Slides are a widespread tool for speakers of all kinds, and yet, they are still one of the most misused and misunderstood tools. Used in all sorts of presentations, their goal is frequently forgotten.
Here are 5 things you’re getting wrong about your slides.
1. Slides are a memory auxiliary
Many speakers tend to use them as a way to remember what to say. They assume the function of the speaker’s notes instead of focusing on the audience’s needs.
The slides are for your audience, not for you. They aren’t your notes; they are there to help them to understand what you’re saying.
Also, this brings an additional problem: you’ll tend to read the slides and have poor eye contact with your audience.
2. Bullet points
The most famous of all slides creator software is Powerpoint, but this is the wrong way of using your slides. Filling them with a ton of information for your audience is tempting, but it is not the way.
You may be thinking, “But they need that information.” Let me tell you – no, they don’t. At least, not in the slides. If you really have valuable information that is vital for your audience, prepare a written document. Give it to them at the end of the presentation or email them a pdf. The presentation slides are not the right tool for that.
3. The slides ARE the presentation
No, no, and no. You are the presentation! Your voice, tone, body language, charisma, and the information you’re giving to the audience. You are the main element, and you are the one making it work, not the slides.
They are simply extra help, and if you can’t make them that way, please don’t make them at all.
4. The use of animation and colors
Using animations and different colors in your slides is not exactly wrong, but it must be done carefully. The idea that it is more interesting for the audience is wrong.
Your audience will not give that much importance to it unless it is too much. Then, the audience will notice. And frankly, it is the only thing they will keep from your presentation.
The excess (and you can easily reach it) of animations and colors will make you look unprofessional and outdated. Besides, it is distracting and tiring for the audience. So keep a certain level of moderation when it comes to colors and animations.
5. Images as background
When we say “Use images.”, we mean the images themselves are the information on the slide. Some speakers use images as a background. It doesn’t matter if the images are related to the topic – don’t do it.
Images in the background are not only distracting, but they also make it difficult to read. It also doesn’t give a very professional impression, and your audience will not like it. Keep it simple!
When slides go wrong
The use of slides in presentation settings is widespread and, lately, more and more controversial. The good use of this type of visual aid can enrich your presentation. Yet, using them in a non-helpful way is also easy, harming your presentation.
Think carefully about all the points above when building your slides, and do not make too many. If your audience can’t remember them, then they’re useless.