We see a lot of presentations and slide decks both good and bad! And, whilst we spend a lot of time helping clients define content, designing infographics, illustrations and layouts etc to support them in their pitches, there are a few areas that most people could consider to improve their powerpoint presentation design generally. Here are eight common mistakes we see:

1. Starting the presentation creation in the Powerpoint

Before you open Powerpoint (or any presentation software you choose to use) stop! First of all you need to establish what you audience needs to know in order for them to transition to a place where they are accepting of your idea and ready and willing to take action! When you know this you can plan your content accordingly and then you are ready to create the slided.

2. Using complex charts and graphs

Charts and graphs can be highly distracting if they’re not used correctly. Make sure your graphs are clean and simple by stripping out any excess information. Then, the audience can focus on key stats rather than trying to decipher non-essential data.

3. Not using slide headings effectively

Ask yourself what the key message is that you want your client to retain for the slide and use it as your headling. For example, rather than a heading that reads “Our Clients,” tell them what you want them to know about your clients such as “We have an impressive blue-chip client portfolio” or “Our clients are big players with big goals too!”

4. Cramming too much information on one slide

A cluttered slide is distracting and will cause confusion for your audience. A simple, visually appealing slide that focuses on one key idea or message will engage your audience and keep them focused on your main points.

5. Thinking that fewer slides are better

To piggy back off of the point above, slides should be simple, but not necessarily fewer. Use as many slides as you need to help make your points and transition your audience’s thinking. If you have planned your content as suggested in point one of this article then you will know what slides you need.

6. Ignoring the impact of design

The design of your slides conveys a message about you and your business, whether you are deliberate about it or not. If your slide deck is distinctly lacking when it comes to branded style, layout and visual appeal, then it is likely to be working against you and undermining your professionalism and brand values. At very least, ensure you are using a branded slide deck template, brand colours and brand fonts. Also, pay attention to alignment and consistent placement of headlines.

7. Limiting your slides to words

Images are more powerful than words when it comes to presentations and can be very effective at backing up a point or idea. We don’t mean clip-art though! There are so many stock libraries on the internet these days. We use Shutterstock, Unsplash and Adobe Stock.

8. Giving a copy of your slides to your audience.

If your slides can say everything on their own then there is something wrong with the slides. Slides are not meant to be read, they are meant to support the speaker’s story and connection with the audience. If you want to provide the audience a summary of your presentation, provide a brochure or white paper that gives more in depth information on what you were presenting on. This gives you another opportunity for your audience to digest key areas that they might have missed, plus they have your branded materials with all your contact details!   Want to achieve a higher level of conversions from you pitches? Slide Deck offers a variety of support packages to help you supercharge your future presentations, win business, persuade and align. Contact us here or call +44 (0)118 9653970

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