A reader writes: “I have been criticized for my Power Point presentations and work really hard on them. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”

Based on a quick review of your Power Points I must admit that you are making the same mistake as many of us when we first discover the awesome options available in this and similar products. Every slide has noise, a different transition, different fonts, colors and other features that can be overused and become distractions rather than aids to learning.

On some of your slides, the font is so small that only people in the front row can read it. On other slides, you could give someone vertigo from all the flashes and spirals with appropriate sounds that really kept me from getting the point that you intended. Please understand that I applaud your creativity but encourage you to look at any presentations from the attendee/student point of view.

They want information, not entertainment in most cases. Following are some suggestions that may help:

  • Standardize your font size and color so that the material is readable from the back of the room.
  • Limit animations to one or two well thought out scenes that reinforce a key point.
  • In most cases, use a white screen with limitations on how many bullets you use per page.
  • Consider a printed hand out for attendees to follow and make notes.
  • Consider a printed manual that goes into greater detail than the slide presentation and reference the appropriate page in the Power Point.
  • Keep it simple. What I mean is that your Power Point should cover a pre-determined subject with a specific goal of what you want the attendees to learn.

Again, I applaud your enthusiasm and efforts but let’s reign it in a little bit. Some of you readers may want to share this article with a friend. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.