Public Relations Tactics

On Deck: How to Fix PowerPoint Slides That Could Be Hurting Your Career

August 3, 2016

[lightpoet/shutterstock]
[lightpoet/shutterstock]

A funny thing happens when I bring up the topic of presentation skills with PR people. They nod politely and offer a slightly dismissive smile that says, “Hey, I’m a professional communicator — I’ve got that covered.”

But my attendance at industry events says otherwise. I go from session to session and see the same thing: ugly black text on plain white backgrounds. Classic death by PowerPoint.

Now the appearance of your slides is certainly not the most important aspect of your presentation. I would rank a clear structure, solid content and compelling stories higher among any presenter’s priorities.

But your slides are the first thing people see when they peek their head into your breakout room and decide whether to commit to attending your presentation. And first impressions, as we all know, count for a lot.

So whether you’re speaking at a conference, pitching new business or presenting to management, it pays to put your best foot forward. After all, a compelling presentation can help you win new business, get approval for programs and budgets, and build your reputation in the marketplace.

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