Saturday, May 20, 2006

Two common PowerPoint mistakes that annoy the audience

I get to see many presentations in my travels, and two recent presentations demonstrated a couple of the annoying things that presenters do when using PowerPoint. In one presentation, every time the speaker showed a new slide, they turned and looked at the projected image on the screen to see what was up there instead of looking at the laptop screen that was directly in front of them. It amazes me how many presenters don't trust that what is on the laptop screen is actually the same as what is being projected. If you need to know what the audience is seeing, just glance at the laptop screen, not the projected image behind you. In another presentation, the screen saver on the laptop came up during the introductions because the opening image had been on while people filed into the room and the time delay had expired. Unfortunately the screen saver was the one where the Windows logo jumps around to different corners of the screen, so the movement drew people's attention instead of focusing on the presenter. And what was even worse is that is was a password protected screen saver so we had to watch the presenter type in their password to start the presentation running again. Always make sure screen savers are turned off before you present so that this doesn't happen to you.


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