5 Quick Tips to Make Your PowerPoint Suck

Whether you’re presenting to the PTA or the board of a Fortune 500 company, there are a few common PowerPoint features that do a great job—of detracting from your message and killing your credibility. Pull up an office chair and dim the lights as we present the 5 worst features in PowerPoint presentations.

1) Sound Effects

Keep them awake with the delightful sound of a laser .

What’s the perfect addition to a slide full of animated bullet points? Sound, obviously. This unbelievable feature tops our list of things to avoid—unless you’re presenting at a Sci-Fi convention. Then definitely go for it. Otherwise, just let your audience hear what you’re saying.

2) Standard Clip Art

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3) Elaborate Slide Transitions

Watch your audience’s attention slide away.

The best way to completely distract an audience from your slide content is with a gimmicky slide transition—preferably a different one for each slide. There are the classic wipes, dissolves, blinds, and checks, but newer versions of PowerPoint include even more senseless options. Our personal favorites? The origami crane and paper airplane. (It’s like throwing attention out the window.) Just say no—and move on to the next slide.

4) Drop Shadows

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5) The Stock Template

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Stock templates: the best way to put your audience to sleep.

If you’ve seen a presentation, you’ve seen this eyesore—whether too plain, painful, or peculiar. Unless you’re trying to bore your audience, choose a visual theme that complements your topic.

Creating powerful presentations is easy—if you know what to do. Steer clear of these PowerPoint landmines, and check out 11 Ways to Makeover Your Presentations for more tips.

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