If your goal is to irritate your audience during your next presentation, read your PowerPoint slides to them. According to several audience polls and business surveys, the number one presentation complaint is "The speaker read the PowerPoint slides to us."
Two things about this complaint might surprise you. It is the most common complaint about business presentations therefore you would think that business presenters would have heard this feedback. The second point is that this observation would seem to be intuitive. People don't want you to put words in front of them and then read the words to them. Do you think that they can't read? Are you implying that they are stupid?
Remember the last time that someone put printed words in front of you and then read them to you? That was probably when you were about six years old and your teacher or parents were teaching you to read.
At that young age it might have been exciting because you were entering new territory. But, just imagine how you would have felt if your teachers did that to you when you were 10, 16 or 20. So just imagine how an adult audience will feel when the presenter reads their PowerPoint slides to them.
It's boring, annoying and insulting.
Imagine shopping for a house. As you walk through the house the real estate agent boldly announces, "This is the kitchen. This is the bathroom. This is the garage." How would you feel? Would be you temped to ask, "Are you sure this is the bathroom?" "Is that a real toilette?" "How do you know that this is a garage?"
Now imagine sitting in a presentation where the presenter is reading the PowerPoint slides to you - word for word. If you are keenly interested you might be trying to decide should you read and ignore the speaker - or should you look away or close your eyes and listen to the monotone voice of the reader (not a speaker)? We know you can't do both at the same time. We can read or listen.
Your attention is not focused on absorbing and analyzing the content. Instead you are absorbed with how best to tolerate this annoying and distracting presentation delivery.
If you are bold enough you might pose the question, "Are you sure this is the bathroom?", "Is that a real toilette?" or "Could you read that slide again? I didn't hear it the first time."
Notice and enjoy the confused look on the speaker's face when you pose that last question. Fight back. The speaker is assaulting you with their painful delivery.
If you are really annoyed and bold, you might state aloud these inner thoughts, "Are you going to read every slide to us? Do you think that we can't read?" "If you plan to read every slide, please leave your slides behind and go."
Reading your PowerPoint slides or any other type of slides to your audience is the dumbest thing a business presenter can do. It's annoying, demeaning and boring. In a separate article we will look at simple alternatives to this presentation plague.
Share this article with your friends. Save them and their audiences from "Death by PowerPoint". Don't show this article to your competition. Let them die the presentation death they deserve.
© George Torok helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations - with or without PowerPoint. Get free Power Presentations® Tips at http://www.facebook.com/PresentationSkillsClub Arrange presentation training for your team or speech coaching at http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com Call 905-335-1997 for action
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