The problem with powerpoint

The Problem with PowerPoint presentations

September 13, 2010

Over the years of coaching senior people with their presentations to staff, to clients, to conferences and to shareholders, we have seen the same mistakes being made again and again.

(By the way, when I talk about PowerPoint, I mean any similar software programme)

These are the mistakes that others make:


  1. Planning with PowerPoint – When people hear the word ‘Presentation’ they often rush for their PC. Instead, they should sit and think for a bit and start planning on a blank sheet of paper.
  2. Not being clear on what they want to say – A good presentation has a clear purpose.  Make sure you can articulate why you are presenting – ideally in one sentence.
  3. Thinking that “the Presentation” is a set of slides – As we always remind people, YOU are the presentation. Your slides are Visual Aids to help you communicate.
  4. Not getting to the point – Be clear at the start of your talk what you want to say.  Don’t leave it to the end.
  5. Long sentences, too fast and hesitant – Be clear, deliberate and passionate.  Make every word count.
  6. Talking for too long – If you can make your presentation shorter, then do.   The work you do condensing it will mean a clearer and more powerful talk.
  7. A weak end – End your talk with a strong call to action or rallying cry.
  8. Using Visual Aids badly – We all know what bad presentation slides look like.  And yet we are continually bombarded with them.  Make then snappy, clear and learn how much more powerful they are if you bring a slide up only after introducing the topic.   You might be better using no visual aids than bad visual aids – many others have discovered this trick.
  9. Not practising enough – The best presenters rehearse.  A lot.  Amateurs think that they can wing it.

If you just avoid these mistakes, and start adopting a few simple changes into your presentation preparation you will be be perceived as much more impressive.

If you want more detailed help to become confident and persuasive in your presentations, then we would be delighted to help.  Give us a call today on (UK) 0845 676 9766.


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