Many times during others’ presentations I have wanted to yell “STOP! YOU”RE KILLING US.” Nothing is more annoying than to sit through a death-by-PowerPoint presentation that is visually unappealing and given by someone who is less than interesting to listen to anyway. That’s another story.
Cluttered, busy slides get in the way of the message. Too many slides filled with too much text get in the way of the message. Simple and clean should be the theme of your presentations. In his book Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds explains how to de-clutter your presentation so that your audience is focused on the message and not the mess. Remember the old say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” One picture on a slide or a picture with a word or sentence on the slide can be very powerful. People remember pictures and can connect the message to the picture. If you throw up a slide with 7 or 8 bullet points on it, people soon tune out.
The trick is to actually storyboard (plan) your presentation and write out what you are going to say. The slides are simply a cue to prompt you for the next point. Too many people rely on their slides for all the words they are going to say about each topic. Click on Presentation Slide Tips for Garr’s tips on creating a clean, simple presentation.