While we love giving flowers to PowerPoint for its numerous benefits and features, there are certain elements that are best avoided when trying to put together your perfect presentation. Below we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes and their remedies. Please note that these aren’t hard-set rules – but it takes a certain amount of finesse to pull off these techniques. Here are 6 Things to Avoid in PowerPoint Presentation

Stock templates

This one should be common knowledge, but it deserves reiteration – please don’t use stock or free-to-download templates. These designs have already been used thousands of times by students and professionals for decades – and they were boring back then too. Putting in the time and resources into creating a custom template will help your presentation resonate with your audience who have undoubtedly seen those pre-made templates before. Even customising existing templates has its limitations, so start your presentation from the ground up and begin with a custom template.

Excessive text: avoid in PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a visual aid for presentations, which means text should be used sparingly if you want to maintain your audience’s attention. If you have a lot of information to convey, consider printouts before inundating your audience with a lot of on-screen text. Each slide should convey a single idea or message in the most concise way possible – your job is to express the finer details; it’s not up to your PowerPoint to explain everything.

Bullet points: avoid in PowerPoint

bullet points to be avoid in PowerPoint. PPT automatically puts everything in bullet point, so it’s tempting to just leave it, but this is a no-no. Bullet points often clutter up slides, especially if you’re trying to express more than one idea on a single slide. There may be some instances when bullet points may help convey your message in a concise manner, but please think first about simplifying your idea into a single sentence before you post up a list of bullet points that your audience is likely to forget or ignore.

Excessive colours : avoid in PowerPoint

This one is probably another obvious point, but you’d be surprised how many people go all out with their presentation’s colour palette. Colour has a huge effect on how people absorb and retain information, so using a wide spectrum of colours will muddy your messaging and strain the eyes of your audience. As a rule of thumb, try and keep your colour variations to five or less.

Excessive imagery : avoid in PowerPoint

This is probably an extension of the above point. People often put too many images on a single slide, which can be confusing for audiences and visually too busy for information to be retained. Think about what image best complements the text and consider using infographics instead of statistics. Also, don’t be afraid of empty space – there’s no need to fill blank space with extra text or imagery.

Transitions : avoid in PowerPoint

Although PowerPoint offers a number of fancy transitions, these tend to distract audiences and cheapen the look of your presentation. Freezing your transitions ensures a more lucid and unhindered message is conveyed to your audience.  If you insist on still flexing your directorial creativity, try and use the subtle transitions and help minimise noticeability of slide changes with the same background or similar colour palettes.

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