Monday, September 19, 2011

Survey Reveals What Annoys Audiences About PowerPoint® Presentations

Here is the press release that will be going out that summarizes the results from the recent survey. More detailed results and analysis will be available next week.

Mississauga, Ontario

September 19, 2011

For immediate release

The most annoying thing a presenter can do is read their slides to the audience. This is the conclusion of the recent survey of over 600 audience members by author and consultant Dave Paradi. Almost three-quarters of the respondents to the fifth biennial survey cited reading the slides as one of the top three choices from a list of twelve annoyances.

Paradi said, “From the comments and responses, it is clear that too many presentations suffer from information overload. There is so much on each slide that the presenter is actually reading a detailed report instead of presenting the key insights or conclusions that the audience wants to hear. Audiences are left confused, leading to a lack of action and wasted effort in organizations of all sizes.”

Other top annoyances included using sentences instead of summarizing the key point as a bullet point, and using text that was too small to read. Paradi sees these as further indications that presenters are not doing the work of summarizing the information for their audiences. He added, “Instead of analyzing their information and creating a concise summary of the key message, presenters are putting everything they know on slides, leading to paragraphs of detail in fonts that are far too small.”

Paradi has joined other presentation experts from around the world this week at The Presentation Summit in Austin, Texas. The attendees will discuss ways to improve the presentations that corporate, government, and educational organizations create and deliver. The detailed survey results and further analysis will be released next week on his website at

The top answers to the question, “What annoys you about PowerPoint presentations?”, according to 603 respondents:
The speaker read the slides to us – 73.8%
Full sentences used instead of bullet points – 51.6%
Text so small I couldn’t read it – 48.1%

Dave Paradi is an author, consultant, and speaker who helps presenters communicate effectively using persuasive PowerPoint presentations. He is available for interviews at 905-510-4911.

The Presentation Summit is an annual conference dedicated to improving presentations. More information can be found on their website at

PowerPoint® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Inc. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Dave Paradi and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization, including Microsoft Inc.


Blogger Jim Taylor, CRE, CPE, CPMM said...


The second objection - full sentences vs. bullets. That seems to go against the current recommendations of some (BBP, etc.) to have one idea per slide with supporting graphic. And to use a complete sentence as the slide title.

Or they objecting to a slide filled with sentences, each of which is a separate bullet?

10:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


People are referring to the bulk of the slide being sentences (usually paragraphs actually). I advocate a sentence headline as well to summarize the point for the audience. But when you put the text of a report up on the screen, we can all agree that it is annoying.


12:24 PM  
Blogger Miss Midwesterly said...

We really hope that folks understand the reason people made these complaints: it's largely because the speaker isn't engaged enough, or not "selling" whatever the powerpoint is about. Speakers need to be excited about the product/service/powerpoint. How can your audience be interested, if you're not?

9:05 AM  

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