Although Microsoft PowerPoint is a useful tool and the standard for most presentations, its overuse can do more harm than good. Avoid common pitfalls by following these suggestions:
- Use separate slides to emphasize your key points.
- Include no more than two-dozen words per slide.
- Never read directly from your PowerPoint screen. Don’t use the words on the screen as a crutch.
- Choose a font large enough for your audience to read without binoculars.
- If you have a lot of details to convey, provide a separate document (printed or electronic) after the presentation.
- Don’t overload your PowerPoint presentations with links to videos, cartoons, music, or other graphics. If you include any of these features, thoroughly test the technology and have a solid back-up plan if the internet connection fails.
- If you turn off all the lights, your audience may nod off. Instead, turn off only the lights nearest the screen, so the en- tire room isn’t dark.
Adapted from my book, Career-ology: The Art and Science of a Successful Career, Chapter 5: Public Speaking & Presentation Skills. Click here to download 2 chapters of the book for free. Available on Amazon today.