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 the results of his 2019 Annoying PowerPoint Survey.
Geetesh: Dave, please tell us about your Annoying PowerPoint survey that you have been holding for so many years now. What is the motive behind this survey and what do the results tell us?
Dave: The reason I do the anonymous survey is that it allows audiences to share their honest thoughts on the PowerPoint presentations they see. By getting this candid feedback, the survey results help presenters understand what audiences want in a good presentation. Too often presenters don’t get this type of honest feedback when they ask their peers or boss after a presentation, so the survey helps them see a deeper truth. The results can be helpful to any presenter who wants to improve. I summarize the comments and results so that presenters have guidance on what to improve and change.
Note from Geetesh: Apologies because this video clearly has issues with the audio, but do take out the time to see this one because Dave Paradi shares some amazing thoughts, plus useful tips that will help you with your PowerPoint presentations.
Geetesh: Among the results, what are the patterns you see? Which findings show up each year, and which findings evolve over the years? Also, what struck you as most significant in this year’s results?
Dave: One of the significant patterns I’ve seen is the increase in popularity of presentations as a method of communication. For professionals who think they are creating and attending more presentations than ever before, the survey results confirm this. In the 2019 survey, 78.5% of the respondents said they see two or more presentations every week. Presentations are becoming the standard way of communicating in many organizations, so the skills of effectively presenting ideas are more important today than ever before.
Each survey I ask respondents to pick their top three annoyances from a list of twelve options. Unfortunately, the top issues haven’t changed over the years: presenters reading paragraphs of small type directly off the slide. Other issues that rise and fall as a concern for audiences over the years include a lack of planning of the content and confusing visuals.
This year I noticed that the reading of text issues were more of a concern again and the comments indicated that too many presenters are creating documents and projecting them on the screen. Audiences want a focused presentation with the extra details made available outside of the presentation. This will reduce the information overload problem and help presenters be more effective in communicating their messages.
The full survey results are available on my website for those presenters who want to commit to making the changes necessary to create and deliver more effective PowerPoint presentations.
The infographic below shares some of the other key findings from the 2019 survey.