The effectiveness of a presentation is one of those metrics that presenters have always tried to measure, quantify, maximise, and replicate. Of course, if your presentation isn’t designed to engage the minds of your audience, what’s the point of delivering it in the first place?
However, no matter how much effort you’ve put in designing your presentation, there are some common mistakes that can affect your overall outcome. In this article, we will highlight 5 common mistakes to help you understand better what truly matters in a presentation and also share some of the best tips we can offer you as a presentation design agency.
5 Presentation Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs
Mistake #1: Confusing the audience with improper messaging or too much new information
If your presentation lacks crisp, clear messaging, chances are – your audience will get confused by the time you finish your presentation. The way you communicate your key messages in the presentation needs to be clear and compelling for your audience to take note of them.
Of course, you may have a lot of information to share with your audience, since you know in great depth about the topic. You may even feel comfortable switching back and forth from various sub-topics of your expertise. However, your audience may or may not know everything you’re talking about, and if it’s the latter – their minds will feel disengaged with the content of your presentation. Unless you choose to keep things simple for them and present the content in a well-defined and simplified format.
As a rule of thumb:
1. Introduce new information gradually over the course of your presentation
2. Never overload them with too much new information at once so that they are unable to grasp it
3. Use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) rule when you’re designing your presentation
4. Try to follow a unique approach when it comes to presenting your material
Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong presentation template, theme, colours, or fonts
It’s crucial to choose a presentation template or theme that’s appropriate for your audience. If you’re working on a business presentation that you have to present, representing your company, for example, you may use a clean, modern, and simplistic layout for it. On the other hand, if you’re trying to engage young children with the presentation you’ve prepared for their school, it’s advisable to use a lot of colours and commonly known shapes which kids like.
The use of good contrasting with the slide background is essential if you want to make your text readable for the audience. Avoid using textured or patterned backgrounds for text, since those can make the text difficult to read. Also, if you’re not a “font specialist”, stick to using only easy-to-read fonts like Times New Roman or Arial.
Keep the template, the theme, colour scheme, and fonts consistent across your slide deck. If you’re presenting at a conference or a corporate meeting at your company, follow the common default theme as specified for the presenters by the event organisers.
Mistake #3: Overloading your presentation decks with text
You perhaps already know that a slide full of text or even bullet points can become quite a boring affair for the audience and ultimately hinder the effectiveness of your presentation. But did you know how much better it is to swap out the text for more appealing visualisations, typography, and iconography?
Our experience – as one of the leading PowerPoint designers in London – has provided us with all the tools and knowledge required to turn a presentation – that might appear boring on the surface into a memorable one for your audience. As a first step, think of your slide deck as something to support your presentation and not the prime focus of your presentation.
Mistake #4: Not making the presentation content fit into the allotted time slot
As for most presentations, you will only have a finite amount of time allotted for it – be it a sales presentation, or a talk you’re presenting at a conference. When you go over this allotted time, the audience starts feeling disengaged and many of them assume that you don’t value their time. So, it’s always a nice idea to keep with you a timer (at least during the prep sessions) and wrap up your presentation well in time to ensure this problem doesn’t happen.
Mistake #5: Lacking a solid presentation style to go with the presentation content
Whether you’re presenting in front of your company’s board of directors, or in front of a huge audience at your company’s annual conference, for example, it’s essential to give sufficient attention to the delivery part of the presentation as well. You don’t want to spend most of your time simply reading out loud your slides to the audience.
Even if speaking confidently and having a likeable presentation style doesn’t come naturally to you, you can still work on these skills and level them up with professional training and guidance. As a shameless plug, at Presentation Experts, we offer a workshop specifically to address such issues and to help you develop a killer presentation style that helps you deliver your best presentations time and time again.
If there’s something we’ve learnt working with our clients as a presentation design agency is that it’s completely under your control to tweak the presentation design and achieve the goals you’ve set for it. An ineffective presentation could negatively affect your reputation and the kind of results you can get. If you don’t consider yourself an expert presentation designer, consider getting help from professional pitch deck designers who can get the job done for you.
Still not sure where to start? Feel free to contact our team of expert presentation designers in London for more professional advice, guidance, and support!