Antidotes For “PowerPoint Poisoning”
Makes You Dumb" - The New York Times
Have you ever:
Watched a desperate presenter dealing with technical problems?
a droning voice reading word for word from dense slides?
eyestrain from slides that you couldn’t see from the first
put into a PowerPoint coma?
Welcome to the club. In a recent Dilbert cartoon, after hearing the
… and now for slide number 397 … ”
-- the listener collapsed, and Wally exclaimed --
is estimated that 30 million PowerPoint presentations are delivered
every day. Corporate America is addicted to the use of PowerPoint.
Yet in appropriate doses PowerPoint presentations can provide a healthy
diet of visual stimulation that will help you make a clear, compelling
these antidotes to help reduce PowerPoint toxicity.
The Poison: PowerPoint Indigestion
ruthlessly. Limit lines to 5 and words per line to 5.
one slide per 2 minutes of presentation.
the "Sixty Minutes" technique of bolding out a key phrase.
The Poison: Myopia
strong contrasts: black on white; white on black.
large fonts: 40-44 point for titles, 32-38 point for body text.
Poison: Flying Objects
overdo the bells and whistles.
words flying in from all directions.
overuse of animation and sound effects.
The Poison: Technical Difficulties
early, check the equipment and give it a test drive.
- Always have a back
- Burn a CD of your
presentation, have a floppy disk, bring
Print out your
speaker notes to use “just
with your wireless remote so that you know where you can move, and where the dead spots are.
Poison: Lost The Patient
word-for-word from your visuals = presentation death. Instead,
have a conversation with the audience.
eye contact. They didn't come to see the back of your head.
your visuals and our eyes a rest. Use the “B” key
screen to black. (Useful during audience interaction). Hit “B”
again, and you’re back
in your presentation.
Poison: No Prescription
are road maps that keep the audience with you. Instead
of “on this next slide you can see …”, try “That’s
the state of
the industry. Let’s
look at what we’re doing to increase market share … “
do you want? Have a strong concluding slide with action steps.
these antidotes and the prognosis is good for rapid improvement,
so that PowerPoint becomes an efficient and effective addition
to your outstanding presentation.
The Prescott Group