In addition, I have added commentary on on some of the solutions outlined below.
- 10/20/30: 10 Slides in 20 Minutes with 30 Point Font This is the rule by Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist at Canva, who speaks about effective interactive presentations on an international level.
- Train your presenters on how you want them to present. I know I have been guilty of this – I assume that all presenters are worth their weight in gold. Even if they are nationally known, doesn’t mean they know what is best for your attendees’. Take the time to review every slide and understand in great detail how they deliver their message and how it will be tailored for your conference.
Just like MEA, give them the dos and don’ts, review their presentation ahead of time and coach them on what you want.
- When renting audio visual equipment, tie your supplier and speaker together. It is really important that you obtain the right PowerPoint presentation equipment for the room. Without a doubt, many times these presentations go flat because people cannot see or hear the presentation. The speaker needs to arrive at least two hours in advance to test and rehearse their talk.
SmartSource Rentals has all the AV, computer and IT equipment to make your presentations pop! Give them a call at 800.888.8686. They are here to help!