7 PowerPoint Tips to Banish Boring Presentations

By Michael Aragon

You know it and I know it: PowerPoint is boring.

Why? Because the minute we sit down to create a PowerPoint presentation, we forget everything we know about engagement and persuasion.

How do you make a PowerPoint presentation interesting?

It starts with the realization that attention is the only currency that matters. You need to hook your audience’s attention the moment you begin—and you can’t let go for even a second.

Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think. And in this post, I’ll walk you through 7 PowerPoint tips to make your presentations more effective, so you can banish boring presentations forever.

PowerPoint Tip 1: Think Visual

The #1 most common mistake in PowerPoint presentations—and the reason they’re so boring—is that that we create them for us rather than our audience.

image of powerpoint tip about not putting too much text on a slide

And the temptation is real. If you’re afraid of forgetting an important point, you’ll want to put every word into your slideshow.

But your PowerPoint slides aren’t notecards to keep your presentation on track. They aren’t for you at all. They’re for your audience.

The slides are a supplement to your speech, not a transcript. Their job is to capture your viewers’ attention and clarify your points. And to do that, you need to create a slideshow that’s visual, not textual.

Here is how to make your PowerPoint presentation more visual:

Use text sparingly. You may have a slide with only 1 word, or no words at all. After all, less is more with PowerPoint presentations.

Be liberal with images and graphs. Use them as illustrations for your main points or to add another layer of meaning to your message. And don’t be afraid to let them fill up the screen—with no words at all.

Use videos for pacing and engagement. Videos are especially engaging. They can capture people’s attention at the beginning of your presentation and reengage them after a slow or boring section. They can also be used to transition from one part of your presentation to a dramatically different part, since they create a natural break.

Don’t try to be cute. Visuals should support your presentation. And yes, they may be entertaining, but they should never distract or interfere with the readability of your slides. At all costs, avoid creating slides like this:

image of fluffy cat with badly laid out text for powerpoint tip about distracting images

Of course, there may be times when visuals won’t work, and that’s okay. In some video sales letters, for example, the words are your visuals.

But even in a purely text-based presentation, you need to think about how it looks. Don’t put too many words on a single slide. Provide lots of white space. Give your audience just one thought at a time, so they stay engaged.

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