Content vs. Sizzle in your PowerPoint presentation
Most of us have seen the presentations where the presenter has obviously spent hours getting just the right animation effect for the flying text or spinning clip art. We groan and resign ourselves to spending the next 20 minutes sitting through a demonstration of how “cool” the presenter thinks they are. We walk away without a clue of what they wanted us to remember because the “fancy stuff” was distracting.
I’m not against using the features in PowerPoint. But I want presenters to use them wisely. Use animation when there is a purpose, such as building ideas so they can be discussed individually or moving the attention to a certain spot on the slide. Don’t use random slide transitions, in fact, use only a simple fade if you use any at all (I don’t use slide transitions at all). Keep elements such as bullet points simple and clean, don’t get “cute” with logo or clip art bullet points. Use audio or video only when it is more powerful, such as for testimonials. Use simple, clean backgrounds, not busy distracting ones. And the list could go on.
Here’s the bottom line. Keep it simple, focus on your message and don’t get caught up in what PowerPoint can offer. Your audience came to hear your message, not see how much you know about the program.