5 PowerPoint Crimes

Powerpoint has been used for years as a tool for business presentations. However, it’s still very rare to see it utilised effectively. Here are just five common Powerpoint crimes that I see every week.


Powerpoint can be a great way bolster a presentation or to make a point clearer. But it’s important to remember that it should only provide support material for a presentation that stands on its own.   Don’t use a slide to tell the story, but to illustrate it and bring it to life.  If a slide isn’t adding value then just bin it.

Too Many Graphics

If you’re explaining to your colleagues why there are going to be redundancies in the coming year, you don’t have to do it by zipping a cartoon dog across the screen, accompanied by a faded-in speech bubble containing the words “cut-backs” and a Dog Bark SFX.
Clever graphics are no longer a ‘wow’ because everyone knows how they work, and there’s a danger that too much blinking, fading and twisting will simply make it look like you’re using style to cover up a lack of content.

Too Much Information

In any form of presentation, the most important thing to remember is that your primary job is not to convey all of the relevant information. Regardless of how well written/performed a presentation is, very little of the actual information you put across will be retained. Rather, the whole point of presenting is to make an impact. As a golden rule, if something needs a hundred words on a powerpoint slide, you may as well drop it to your audience on an email.

Too many slides

There is nothing worse than being in an audience and realising that you are about to be delivered ‘War and Peace’ in PowerPoint.  It’s all about being crisp and relevant, so don’t overdo it.  As a rule of thumb, a slide-per-minute is ample.  And that’s assuming it only contains a handful of words, one diagram, or a single picture.

Dark backgrounds

They may look clever on your laptop, but they’ll make any slide almost impossible to read when they are projected.  The projection will often change the tint, and make them blend into the words.  So that beige font on a brown background is a definite no go.