PowerPoint presentations are a great way to share information with students, clients, colleagues, and beyond. When creating your presentation, avoid these mistakes to ensure that your PowerPoint looks appealing and communicates your message effectively.

1. Too Much Text

Many users put a lot of sentences and paragraphs on a slide to explain a point. However, text takes up a lot of room on the slide, leaving no space for a picture or chart. Text is also overwhelming for the audience — they may try to read the slide instead of listening to your presentation.

Solution

Your text should reinforce your talking points, not do the talking for you. Use less text per slide by writing short sentences, organizing the text in a list with bullet points, or dividing the text across slides.

2. Hard-to-Read Fonts

PowerPoint presentations have many font options, all the way from print to cursive. However, certain fonts are difficult to read. If your audience can’t read the slide, they may not understand your presentation.

Solution

Choose an attractive yet simple font style that is legible from a distance, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.

3. Too Many Images

Visuals can illustrate your talking points and make your slide interesting. However, images can be distracting if they’re low in quality or unrelated to the presentation. They can also clutter the slide and make it hard to understand.

Solution

Use only one image per slide, and make sure it directly relates to your topic.

4. Poor Color Contrast

The colors in your PowerPoint presentation affect the contrast. Your slide background, text color, text boxes, and other visuals need to work together. Similar colors or certain color combinations for visuals can make your presentation visually unappealing and hard to read.

Solution

Get a good contrast in your presentation slides by using a light background with a dark font or vice versa. You can also try a preinstalled theme with good color pairings.

5. Overdoing Transitions

PowerPoint has transition options to make text boxes and shapes appear and disappear. While transitions are interesting, they can be distracting if the presentation has too many. Your audience may become more interested in your transitions than your presentation’s content.

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Solution

Do not use transitions between items and slides. If you do, pick a simple transition effect.

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