The words “I’m bored” have become censored in my home, mostly because my kids know that if they utter those words around me they will most certainly get a manual labor task.  LOL

But listen, we’ve all been there.  The boss calls you to a meeting and you are forced to avoid the bagels (watching the carbs) and listen to a BORING presentation about increasing productivity.  You know there are a million-and-one things on your desk and 73 calls to return and you are just gave up coffee (wait, why?)!  You find yourself humming the tune to Star Wars and randomly counting the dots on the back of Ineta’s dress. Then you remember not to stare because it could be misconstrued as sexual harassment.  You shake your head to snap back to the meeting and say to yourself:

“Why can’t meetings be more concise and more interesting?”

Well, one of the reasons presentations are dull is the dreaded slide deck.  PowerPoint, Keynote, whatever – the BORING deck for which the term “Death by Slides” was born. The charts are confusing  and since you can’t read the tiny print, and the speaker stands there and reads it word for word to you.  Ugh.

“When I get to management, my presentations will be interesting, concise and yes, even FUN,” you muse.  “IF I survive this.”

There are a few tricks that will help ensure your presentation doesn’t bore the H-E-double hockey sticks out of your staff.

  1. Fewer Slides.  What are you really trying to communicate today?  Will your staff walk away with 1 central theme or a 14 point list they will never remember?
  2. Fewer Words per slide.  Use a few key words or phrases on slides, not full sentences.  Vary your text size so that the most important words stand out.
  3. Simplified charts. Leave out unnecessary details in charts.  Try to use the chart to make a dramatic point, not just to have another chart.
  4. Variety. If all your slides have a baby blue background and a navy blue stripe, your staff will glaze over.  While maintaining a consistent style, vary slides light and dark to keep viewers engaged.
  5. Images. Use images to convey emotion.  It usually is less about what you say and more about how they feel about your presentation when they leave the room.  Images help motivate and create empathy.
  6. Keep it concise.  Get to the point quickly and briefly (think stand-up meeting).

It takes a little more time to create a memorable presentation, but when you make an effort it will definitely pay off!

-Pamela Schwartz
Freelance PowerPoint Designer
May 11, 2022