Friday, November 6, 2009

Top 100 Mistakes When Delivering a PowerPoint Slideshow

Do you want to avoid some of the most common and annoying errors when presenting with PowerPoint? Here are the top 100 mistakes presenters make.

  1. Make excuses for why the slides don't look that great
  2. Keep turning to look at the slides and not the audience
  3. Turn your whole back to the audience when looking at a slide
  4. Never look the audience in the eye
  5. Never, ever practice the presentation
  6. Actually go up and touch the slide on the big screen
  7. Use an annoying laser pen
  8. Make crazy little circles with your laser pen
  9. Make zig-zags with your laser pen
  10. Don't have a story
  11. Show lots and lots of slides
  12. Don't have clear messages
  13. Have plenty of bullets and lists
  14. Don't break your deck into sections or "chapters"
  15. Have 100 disconnected slides
  16. Don't have an introduction that "wows" people
  17. Read the slide word for word
  18. To make a point read the slide twice
  19. Don't close with a strong and memorable ending
  20. Don't use examples
  21. Make sure you use at least 10 bullets per slide
  22. Change colors on each slide
  23. Use titles that are just boring facts
  24. Make sure your titles are long enough to go to two lines
  25. Have no gestures; just stand there with arms dangling down
  26. Or, wave your arms around like Marcel Marceau
  27. Or don't move at all, or
  28. Pace like a lion in a cage
  29. Only stay on one side of the stage
  30. Talk to just the left side of the room
  31. Talk to just the right side of the room
  32. Use humor knowing you can't tell a joke
  33. Don't modulate your voice
  34. Don't emphasize any words
  35. Have no transitions from slide to slide
  36. Don't connect any of the ideas from any slides
  37. Put a quote on screen and read it word for word
  38. Talk very fast
  39. Talk very slow
  40. Walk with your hands in your pant pockets
  41. Fold your arms
  42. Never sound passionate or interested in your own material
  43. Don't ask any questions
  44. Never engage the audience
  45. Don't use stories or anecdotes
  46. Hold onto a podium or dais
  47. Hide behind the podium
  48. Memorize your slides and sound like a robot
  49. Never use images or pictures on your slides, just lots of text
  50. Make the text so small people in the back can't see it
  51. Make an excuse about small text, "I know you can't read this..."
  52. Use lots and lots of charts and graphs
  53. Put two or three charts on one slide
  54. Have at least a dozen data points on a graph
  55. Use different fonts
  56. Never proofread your slides, have spelling and grammar errors
  57. Talk about something else that is not on the slide
  58. Ramble and get off your topic
  59. For a 1-hour presentation, have 60 slides
  60. For a 30-minute presentation, have 30 slides
  61. For a 15-minute presentation, have 15 slides
  62. Be sure to insult the audience's intelligence
  63. Use lots of outdated facts and figures
  64. Use lots of animations, especially twirls, fly-ins and spinning words
  65. Add cheesy annoying sounds to your fly-ins and spins
  66. Look over the heads of the audience
  67. Don't ask rhetorical questions
  68. Never have an agenda
  69. Keep referring to "him" and "he," especially if females are in the audience
  70. Use the PPT wizard; never vary the slide style or make your own template
  71. As you describe ideas on a slide, jump around, don't order your thoughts
  72. Use really small images that don't enlarge well
  73. Make sure the images are of the poorest quality
  74. Use the images your brother-in-law took from his vacation
  75. Never buy classy stock photos
  76. Be sure your slides don't reinforce your words
  77. Use as many builds as you can pack in
  78. Make sure the transition builds are different for each slide
  79. Chit chat and say thank you to 20 people before you begin to speak
  80. Make sure your slides are really crowded
  81. Never tell the audience how long you will speaking
  82. Skip over ideas and tell people you're running late
  83. Point to a slide with your middle finger
  84. Point at the audience with any finger
  85. Use lots and lots of flash animation
  86. Don't have a clear purpose
  87. Talk a lot about you and your company and never talk about the audience or their needs
  88. Use a screen shot of a web page so no one can read it
  89. Insert poorly shot videos
  90. Insert videos with muddled sound
  91. Never tell listeners what your presentation is about
  92. Always choose dark text on a dark slide background or
  93. Light text on a light background
  94. Use lots of word art and slanted text
  95. Use child-like clip art and lots and lots of cartoons
  96. Never repeat the agenda so people can follow your ideas
  97. Be more concerned about your data than telling a good story
  98. Avoid visuals at all costs
  99. Always go over, never under you allotted time
  100. Never ever be conversational-just drone on and on

The best PPT advice? Have a compelling conversation with the audience; don't rely on slides--rely on a good story that will have meaning for the audience.

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