How to Prepare PowerPoint Presentations

February 13, 2021

Prepare Better PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint can be great.  Or it can be crap.

We all know what Death by PowerPoint feels like.

But, how do you prepare better PowerPoint presentations and avoid mistakes?

We have identified five common PowerPoint mistakes that send presentations to the graveyard:

Help me prepare better presentations

Five Ways Not to Prepare PowerPoint Presentations

1. The Wrong Document

When you work in PowerPoint, are you clear what you are producing?  

Is it a handout, visual aids or your speaker’s notes?

These three documents are as different as a book, a film and a film script.

Too often, we see handouts projected on a screen, or what should be speaker notes printed and distributed.

If you are creating visual aids to accompany your talk, make sure they really are Visual Aids – something that reinforces what you say and helps the listener understand.

If it’s a handout, make it self-sufficient.

Help me prepare better presentations

2. Not Easy for Your Audience

Your job as a presenter is to make it easy for your audience.

A good slide is simple to interpret.

That means using a clear hierarchy of information on the page. Lay out your messages, headings, evidence and facts in a logical way.

If you can make it simpler then do so.

Help me prepare better PowerPoint presentations

3. All Bullets and Text

The default PowerPoint approach, with lines of text and bullet points, usually means you are creating speakers notes for yourself.

If you create slides to remind yourself what to say, it’s going to be bad for the audience.

Instead, you should be making visual aids that always make it easier for your audience.

Help me prepare better presentations

4. Too Many Facts

Lists of facts do not work.

Great communication needs stories, messages, evidence and facts.

You should appeal to those who need emotional arguments as well as logical arguments.

In fact, facts work best when they are embedded in a story or narrative.

Help me prepare better presentations

5. Challenging the Audience to Read

When using Visual Aids, you need to understand how the human brain works.

People cannot both read and listen at the same time.

If given a choice, they will read, not listen.  Then when they tune in, they will hear you saying things they have just read.

This means you, as the presenter, thinking through how you should help the audience absorb information.

Help me prepare better presentations

Prepare PowerPoint Presentations Differently

So, when you next switch on PowerPoint ask yourself first whether this really is the best way to communicate your point.

Sometimes, a report, a talk or an email can be more effective. And PowerPoint is NOT a planning tool.  You should only use PowerPoint at the end of your presentation planning process.

Put yourself into your audience’s shoes and imagine what they are experiencing.

PowerPoint can be powerful, but only if you use it properly.

Avoid PowerPoint Presentation mistakes.

Help me prepare better presentations

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Start preparing better PowerPoint presentations now

Download our free ebook to start your journey towards becoming a Powerful Presenter.

You’ll learn our 5-step process for transforming your presentations: inspirational, memorable and persuasive.

It’s full of practical tips and insights:

  • Increase your confidence
  • Persuade your audience
  • Engage your audience
  • Plan and structure your talks

Download your free copy of our Five Steps to Improve your Leadership Talks ebook now.

Help me prepare better presentations

For more information and a free consultation, contact our customer services director Louise Angus today. 

You will work with award-winning coaches who regularly support senior executives. 

Our coaching costs just £395/hr.  And we work very fast.

Contact Louise Today

More valuable advice...

Fundraising Presentations: an essential guide for persuading investors

Mar 21, 2021

Your Essential Guide to Fundraising Presentations. You may be looking forward to challenging questions from investors, long days and multiple...

Read More

The Best Investor Presentation – How to create one – techniques from psychology

Apr 13, 2016

Five ways to create the best investor presentation If you want investment, you need the best investor presentation. But investment...

Read More

Why good public speaking skills make you a better leader

Nov 11, 2016

Do your leadership public speaking skills inspire, motivate and influence others? They should. Many leaders are nervous of public speaking....

Read More

Five Golden Rules to Create a Great Investor Pitch Book

Mar 10, 2018

A great investor pitch book is at the heart of successful fundraising. You use it to capture the essence of...

Read More

Why Body Language Matters When Pitching to Win Business

Jun 29, 2012

Better Body Language We all know that body language is important in business.  But how important? And does is really...

Read More

Private Equity Fundraising Tips from the Experts: Become a Top 1% Fund

Sep 06, 2018

Five Top Fundraising Tips At SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Amsterdam, experienced LPs and advisors shared their private equity fundraising tips...

Read More

How to create a powerful investor elevator pitch

Mar 07, 2016

A great elevator pitch is an essential part of your pitch toolkit Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase elevator...

Read More

How to prepare for media interviews

Jan 16, 2013

You must prepare for media interviews The excruciating Newsnight interview with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith this summer is one example of...

Read More

How To Write So People Will Read – 6 Great Tips

Mar 11, 2018

How do you write well for business? Could you be more impressive with better writing? These days, we are writing...

Read More

How well do you answer difficult investor questions?

Nov 16, 2017

How to answer difficult investor questions When an investor questions how you calculated your Private Equity fund's performance, how do...

Read More

How to Choose a Public Speaking Coach

Aug 21, 2017

How do you choose a public speaking coach? When selecting a public speaking coach or presentation trainer, you want to work...

Read More

10 Power Language techniques to use in your next talk or presentation

Sep 06, 2017

How To Use Powerful Language For Leadership Communications   Great leaders use Power Language. It adds interest and colour to...

Read More

What is The “So What?” Test? – And how to use it.

Dec 30, 2019

So What? is probably your most important question. When you put your talk or presentation together, how do you decide what...

Read More

Better private equity fundraising | Seven tips for first investor meetings

Dec 10, 2015

What do LPs want from private equity funds at first investor meetings? That's the question I put to the panel...

Read More

How do you pitch investors?

Sep 21, 2016

What do investors really want? Six tips We wrote this piece with our Private Equity clients in mind. But there...

Read More

Give high impact talks and presentations – 5 simple tips

Mar 01, 2017

Do you want to give high impact talks and presentations? Do you want to engage your audience? And do you want...

Read More

Business storytelling for better business

Jul 05, 2020

How do you use storytelling in business ? Leaders use storytelling so that audiences listen, remember and act on what...

Read More

How to Make Your Investment Pitch More Memorable – Six Tips

Mar 29, 2017

How do you make your investment pitch more memorable? It's a real challenge these days. Investors have more opportunities than...

Read More

Effective presentation skills you must learn

Nov 30, 2019

Your leadership talks need to be effective As a leader, every talk or presentation you give is an exercise in...

Read More

What do LPs want from your private equity pitch book?

Oct 14, 2015

A well-crafted private equity pitch book can make the difference between securing a first meeting with investors and getting a...

Read More