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Most presenters still follow the wrong approach to creating slides – the approach that leads to death by PowerPoint.
Here are the 4 common bad habits of presenters when it comes to making slides and a humorous look at how they developed these bad habits.
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4 bad habits of presenters in making slides
Why do we need to have more visual slides?
Because, it is not just the content…
But also the way it is presented that matters.
A good presentation brings out the true potential of your thinking process.
That is why, we will first start with creating powerful slides.
I can hear you saying, “I have been making slides ever since I stepped into the corporate world. What is there to learn about making slides?”
Am I right?
Here is the unfortunate truth. You learned it the wrong way.
Yes. Over the years when you learned how to make slides, unknowingly you picked up a number of bad habits, that make your slides ineffective. Of which, 4 bad habits in particular are your biggest obstacles. You want to know what these bad habits are and how they are affecting you?
The answers to your questions are buried in the evolutionary process of presentations.
Yes. Over the years, presentations evolved over three stages. The first stage was infancy, the second stage was adolescence and the third stage which we are going through right now is Maturity stage. Let me take you through these stages very quickly…
In the infancy stage, when …
Presenters had very limited tools to work with. All they had were clumsy instruments like Photo slide projectors, Over head projectors etc.
If you have been presenting for many years, you know that photo slides were very expensive to make.
So, presenters of that era wanted to pack as many things as possible in each slide. Thus, without their knowledge they developed the first bad habit of presenters called ‘Cluttering the slides’.
The bad habit resulted in them making slides like this….(full of text)
Since old habits die hard, some of us still continue to make these kind of slides with bullet points.
The less expensive option of OHP sheets were too difficult to read
So, presenters developed the second bad habit, which is reading their slides.
Unless the audience are illiterate or visually challenged this habit is highly frustrating for the audience and puts them to sleep.
Then, with the arrival of some advanced presentation tools, the next stage of evolution happened.
In this stage of the evolution process, presenters had the option of playing with pictures, charts, graphs and animations. They just could not control their enthusiasm, and thus developed a new bad habit….
It was the bad habit of flaunting their expertise.
The result was slides like this….(full of graphs and colors)
Presenters started using custom animations, slide transitions, clip arts and colors like there is no tomorrow.
Some technical presenters started playing with complex graphs and charts. Thus, flaunting the knowledge took a new meaning.
All this brought bad reputation to presentations and the mere thought of a presentation made people switch off.
To make matters worse, presenters started taking the idea of ‘recycling’ a little too seriously.
Since they could ‘cut – paste’ slides from different presentations to make their own presentation, they developed a completely new bad habit…
It is the habit of avoiding hard work.
As long as someone in the world has created some slides on the topic of his presentation, they are happy. With the Internet, intranet, Training ROMs and external hard drives – presentation creation got reduced to just assembling pieces from different presentations.
The result is the creation of hybrid presentations which lacked a unique identity.
Every slide in a presentation started to look different, sound different and meant different things because they all came from different presentations.
Enough is enough. It is time to stop this crime.
It is time to move to the maturity stage.
It is time to break the 4 bad habits of presentation, and replace them with 1 valuable habit of simplicity.
Because, simplicity makes your message travel faster, and deeper. Simplicity helps you reach the last person in your audience.
So, let us start making our presentations simple.
Note: This content is part of Powerful Presentation Skills Training Video and Slides.
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