Dave Paradi has been recognized by the media and his clients as a presentation expert. He has authored seven books on effective PowerPoint presentations and he consults on high-stakes presentations including one used to brief one of President Obama’s cabinet ministers. Dave is one of two Canadians, and one of only twelve people in North America to be recognized by Microsoft with the PowerPoint Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the PowerPoint presentation community. His ideas have appeared in publications around the world.
In this conversation, Dave discusses the results of the 2013 Annoying PowerPoint Survey.
Geetesh: Thank you for doing this survey, Dave – what I found striking in this year's results is that while they do follow the trends from previous surveys, this time those very directions have taken a big leap compared to the small jumps we witnessed before – can you share your thoughts?
Dave: Yes, the movement in certain directions in this survey was more dramatic than in previous surveys. I think it is a two part answer. First, as the survey showed, presentations are becoming a more popular form of communication in organizations. People find PowerPoint easier to use than Word when they want to include visuals, so they end up using it as a desktop publishing tool. While that is fine, the issue comes when they call the output a presentation. They end up reading it to the audience, which annoys the audience. The ease of use has led to greater usage of PowerPoint, but presenters don't always understand that the output of the tool is not always a presentation.
The second factor is that audience expectations have gone up. In the past, many audience members had never seen a great presentation using PowerPoint slides effectively. Now, with the popularity of TED videos, people know what a great presentation looks like. They have raised the bar for all presenters, expecting that every presentation should come close to the quality of a TED talk. Presenters can't get away with the old way of creating confusing visuals and mostly reading text slides to the audience. I think this contributed to the increased frustration we saw in the results. Audiences don't understand why more presenters can't create effective, clear presentations. They know it is possible because they have watched the videos.
This word cloud summarizes the responses when Dave asked people for three words or phrases (positive or negative) they hear most often in their organization when referring to PowerPoint presentations. You can see the prominence of negative words such as boring, long, many, much, read, and death. This reinforces what the respondents said in the other questions in the survey: presenters need to focus their presentations with a better structure, less information overload, and more meaningful visuals.
Geetesh: What message does the results of your survey provide to those who create, deliver, and view PowerPoint slides – or even slides created with other products?
Dave: You are right to point out that the tool presenters use doesn't matter. Whether it is PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or any other tool, audiences gave a clear message. They are no longer satisfied with mediocre slides and poor delivery. Presenters need to improve their skills in planning their message, creating slides that support that message, and delivering those slides effectively. Audiences expect presenters to plan a clear, compelling message that makes sense. They expect presenters to know how to use visual support effectively, whether it is PowerPoint or any other tool. And audiences want the delivery skills to be top notch. Audiences have raised their expectations, and those involved in any aspect of creating or delivering presentations need to raise their game. For those who view presentations, keep up the pressure. Only by letting presenters know that there is a better way than reading the slides off the screen can the situation improve. Presenters need to get the type of training I deliver in my workshops on how to create and deliver effective PowerPoint presentations. The result will be improved sales, increased efficiency, and faster decisions.
See Also: What Annoys You About Bad PowerPoint Presentations?: Conversation with Dave Paradi
Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills, survey
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | July 2015 | August 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | November 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | April 2016 | May 2016 | June 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | February 2017 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.