Are you making these fatal PowerPoint mistakes?

The author is no fan of slideware, but he acknowledges that many speakers feel uncomfortable with nothing on the screen behind them. Here, then, are essential dos and don’ts.

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I’m not a big fan of slideware for speakers.

My position is heretical in the business world, so I often work with executives to simplify their slides because they can’t live without something on the screen behind them.

I must confess that I’ve run across a new study that suggests one good reason and use for slideware. I’ll get to that later. First, a few words on the proper use of PowerPoint-like slide programs, whether it’s Keynote or Prezi, or something else.

The usual business slide is covered with words, and what most people connect to is pictures—preferably pictures of people or perhaps kittens. What’s more, they learn best from simple pictures. So, move them emotionally with pictures of faces (or kittens or puppies), and connect your key concepts visually to triangles, circles, squares and the like.

Keep it simple

Don’t get fancy. It’s not necessary, and it doesn’t promote learning. In addition to pictures, you can use graphic illustrations, tables and charts and the like for help with numbers, but simpler is usually better.

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