Common Mistakes in PowerPoint Presentation

A presentation is created using Microsoft PowerPoint software. It is a collection of individual slides that contain information on a topic by the presenter. Generally, PowerPoint presentation begins with a title slide that may contain the name or the topic of the presentation. The title slide is followed by content slides contain information usually in the form of text and sometimes graphics. At the present time, a PowerPoint presentation has become a valuable marketing tool for businesses.

Here, we have collected 10 of the most common mistakes in short that speakers make in the presentation. By avoiding these, you can make your presentations stand out.

10 Mistakes in PowerPoint Presentation

1. Starting at the Screen: One of the most annoying, unprofessional thing is starting at the screen. Never assume that having all your content on the slides means you don’t have to practice. You should not read the content to the audience by looking at the screen.

2. Standing in front of the screen: The problem with standing in front of the screen is, your face will turn blue and start to glow, which is a bit creepy. Hence, the presenter should not stand in front of the screen, the audience may find it disturbing.

3. Bad contrast: One should not use dark colored text on dark backgrounds or vice versa. The more visual contrast, the more enjoyable the slides will be. If you do white on black, you’ll need to increase your font size a bit. And use color elsewhere. After all, pretty every book you’ve ever read uses white paper and black ink. In that case, PowerPoint should be no different.

4. Animation stuff just because you can: Creativity is a good thing. But making your text boxes swirl and dance on the screen isn’t creative. There are times when you may want to create a really cool visual effect. Your presentation may be benefited from the occasional fade-in/fade-out function.

5. Using clip art: The problem with clipart isn’t so much about the cutesy and tacky aura that it emits. The real problem is that presentations often use cheap clipart to make their presentation more visual without having any real purpose for each image.

6. Using weird fronts: PowerPoint presentations are not the place to use the crazy fonts. When you use text, it should be immediately legible. Century Gothic is nice. So is Coolvetica or Arial or any other simple sans serif font. But please, don’t be using Chiller, Curlz  MT, or Rage Italic.

7. Don’t use a bad color scheme: If you’re not good with colors, just use black and white. There’s no shame on that. But when you use color, you need to keep your color scheme to about three or four colors and two might even be better. Also, Keep it simple and avoid clashing colors.

And don’t use holiday color schemes—green and red; orange and black; purple and yellow; red, white, and blue—as long as you change their saturation and add in a third/fourth color that isn’t part of the holiday.

8. Too many or too few images: Too many images can be overwhelming to your audience, but it can also distract your audience from your message, Keeping the right balance of pictures or graphs can be more effective than words alone. Otherwise, too few images can lead to miscommunication and overall loss of attention among your audiences.

9. Leaving the presentation: Sometimes, presenters want to show the audience a video halfway through the presentation and instead of adding it to the presentation and go somewhere else to show it. This is a huge distraction and creates the risk of technical errors as well.

10. Using irrelevant/Distracting sounds: Adding sounds to the background of your presentation is simply distracting and will draw your audience’s attention away from you. All sounds should be avoided to keep your presentation quite.

There are many things you need to be aware of when creating your PowerPoint presentation and many mistakes that can be easily avoided. With crystal clear and engaging presentations, you can proactively communicate in your meeting to the highest possible standard.


Contributor: Monowara Parvin | Studying at Mawlana Bhashani Science & Technology University, Bangladesh.

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