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Three Reasons People Hate Your Presentation Slides

by Verónica Jarski  |  
February 5, 2013

You've worked hard to prepare your presentation slides, and you believe you know how to capture the attention of the people seated before you. However, once your slides go up, you notice snickers here and there in the audience. Why are they snickering? What mistakes in your presentation slides brought them on?

Here are three possible reasons why your presentation slides are getting hate.

Your wording is a little off. Sometimes, speakers try to get too clever with their presentation slides. Whether a bad pun or bad rhyme, you could be just trying too hard to make your presentation slides give your talk for you. Your slides are supposed to accompany you, not the other way around. Don't make them do your job.

Your references are from a time machine. You may have loved the 1970s, but if your audience isn't the right demographic, they might start snickering about your age or wonder what they could learn from someone who didn't grow up in the digital age. Sure, you can use classic references, but choose your pop culture references carefully.

Your images are generic. Unfortunately, people in business tend to favor the same stock images. So, when  your slides show up with the same generic faces that your audience has seen either on the slides of the speaker before you or on someone else's slides, your listeners are going to stop paying attention.

Want to see other ways that folks ruin their presentation slides? Check out the following slideshow... and consider it your "how NOT to" for creating presentation slides.

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski

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  • by Cierra Timpson Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    Cheese stock images are a pet peeve of mine. Especially the gender neutral little white guys that look like Munny dolls.

  • by Phil Lauterjung Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    Add incorrect grammar to your list. The first slide is using the word "You're" when it should be "Your". Good way to loose credibility :-(

  • by Veronica Maria Jarski Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    You're right, Phil. It's entirely on porpoise, though. A complete attack on grammar and spelling can be found on slide #7 (tip #5). However, you can find other fun typos scattered throughout this slideshow.

    In writing about bad presentations, I thought it'd be fun to actually make the presentation a bad one.

  • by Veronica Maria Jarski Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    *shuddering at blank Munny dolls*

    Good point, Cierra!

  • by Lee Odden Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    You forgot, "Add a lead gen form to an 11 slide presentation." :)

  • by Veronica Maria Jarski Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    Hey, now...


  • by Hunter Boyle Tue Feb 5, 2013 via blog

    I can't believe you used *that* mime image. Back to Creative Commons search ... guess I'll have to use "harlequins" this time. ;)

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