If somebody were to ask you to name one alternative to PowerPoint, can you come up with one? That’s how pervasive Microsoft PowerPoint is in our psyche. There are more than 20 main competitors of PowerPoint in the market today. Among them are Google Slides, Visme, Apple’s Keynote, Zoho Show, Emaze, and Haiku Deck.
All of them can be used to prepare your business presentation design. But then again, slides have become synonymous with PowerPoint, and we learn it in school, so there’s almost no point in considering the alternatives.
As if you need more convincing, here are some stats for you.
1. 35 million presentations using PowerPoint are being made every day.
2. There are 500 million users of PowerPoint right now all over the world.
3. The average text per slide is 40 words (which are already too many).
Attention Span of a Gnat
The one thing that most people don’t outgrow is their failure to hold their attention span no more than a few minutes. According to this article from Forbes, if you have a long intro, by the third or fourth slide, your audience is already not listening.
The average time that you can hold the audience’s full attention is 10 minutes. So if you are going to give a generic presentation, prepare to talk to an inattentive audience.
Here are some mistakes that people make with their business presentation design.
1. Still using Clip-Art? The horror! – Did you know that Clip-Art is even older than PowerPoint by a few years? There are a few things coming from the glory days of the 80s that are best buried, and Clip-Art is one of them. PowerPoint plugins allow you to use a lot of templates, graphics, diagrams, icons, images, maps, graphs, and charts.
2. Sound effects – Sure, a sound effect might be amusing the first time, but it can quickly get old. It also takes away the seriousness of your presentation, which is not a good thing if you are trying to impress your boss. Besides, you are going to wake up sleeping Gary at the back.
3. Too much transition – In relation to bad sound effects, ease up on the slide transition every time you hit enter. If you are going to use transition, stick to one or two if you want to highlight a slide. Otherwise, don’t be overeager to use the dissolve option, or the fade-in and fade-out, or the blinds transition.
4. Too many words. – Nobody likes to read in a presentation. They want bullet points. They want the highlights in snack bites. It’s your job to explain while the PowerPoint presentation serves to provide your audience with a visual focus while they listen to your explanation.
5. Small Fonts – Unintelligible text is the fastest way for your audience to tune out. This can be rectified if you follow Tip No. 4. By using fewer words, you can then increase the font size on your slides so everybody can read it.
Although people have been making PowerPoint presentations since they were in high school, they always revert to bad practices, or probably the lazy practices by default. They think it’s a badge of honor that they never learned about the technology.
However, advances in technology today enables you to add PowerPoint plugins that will enhance your slides and bring them from generic to unique. Talk to Mauricio Lacava about it if you want to learn more.