10 errors you don’t want to make in a PowerPoint presentation

presentation ppt on American universities


Whether in a meeting, a seminar, or a conference, one of the most commonly used tools are PowerPoint presentations.

PowerPoint is a powerful presentation tool, and it can be very beneficial if you know the full capacity of its features so you can avoid making errors at all costs. Here is a list of 10 errors you do not want to make in a PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Too much text, even in the bullet points

Text takes time to be read and it is annoying to look at. In addition to displaying a lack of creativity, too much text in the presentation creates a vicious cycle of communication failure… When the audience reads the text, it cannot follow the presenter.   The audience cannot really focus on what it is reading and will then attempt to switch methods and listen to the presenter.

  1. Choosing the wrong contrast

The minimum goal you should strive for is to avoid giving your audience a serious headache by avoiding the use of dark colored content on a dark colored background. Visual content that you can actually see on the slides is the most appealing to look at! In fact, the best contrast is black text or content on a white background or vice-versa.

  1. Outlining the content 

Structured content that was outlined by a plan will play out smoothly. Remember that a presentation is just like performing in a theatrical piece. You always have to find ways to grab and hold on to the attention of the audience members.  

  1. Paying attention to distracting animations

Creativity is a good thing, but untimely animations have nothing to do with creativity and only create a mess. There is a right and a wrong time to use visual effects. Try using them in slide transitions or at the start or end of the presentation.

  1. Using too many slides

Even if you have a large quantity of information to push out in a meeting or conference, presenting too many slides will tire out your audience over time. The attention span of an adult cannot be maintained longer than an hour. Therefore you must present a maximum of 20 slides, assuming that 3 minutes per slide is sufficient time.

  1. Avoid minimizing the presentation window, even during pauses

Nothing can remove the visual from people’s eyes of personal files or unrelated content being projected on a screen unintentionally in a meeting or conference; therefore, you must try to avoid minimizing the PowerPoint screen because you might have something open in the background that you would not like to share with the entire audience.

  1. Usage of inappropriate Clipart

In presentations for seminars or conferences, few useful images or graphics are used.  The problem with clipart is that they are often used in exaggerated ways and used too frequently without having any real purpose for each image. You do need a lot of visual information in a presentation, but be sure that you choose images that are pertinent and be cautious to use a moderate quantity of images.

  1. Not understanding how the equipment works and not preparing back up plans

When you give a presentation, for a meeting, seminar, or conference, be careful to check the equipment you will be using and also have a Plan B if it does not work on the day of the event. No one can fully protect themselves from a technical failure, but you can alleviate it by mastering the material and analyzing the risks to anticipate any possible problems.

  1. Usage of “bizarre” fonts and/or a bad combination of colors.

A PowerPoint presentation is not the place to use crazy fonts. When you use text, it must be visible right away.  If you are not good at choosing colors, simply use black and white.  If you do want to use color, make sure that the combination of colors you choose does not exceed four.

  1. Simplified or exaggerated illustrations

Lots of people use content that does not make sense because they are looking to simplify.  Others use so many images and graphics without additional context or captions that they actually include content that is incomprehensible for the audience.



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Erica Martin

Business Developer at Beekast

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