Working for a government agency, and just living on planet Earth, I have suffered through PowerPoint presentations that could be listed as war crimes. Here are some tips on how to use PowerPoint in ways that don’t violate the Geneva Convention.
- Don’t go over time. There’s nothing worse than to hear a long-winded speaker say, “I know my time is up, but I have a few more points to address.” Stop it. For God’s sake, stop talking.
- Small wording. Unless you’re presenting at the Perfect Vision seminar, don’t use weird or super-small fonts. This only teaches people how to squint, get headaches and hate you.
(The text is too small and it’s about math. That’s what you call a double negative.)
- Don’t over-complicate the info. Indecipherable charts, unrelated clip art and graph after graph after graph after graph. These techniques absolutely destroy someone’s will to live. Add in extra-twirly transactions and explosive slide changes, and you might as well be inserting bamboo under the listeners’ fingernails.
- Don’t speak low and slow. As your voice ticks like a slow metronome, heavy and hypnotic, you realize your audience is gently snoring, dreaming of a PowerPoint free world.
- Don’t read the slides. For the love of all that’s good! Don’t read the damn slides! Even if it’s just bullet points–don’t read verbatim. Everyone in the room can read. Even that coworker you’re convinced is half Hobbit can read.
(If annihilating your workplace was your goal: Mission accomplished.)
Go forth and make this world a better place.