The Globe and Mail recently posted a list of things NOT to say in a presentation. I agree with many of them (“I know some of these slides are difficult to read,” “I know I’m over my time”–these infuriate me!) Others I don’t find infuriating (“Did that answer your question?“) Either way, they are easy, easy, easy to avoid with straightforward solutions.
Which leads to the question I want to address in this blog post is “if these 10 things infuriate audience members, why do so many presentations still include them?”
At some point, those same audience members will be presenters. Will they forget what infuriates them as audience members and subject their own audiences to the same frustration?
Perhaps part of the problem is that professors, bloggers and the press tell you what NOT to do. And that can be useful. As you prepare for a presentation, you can commit to not infuriate your audience by invoking the 10 quotes from “10 phrases that will infuriate your audience”.
But what should you do?
First, ask yourself “do I need to use PowerPoint at all?” If it enhances, supports or supplements your presentation, then it’s a good idea. If it’s expected of you (because it’s company culture, the invitation to speak specified it, etc.), it’s a good idea. Otherwise, maybe forgo using PowerPoint at all.
Second, follow my tips from previous posts:
Third, contact me if you want help with a specific presentation you’re working on: firstname.lastname@example.org