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Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things
 

Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things

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I've done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I've pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying 'ultimate' slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same ...

I've done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I've pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying 'ultimate' slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same presentation again, with annotations explaining where I goofed and how to avoid it.

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    Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things Presentation Transcript

    • Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com PRESENTATION HORRORS: DON’T DO THESE THINGS
    • NEW BOLD COLOR!Hi. I’m Ian Lurie. CEO of an overflowing-with-awesome internet marketing agency called Portent. @portentint  
    • NEW BOLD COLOR! This presentation is every bad thing I’ve ever done when creating a presentation. Read, learn, and avoid my embarrassing moments. @portentint  
    • NEW BOLD COLOR!It’s actually TWO presentations: First, the bad presentation. Then the same presentation, annotated. @portentint  
    • CATCHY TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU NEED A SUBTITLE SIMPLY TO EXPLAIN THE TITLE
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • WITTY ANECDOTE! @portentint  
    • NEW BOLD COLOR! @portentint  
    • SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU’LL HEAR @portentint  
    • LIST @portentint  
    • OF @portentint  
    • POINTS @portentint  
    • BUT NO BULLETS @portentint  
    • •  Now I’m going to use bullets •  So I can string stuff together •  And because I got really tired •  And because I didn’t rehearse, so I’m going to read this to you @portentint  
    • •  OK but now •  I’m using bullets because •  I know people will •  want to read this later and remember •  what I talked about @portentint  
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
    • F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING! AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO I’LL DO IT MORE!!! @portentint  
    • OOOOH, AAAH, ANIMATED TEXT @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • ACCIDENTAL @portentint  
    • ANIMATION @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
    • Look! Drop shadows!!! @portentint  
    • JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT @portentint  
    • OBLIGTORY TYPO @portentint  
    • HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!! @portentint  
    • LAST YEAR’S SLIDE @portentint  
    • ANOTHER LAYOUT AT RANDOM @portentint  
    • STOCK PHOTO TO ‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION
    • BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS
    • BETCHA CAN’T READ THISI PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS IMAGE SO I’M GOING TO USE IT DAMMIT. @portentint  
    • I FORGOT YOU USE 4: @portentint  
    • 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   1   2   3   4   5   Foobly  stuff   Foobly  stuff  
    • SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
    • OHGODI’MOUTOFTIME SOIWILLRUSHTHROUGH THELASTPARTSSOFAST YOULEARNNOTHING @portentint  
    • TANGENT RANT THING @portentint  
    • @portentint  
    • LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S ARTISTIC AND STUFF. @portentint  
    • DIFFERENT FONTS BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC TOO @portentint  
    • WTF??! THIS ISN’T KNOCKOUT BOLD!!! @portentint  
    • LOOK! I GOT ALL DESIGNY AND STUFF.
    • Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com logo here phone address first-born male child’s name CONTACT ME! PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE
    • @portentint   Let’s analyze this presentation, shall we?
    • CATCHY TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS I’m guilty of this. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU NEED A SUBTITLE SIMPLY TO EXPLAIN THE TITLE
    • SELF-PROMOTION OK, no problem @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION OK, no problem @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION Wait… @portentint  
    • SELF-PROMOTION K now it’s becoming a problem. 5 minutes of self- promotion in a 30-minute presentation? Not OK. @portentint  
    • WITTY ANECDOTE! Please, make it relevant And not offensive I once cracked a joke making fun of economists and their fashion choices. At an economics conference. Guess what? They didn’t laugh. I felt like an idiot for the rest of my talk. Oh, see that? That was an anecdote. @portentint  
    • NEW BOLD COLOR! GAAAH My eyes!!!! Try a natural color palette for starters
    • SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU’LL HEAR I actually don’t suggest a summary Try going naturally from one point to the next, instead @portentint  
    • LIST @portentint  
    • OF You’re avoiding bullets. That’s great!!!! But there is a place for bullets in presentations @portentint  
    • POINTS Bullets are meant for lists If you have a real list @portentint  
    • BUT NO BULLETS So use bullets for lists @portentint  
    • Oy. This is bloody awful. Don’t use bullets as punctuation, or to string thoughts together •  Now I’m going to use bullets •  So I can string stuff together •  And because I got really tired •  And because I didn’t rehearse, so I’m going to read this to you @portentint  
