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Even though the software has been out for decades, there are still PowerPoint rookies making the same presentation mistakes over and over again. If you don’t want to be one of them, here are just five common errors to avoid.
“Walls of text” are dense, tightly-packed paragraphs of information presented without anything to break them up. Your audience will be forced to squint and read along without the benefit of headings, subheadings and bullet points, and the odds are good that they won’t remember any of it.
Images are the lifeblood of PowerPoint slides. From pictures to charts, your presentation should be full of graphics that will draw the eye and illustrate the points you’re trying to make in your lecture.
In an ideal world, you’ll leave the text as black and the background as white; this is the most easily read and highly contrasted color combination in existence, and there’s no need to change it. If you absolutely have to play around with colors, however, at least make sure it’s readable. Don’t put red text on a pink background.
There’s never any reason for your PowerPoint presentation to have or be accompanied by music. It will only distract your audience from whatever information you’re trying to convey on the slides, and for the more sensitive members of the group, you’ll give them a headache and alienate them entirely.
You should always give the room enough time to copy down the pertinent information from your slides. If you breeze through them too quickly, no one will retain their knowledge at all. Make it a point of pausing on your more dense slides or asking the audience, “Is everyone done here?”