Dave Paradi helps presenters communicate more effectively by using persuasive PowerPoint presentations. He has published over 240 issues of his bi-weekly newsletter, produced more than 70 slide makeover video podcasts and appears in media regularly. In this conversation, Dave discusses his biennial survey on what annoys people about PowerPoint presentations.
Geetesh: What is your presentations survey all about, and how have past surveys thrown light at behaviors and trends?
Dave: Eight years ago when I did the first survey, the goal was to find out what annoys audiences about the presentations they see. My desire was to help presenters stop the behaviours that make an audience cringe when they hear that PowerPoint is going to be used. The past results have been clear on what annoys audiences and by conducting the survey every two years, we get an idea of whether the problems are getting better or not. Many speakers, trainers and academics have used the survey results in their own work to help presenters. The more participants we have take the survey, the more reliable the results will be, so we are looking for a strong response this time as well.
Geetesh: Does the new survey have any different questions, and how will you analyse and share the results?
Dave: The survey stays the same each time so that we can compare the responses and look at trends. It is these trends that many presentation professionals use to see how we can continue to improve the quality of PowerPoint presentations. I do two types of analysis on the results. First, I perform a numerical tabulation to determine the top annoyances and how many presentations suffer from annoying habits. This gives us the statistical comparison. Secondly, I read all of the comments that people write in, and there are hundreds of these. I look for and report on the trends that I see and additional insights that the survey responses give. I will share the results in my newsletter and on my blog, and the survey results are usually distributed by many others, including industry leaders such as yourself.