There are two ingredients
to being a successful speaker. Good speaking skills and good information. Without
those, you will lose your audience. But what happens when you cloud your presentation
with visuals that aren't up to par? Simply put, you distract your audience from
the information you are there to present.
The overuse of technological
bells and whistles in presentations is an under-rated problem. Many presenters
think, "If it's new and dynamic; it will make my presentation much better."
Truth is, there is nothing better than a presentation that is done professionally
with only limited effects.
A common mistake is the
overuse of PowerPoint animations and transitions during a slideshow. I'm sure
you've seen what I'm talking about; the presenter that animates each sentence
so it flies in, drops down, and explodes on the screen with an accompanying
What happens after that?
Do you lose track of what the presenter is saying? Forget within 3 seconds what
the point was because you were so focused on the effects that you missed the
While the thought process
behind these special effects is, "This highlights my point and emphasizes the
importance," the outcome is often the opposite. People tend to get distracted
by the effects.
A good rule when using PowerPoint,
or any other presentation software, is to only put up your main points and use
the screen as a reference.
If only the main points
are on the screen, the audience will realize the importance of them. Don't overwhelm
your audience with techno-fluff. The power of technology is neither the point
of your presentation, nor the strength of it. The technology should only be
used sparingly or subtlety to reinforce the information you have to share. After
all, what you are really there to do is share information.