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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

I have no problems with getting in front of people and talking. I can explain things well and if I stumble I usually recover. However, I hate with a passion giving PowerPoint presentations. It is not just the giving of the presentation but the creation of it that frustrates me as well.

First off, unless PowerPoints are done correctly they are useless. What is correct? Giving me some text and walking me through what you have written is definitely not. I would rather just listen to you speak instead of having to try and pay attention to two things. Give me graphs (interesting ones only), cool pictures, and a little humor and I’ll be your most attentive listener. If you bombard me with data and text I will more than likely fall asleep or completely tune you out.

When you are presenting do not look at your slides. I am your audience, not the screen. If the screen needed to hear you it would have sat in my chair. Take some notecards with the basic facts about each slide and use those to make your presentation. I can get the basic info from what you are saying and look at the slides for the rest. The more you talk towards the screen the less I and others pay attention, so stop it.

Lastly, I do not need “cool” sounds or “killer” animation to keep interested in the presentation. Do not try to make up for your presentation’s lack of information with some snazzy slide-in sounds, it just doesn’t work. The noises are annoying but the animations are good when they are done right. If you have animation on every letter in your presentation you should be dragged out of the office and fired on the grounds of wasting everyone’s time. Just animate the things you are trying to draw attention to. That means you should not be drawing attention to everything.

That is my brief overview of bad “PowerPointing”. I have a presentation to finish before August 2nd, so it’s back to work for me.

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