Why Do Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes?
And How to Ensure They Won’t Happen to Yours
(Andy Goodman & Cause Communications)
Suggestions for Improving your Conference Presentation:
- Know your audience: one of the fastest ways to lose an audience is to begin talking above or below their level of knowledge or outside their job descriptions.
- Regarding the audience: “They’ll probably only remember three things. So pick three things, illustrate them, and repeat them.”
- Audience members want to interact with people in the room. Audience members are potential resources for collaboration.
The “Fatal Five” problematic factors for presentations:
- Reading the slides: “Watching someone read PowerPoint slides is a form of torture that should be banned under the Geneva Convention,” survey respondent.
- Too long with too much information: “Too much of everything... too many slides with too many words, too many points, too much data, too long, too didactic,” survey respondent.
- Lack of interaction: “Presenters often forget that many in the audience… have life and work experience that is waiting to be shared,” survey respondent.
- Lifeless presenters: “Even if I’m interested in the topic, if the speaker is boring, I’m easily distracted by other goings-on in the room…Then I’ totally lost, thinking ‘I need to go shopping!” survey respondent.
- Room/Technical problems: anticipate them and have a backup plan.
Tips for Building your PowerPoint
- Keep it simple!
- Dark room should have a dark background with light letters
- Light, bright room should have a light background with dark letters
- Use cooler color as the background; warmer color for the content
- Use non-serif fonts such as, Arial or Calibri, they are simple and thicker and project better
- Font size should be at least 28 pt
GRAPHS & IMAGES
- Audiences typically prefers graphs over tables
- Graphs should use complementary colors next to each other for contrast
- Audience typically prefers photos over clip art
ANIMATION & SOUNDS
- Use animation sparingly only to emphasize certain points
- Use sounds sparingly only to emphasize certain points or for video clips
- Use the 8x8 rule. More than 8 lines of text with more than 8-10 words/line distracts from presenter and leads to audience fatigue
- Audience should be able to read entire slide in about 8 seconds on a slide otherwise they focus more on the slide and less on the presenter
- No more than one slide every minute
A PowerPoint presentation is designed to
support a talk, not duplicate it.