Avoiding the Pitfalls of Bad Slides

Making PowerPoint Slides

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Bad Slides

Tips to be Covered

  • 7 C’s of Effective Business Communication
  • Outlines
  • Slide Structure
  • Fonts
  • Color
  • Background
  • Graphs
  • Spelling and Grammar
  • Presentation Conclusion
  • Questions

7 C’s of Effective Business Communication

SOURCE

7 C’s of Effective Business Communication by by George N. Root III via http://smallbusiness.chron.com/7-cs-effective-business-communication-114.html

Concise

In business it pays to get to the point quickly. Effective business communication uses concise and straightforward language that gets the point across completely and in a manner that encourages efficient action.

Complete

Plan your business communication carefully so you get all of the information to your recipient the first time. If you leave out important information in your initial correspondence, that will cause a series of problems that will take time to repair

Conversational

According to communication coach Ric Phillips, writing on the Evan Carmichael website, it is important to present your information in a conversational tone that invites interaction, rather than a confrontational tone that can cause an argument. Effective communication presents the information in a manner that is not emotional but instead professional.

Clear

With a business communication, you sometimes get only one chance to make your point. If your information is misunderstood, you may not have the opportunity to correct it before it escalates into a problem. When you present your information, be sure to do so in a clear voice that allows every word to be understood.

Considerate

When speaking to business associates or customers, always open the conversation to questions and clarifications. When you finish a statement, allow a moment for the other person to ask a question before you go on to your next part. When you answer a question, be sure the answer is understood before moving on in the conversation.

Confidence

An air of confidence in your conversation helps add credibility to your information. Present your data with a clear and commanding tone that indicates that you know the subject you are speaking about and that the information being presented is valuable.

Check

Always check your data and facts before giving a business presentation of any kind. You may have useful ideas, but if they are accompanied by incorrect information, the power of your ideas is lost.

Outline

  • Make your 1st or 2nd slide an outline of your presentation

Ex: previous slide

  • Follow the order of your outline for the rest of the presentation
  • Only place main points on the outline slide

Ex: Use the titles of each slide as main points

Slide Structure – Good

  • Use 1-2 slides per minute of your presentation
  • Write in point form, not complete sentences
  • Include 4-5 points per slide
  • Avoid wordiness: use key words and phrases only

Slide Structure – Bad

  • This page contains too many words for a presentation slide. It is not written in point form, making it difficult both for your audience to read and for you to present each point. Although there are exactly the same number of points on this slide as the previous slide, it looks much more complicated. In short, your audience will spend too much time trying to read this paragraph instead of listening to you.

Slide Structure – Good

  • Show one point at a time:

Will help audience concentrate on what you are saying

Will prevent audience from reading ahead

Will help you keep your presentation focused

Slide Structure – Bad

  • Do not use distracting animation
  • Do not go overboard with the animation
  • Be consistent with the animation that you use

Fonts – Good

  • Use at least an 18-point font
  • Use different size fonts for main points and secondary points

this font is 24-point, the main point font is 28-point, and the title font is 36-point

  • Use a standard font like Times New Roman or Arial

Fonts – Bad

  • If you use a small font, your audience won’t be able to read what you have written
  • CAPITALIZE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. IT IS DIFFICULT TO READ
  • Don’t use a complicated font

Colour – Good

  • Use a colour of font that contrasts sharply with the background

Ex: blue font on white background

  • Use colour to reinforce the logic of your structure

Ex: light blue title and dark blue text

  • Use colour to emphasize a point

But only use this occasionally

Colour – Bad

  • Using a font colour that does not contrast with the background colour is hard to read
  • Using colour for decoration is distracting and annoying.
  • Using a different colour for each point is unnecessary

Using a different colour for secondary points is also unnecessary

  • Trying to be creative can also be bad

Background – Good

  • Use backgrounds such as this one that are attractive but simple
  • Use backgrounds which are light
  • Use the same background consistently throughout your presentation

Background – Bad

  • Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or difficult to read from
  • Always be consistent with the background that you use

Graphs – Good

  • Use graphs rather than just charts and words

Data in graphs is easier to comprehend & retain than is raw data

Trends are easier to visualize in graph form

  • Always title your graphs

Graphs – Bad

Good

20.4 30.6
27.4 38.6
90 34.6
20.4 31.6
Blue Balls
Red Balls
Items Sold in First Quarter of 2002

Bad

20.4 30.6
27.4 38.6
90 34.6
20.4 31.6
Blue Balls
Red Balls

Sheet1

January February March April
Blue Balls 20.4 27.4 90 20.4
Red Balls 30.6 38.6 34.6 31.6

Sheet2

Sheet3

Graphs – Good

Good

20.4 30.6
27.4 38.6
90 34.6
20.4 31.6
Blue Balls
Red Balls
Items Sold in First Quarter of 2002

Sheet1

January February March April
Blue Balls 20.4 27.4 90 20.4
Red Balls 30.6 38.6 34.6 31.6

Sheet2

Sheet3

Graphs – Bad

Good

20.4 30.6
27.4 38.6
90 34.6
20.4 31.6
Blue Balls
Red Balls
Items Sold in First Quarter of 2002

Bad

20.4 30.6
27.4 38.6
90 34.6
20.4 31.6
Blue Balls
Red Balls

Sheet1

January February March April
Blue Balls 20.4 27.4 90 20.4
Red Balls 30.6 38.6 34.6 31.6

Sheet2

Sheet3

Graphs – Bad

  • Minor gridlines are unnecessary
  • Font is too small
  • Colours are illogical
  • Title is missing
  • Shading is distracting

Spelling and Grammar

  • Proof your slides for:

speling mistakes

the use of of repeated words

grammatical errors you might have make

  • If English is not your first language, please have someone else check your presentation!

Conclusion

  • Use an effective and strong closing

Your audience is likely to remember your last words

  • Use a conclusion slide to:

Summarize the main points of your presentation

Suggest future avenues of research

Questions??

  • End your presentation with a simple question slide to:

Invite your audience to ask questions

Provide a visual aid during question period

Avoid ending a presentation abruptly

JanuaryFebruaryMarch April

Blue Balls20.427.49020.4

Red Balls30.638.634.631.6

Items Sold in First Quarter of 2002

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

JanuaryFebruaryMarch April

Blue Balls

Red Balls

20.4

27.4

90

20.4

30.6

38.6

34.6

31.6

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

JanuaryFebruaryMarch April

Blue Balls

Red Balls