Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


How to avoid dull and tedious Powerpoint presentations

It's an all-too-common phenomenon at workshops, seminars and trade events, and even creeps into the most critical of business meetings: Boring Powerpoint Syndrome.

You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Those interminable dull slides that have 8-15 bullet points on them, each smaller than you can read, all against a plain white background and all with too many transitions and too much glitz to let you really focus on the important part of the presentation: the speaker.

Of course, I'll admit that not every public speaker can command the attention of their audience, so for many the Powerpoint slides serve just as much as a crutch, as a safety net, as they serve as a helpful reminder of the key points that the presenter wants to enforce. But if that's the case, then surely you'd agree with me that the problem is with the presenter's skills and the presentation, and that the Powerpoint is just a sort of virtual attention flypaper, dangling out there and pulling eyeballs (and brains) away from what's being said and off into neverland, down the rabbit hole of daydreams, or, in modern events, into the Internet via that handy wifi connection.

Blech. There's a better way and I encourage everyone who gives presentations to read through my own tips on this subject: How to enhance your presentation with Powerpoint, not cripple it.

Oh, and as a listener, as an audience member, your best response is to call presenters on it if you see they're suffering from BPS (Boring Powerpoint Syndrome). Otherwise things will never get better. :-)