The today’s teaching process involves learning through computers. Nowadays, most schools and universities have free access to the Internet. Each house has a computer with access to the World Wide Web. Therefore, it is not surprising that many teachers assign the tasks that require the usage of computer. A good example is a presentation. So, what, actually, it is needed for?
First of all, slide way of information delivery gives a basic understanding of the essence of the issue. Just by reading the report in an old-fashioned way, you can wear out the listener. Your groupmates will immediately start muttering and tossing – in short, to do everything not to hear your story. Your topic of the performance can be quite interesting, even really useful for your listeners. But a human mind is arranged in a way that it is much better for us to perceive visual details than auditory. If you show a picture relating to your topic, people will get their own ideas about your report.
Secondly, a presentation allows you to present the material in a more logical and comprehensible form for the listener. Visual info such as tables, which are included in many presentations, allow people to clearly demonstrate the logic of your speech. Imagine you are reading a sequence of elements without showing the audience a chain of relationships between the elements.
For example, you tell us about the structure of the helium atom: «The atom consists of a nucleus and a shell. The kernel is in this shell. The core consists of protons, a shell of electrons …». And in the same vein, you continue on. While your listeners will build this picture in their heads (and many will not do this, as most are not interested in it), they will lose sight of all the essential characteristics of your performance. This way you will lose the last spectators.
Thirdly, the presentation helps you with answering many questions that will follow after your speech. Slides initially, simply by their presence, remove most of the questions from listeners. However, it also raises other questions. But you have nothing to fear! Quite often, you can find answers to the questions posed by swiping a couple of slides back.
It is unlikely that someone will ask a question that does not intersect with your presentation. Basically, most of the questions are related to the presentation. Therefore, how well you can make a presentation depends not only your performance, but also the situation when you answer the questions of the listeners after the presentation.
Now you know about the benefits that a well-made presentation gives us. Now, we will discuss those mistakes that are most often encountered by people who make presentations in more detail.
Basic Mistakes in PowerPoint Presentations
Mistake #1: The Font Size Is Far from Visible
This eventually makes your slides non-respectable (i.e. not solid). Your presentation is evaluated within the first few seconds. If you did not initially catch the interest of your listener (and the poorly read title of the topic already provokes anger from the viewer), then you should consider leaving your presentation – it is already a 95% of failure.
Mistake #2: A Lot of Text
In a way, this is the next part of the mistake number 1, in terms of the content of the text on the slides. With long paragraphs on slides, you are doomed to failure. We assure you that no one will ever read those sentences because no one has either time or wish to waste it. Too long texts are the destiny of books in which some topics may be «chewed up». So, providing a lot of information via letters is normal there. In the presentation, long texts are the sign of a dull performance.
Mistake #3: Tables for No Clear Reason
Tables are important in making a table more efficient. This may be the case. However, it is obvious only for you, but not for the audience. When you were preparing the presentation and selecting the appropriate material, it was considered that the table you found is very good. But the tables are not perceived by the person during your speech!
When it is necessary to compare several data that are present in the table, then it is no longer up to the words that you are trying to explain some certain tabular numbers. Here, the listeners have a few options: either just listening to you and rely on your words, or just looking at the table while comparing the numbers. But most people choose the third way – they just let their thoughts travel out of the place and only nominally are in the audience. And there are no chances to make them come back.
Mistake #4: The Presentation Uses Annoying Effects
Having a bit of text on slides is quite normal and no one will find it distracting. But, if the text appears on a letter by letter basis and the whole procession takes 10-15 seconds, you can be sure that your presentation is already annoying. Everything becomes uninteresting and boring. Or, if these effects are too much to handle, the result will be the same.
Mistake #5: Non-Contrast Colors Are Selected
This is probably the most common issue among all bad presentations. When you sit down and gaze into the distance – what does the yellow colored text say on a white background? Or maybe, two indicators are visible, but others are impossible to make out. Thus, the whole picture of the presentation is lost, which again leads to the failure of the presentation in particular – and your speech in general!
Mistake #6: Presentation Is Not Rehearsed in Advance
This is also a very common mistake. In addition to that, the most interesting thing here is how the sample is taken in and the excess is rejected. After all, everything happens on the go, sometimes in a reckless fashion (and you have no time to think about it because your head is busy with your performance). This may lead to some funny situations. Speakers begin to fuss, get nervous, etc. In short, this results into a loss of interest from the viewers of your presentation, and that means a failure of the latter.
Mistake #7: You Picked a Bad Assistant
In most cases, you are not the one who is switching the slides – your assistant (clicker) does that. If you did not prepare a duplicate of the text of your speech and did not specify where you would need to change the slides, then you will encounter great problems during the performance. Or there is the second case – if your friend is not really that great with the computer, then, even if you have carried out the abovementioned actions, the result will still be similar – an unsuccessful presentation.
We identified seven main mistakes that occur in bad presentations.
Now you know them. Therefore, try not to make such mistakes and then your presentations will not irritate your audience.
We wish you successful performances and good luck in your studies!