    • Still no. Consider doing a separate annotated version (like what you’re reading now) instead. •  OK but now •  I’m using bullets because •  I know people will •  want to read this later and remember •  what I talked about @portentint  
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
    • COLORS USED RANDOMLY Why? Use colors to delineate sections or different ideas @portentint  
    • F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING! AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO I’LL DO IT MORE!!! Not recommended,unless you can really pull it off and have the right audience. The audience often laughs because they’re uncomfortable with you swearing like a sailor.
    • OOOOH, AAAH, ANIMATED TEXT Please, no. Ask: Does it serve a communications purpose? No? Forget it.
    • SELF-PROMOTION … @portentint  
    • ACCIDENTAL @portentint   Whereever possible, keep text in the same position…
    • ANIMATION @portentint   …from slide to slide. Don’t disrupt chain of thought.
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE Don’t ‘plow through’ material. Mix it up! Tell stories that support your point. Reinforce stuff. @portentint  
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   I have a habit of putting the cool stuff at the start and end, and then filling the middle with endless stuff. Don’t do that. Otherwise it goes on…
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   …and on…
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   …and on.
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Your stretched, blurred screen capture is not helpful. Be sure to get the original right.
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Point out one thing per slide, not 5.
    • DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Use drop shadows when they help, not because you can.
    • Look! Drop shadows!!! @portentint   Here, the drop shadow blurs the text. Ew.
    • JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT Yeah, none of us have EVER heard that one before. Avoid it if you can. Again, I’m guilty of this one far too often.
    • OBLIGTORY TYPO Can’t avoid ‘em all. But at least proofread.
    • HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!! BE CAREFUL. Especially in the US. I’m a lefty pinko liberal I only make political jokes after that disclaimer. And I poke fun at everyone.
    • LAST YEAR’S SLIDE Don’t do 100% exact repetition. Always bring something new to a repeat presentation. @portentint  
    • ANOTHER LAYOUT Use alternate layouts to delineate or emphasize ideas. Not to ‘make it interesting.’ AT RANDOM You make it interesting. Not your slides. @portentint  
    • STOCK PHOTO TO ‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION Were all these people grown in vats? Your audience will not connect with this image unless they’re clones. Don’t use stock images unless they’re truly relevant and approachable.
    • BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS You’ve already blinded your audience with the optic yellow background. Keep some contrast w/ a transparent fill, or something. Anything.
    • BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS Images must serve a purpose: Elicit an emotional response, or illustrate a specific idea. Don’t use them just because. I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS IMAGE SO I’M GOING TO USE IT DAMMIT.
    • I FORGOT YOU USE 4: Check your slide dimensions against your A/V setup. Otherwise, hilarity may ensue. @portentint  
    • I have no words. Just go read this presentation, instead. 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   1   2   3   4   5   Foobly  stuff   Foobly  stuff  
    • SELF-PROMOTION … @portentint  
    • OHGODI’MOUTOFTIMES OIWILLRUSHTHROUGHT HELASTPARTSSOFASTY OULEARNNOTHING For Heaven’s sake: Rehearse. Get your timing right. @portentint  
    • TANGENT RANT THING Sometimes, this is OK. I don’t suggest riffing on health care at a marketing conference, though. @portentint  
    • Seriously? @portentint  
    • LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S ARTISTIC AND STUFF. This might be invisible on a projector. @portentint  
    • DIFFERENT FONTS BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC TOO Don’t make your slide look like a ransom note. Unless that’s what you want. @portentint  
    • WTF??! THIS ISN’T KNOCKOUT BOLD!!! You used a special font, didn’t you? Now you get to read your presentation in poorly formatted Times. Bring copies of your fonts, or use a ‘safe’ font. A nice list here.
    • LOOK! I GOT ALL DESIGNY AND STUFF. If you know how to do a good gradient, cool! Go for it. But it’s important to recognize your design limitations and stay within them. If you want, I’ll show you my presentation stick figures sometime…
    • Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com logo here phone address first-born male child’s name CONTACT ME! PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE When you list 12 different ways for folks to contact you, it just confuses them, and maybe sounds a little desperate…? Keep it simple: E-mail, Twitter, maybe website.
    • NEW BOLD COLOR! Here’s my point: Your presentation has a purpose. Everything you put in it should work towards that purpose. So be clear. Only use what you need. And create for your audience, not for you. @portentint  
    • Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com HAVE I COMMITTED OTHER PRESENTATION HORRORS? YES. PAY ME, AND I MIGHT TELL YOU. I ACCEPT PAYMENTS IN CHOCOLATE AND CASH. Oh, also: Don’t try to extort your audience.
    • Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com OTHER PRESENTATIONS I’VE DONE (PRETTY MUCH HORROR-FREE)