The Ultimate Guide on How to Avoid “Death by PowerPoint”

  • 5 key ideas to simplify your PowerPoint.
  • Use better presentation tools.
  • Use both visual and audio data to engage with your audience.
  • Send out readings or play a game before your talk to get people thinking.
  • Create group exercises to refresh your audience.
  • Sometimes, a prop is as good a visualization as a digital slide on the screen.

Death from PowerPoint

Simplify your PowerPoint

  • Only one message per slide
    If there are more than one message, then the audience would have to divert their attention to each message and reduce their focus.
  • Use contrast and size to steer focus
    Big and contrasting objects are more visible to the audience, so employ them to steer the audience focus.
  • Avoid showing text and speaking at the same time
    The redundancy would make the audience forget both what you say and what is shown on the PowerPoint
  • Use dark background
    Using dark background for your PowerPoint would shift the focus to you, the presenter. The slides should only be a visual aid and not the focus.
  • Only 6 objects per slide
    It’s the magical number. Anything more than 6 would require drastic cognitive energy from your audience to process.
David JP Phillips’s TED talk about death by PowerPoint

Use Interactive Presentation Software

Engage through All the Senses

Put Your Audience in an Active Stance

Maintain the Attention

Give (Brief) Handouts

Use Props

Final Words

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