These days, many meeting rooms have built-in projectors and/or screens. Some even have built-in computers so the need to lug a laptop with you has essentially been eliminated. Let’s face it, a USB drive will fit even the largest of presentations and can fit on your keychain – plus it won’t hurt your back. But even though all this is there to make your life easy, it can also work against you. Unless you test your presentation on the exact equipment that you’ll be running it on, you’re running a huge risk.
In my prior article on PowerPoint mistakes to avoid, I covered three common mistakes that I see over and over again with presentations that use overheads. Of course, there’s plenty more mistakes that novice (and yes, even experienced) presenters make when they use this medium for presentations and we’ll get to more of them in future articles. For now, here are three more PowerPoint mistakes that you should try to avoid.
1: Using text that is too small.
You’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule– it seems like virtually everything in life can use it in some fashion. Some of the rules invert the two numbers such as 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, while others slice two or more things into an 80% chunk and a 20% chunk. In public speaking, the latter rule is used – 80% of your time is spent on preparation while 20% is spent on practice and delivery.
Whenever I use the term “Pregnant Pause” among people who don’t speak for a living, it always raises eyebrows. It’s an odd term, but it essentially means an elongated pause (usually ten seconds or longer) used during a speech. Pregnant pauses aren’t always bad either; they can enhance a speech when used correctly. So let’s take a closer look at the pregnant pause.
A replacement for “ums” and “ahs”: