Dave Paradi has over twenty years of experience in delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written nine books on the topic of effective presentations and is one of fifteen people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel and PowerPoint communities. He is NASBA registered to deliver CPE credit courses to CPAs.
In this conversation, Dave talks about his 2019 Annoying PowerPoint Survey.
Geetesh: Dave, you just announced the 2019 Annoying PowerPoint Survey. Can you share some history; how many years have you been holding this survey, and what’s different this year?
Dave: I did the first survey in 2005 and I do the survey every two years, so this is my eighth survey. I keep conducting the survey because the results I get each time are slightly different and give all presenters insights into what audiences want. This year I have added two questions to gather more feedback on five different types of slides. The desire is to be able to give presenters more focused suggestions when using the common types of content in presentations. Your readers can help in this effort by taking a few minutes to fill out the survey here.
Geetesh: Through survey responses, you have witnessed changes in PowerPoint and presentations usage-patterns. Can you share some patterns from the past?
Dave: The first pattern is one that I hoped would have changed but hasn’t. From the first survey to the last one I conducted in 2017, I have seen that the biggest annoyances come from presenters using too much text on their slides. This continues to be a habit for too many presenters and one that many find hard to break. The second pattern is that the use of visuals has increased significantly over the 14 years I have been doing the surveys. The issue is that just using any visual is not good enough. Audiences want clear, concise visuals and this is an issue that has been identified by looking at the trends in past surveys.
Geetesh: Also, how will you share results from this year’s survey?
Dave: The survey is open until midnight September 21, 2019. After I download the responses I have to analyze them and extract the insights that presenters need to hear from their audiences. I expect that the report from the results will be available in early October. I will share it in my newsletter, on my website, on LinkedIn, and a summary will be available to Indezine readers as well. Often the results are then shared on social media by presentation professionals and others who work to improve the presentations all audiences see.