1. Don’t put your entire speech on your slides.
Not only is this boring, but your audience will be able to see what you’re going to say. Instead, “bullet” or outline your high points. Remember, mystery creates interest.
2. Don’t read your slides word for word.
Your audience can read faster than you can speak. Paraphrasing instead will free you to connect to your audience.
3. Don’t use too much text.
Use no more that six bullets per slide and no more than six words per bullet. Use phrases, not sentences; otherwise, your audience will be reading and not listening to you.
4. Don’t be small.
Make it BIG! Your text cannot be too large! A good rule of thumb is to stand about 5 feet from your computer monitor. If you can’t read your presentation easily from there, your point size is too small. The quickest way to lose an audience is to make them strain to see a presentation. A good starting point is 35 points or larger for titles and 25 points or larger for text.
5. Don’t use red and green color combinations.
It may look pretty on your computer monitor, but it will not make a good transition to large-screen projection. This combination is difficult to read, especially for color-blind individuals. Use other contrasting colors that are easier on the eyes for background and text.
6. Don’t use fancy scrolled and scripted fonts.
In most cases, they’re difficult to read. Choose fonts that are easy to read such as Verdana or Times New Roman.
7. Don’t present in the dark.
Insist on having the lights on during your presentation or a spotlight on you. If your audience can’t see you, you won’t connect with them. Without eye contact, it is extremely difficult to hold your audience’s attention.
Remember, PowerPoint is a tool to help you demonstrate your points visually. It’s NOT your presentation, YOU are! Don’t let it upstage you.
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Arvee Robinson is a Persuasive Speaking Coach, Speaker, and Author. She works with Service Professionals and Business Owners who want to attract more clients by communicating more clearly about what they do. She teaches them simple, proven systems for delivering persuasive business speeches, getting the most out of networking, and creating a 30-Second Magnetic Introduction. Arvee has helped hundreds of individuals to eliminate nervousness, command their audiences’ attention and develop and deliver sales-winning presentations.
Arvee offers one-on-one coaching, corporate training, workshops, and teleclasses and would love to speak at your organization. To contact Arvee, email firstname.lastname@example.org at or call her (909) 949-8527.