PowerPoint: Controlling the Audience

An audience is an interesting animal and your presentation can tame them or turn them against you. Here are some tips to keep them focused on your message and not on the LENGTH of the message while itching to escape.

1) Use a white background on your slides. It lights up the room and keeps them alert
2) Don’t “read” your slides. There is nothing worse than having someone read what is on the wall. It’s downright insulting to the audience. You should know your subject well enough that the slides just keep you on track as you adlib.
3) Keep the text to 5 lines per slide. If you put a paragraph up there, now the audience is reading instead of listening. You’ve lost them.
4) During the presentation, hit “B” or “W” on your keyboard. It’s a Blackout/Whiteout screen that gets them to look at you with no distractions. Hit “B” or “W” again and the presentation starts where you left off.
5) Use real pictures instead of clipart. Sometimes (rarely) clipart is appropriate, but most of the time it looks cheesy.
6) Visit http://office.microsoft.com/for fresh PowerPoint templates. PowerPoint has been around for more than a decade and the same themes have been there since the beginning. When I see one at a presentation, I yawn.
7) If you are planning a break during your presentation, then download the free “timer slides” at:
Microsoft Timer Slides here
8) Most important tip to control the audience – if you don’t want anyone walking out, then for goodness sake, RESPECT THEIR TIME. People have schedules. If you say you’ll be done at 1pm, then be done at 12:55! Talking past the promised time shows complete disrespect and arrogance. And they won’t be back to see you.

My Other Blog Posts: