Present yourselfhow to avoid boring people to death
A presentation, when used well, provides a visual aid to support and anchor your words, but should never be your script or autocue. The easiest way to avoid boring your audience with slides is to avoid using them altogether. You are the presentation. If you can deliver your message effectively without slides, we’ll always push you towards that option (even if we lose out on some design work).
If you just plan to read out the content on the slides, you may as well send an email. Visual aids can support your message, but if used only for decoration, the images may undermine instead of reinforce.
Slides are a safety blanket and provide a point of focus away from the home office set up in virtual meetings. It is difficult to be a charismatic speaker when sat behind a desk with your audience muted behind glass. But slides won’t keep attention if they are not properly thought through.
Here’s a game your team can play to improve your confidence in giving presentations: PowerPoint karaoke. Compile some presentations with slides that have little written content on them. Then take it in turns to give an improvised presentation using whatever slide comes up next as the inspiration for your talk.
There are some simple tips to consider which can make your slides stand out:
Consider each slide a ‘billboard’ advertising the key content you want to share.
Choose a style and stick with it: limit your colour palette, curate images, be consistent in use of font.
Keep any text to a minimum and ensure it’s all legible.
Be confident and commit to your content, and consider working with a specialist to create custom graphics.