I have seen hundreds of PowerPoint presentations. Most of them sucked. If presenters would follow the simple tips in this slide presentation by Jesse Desjardins, it would revolutionize their impact

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38 thoughts on “You Suck at PowerPoint

  1. Thanks Michael. That’s an awesome presentation! Thanks for posting it. 

    Yes, I agree to all 5 of them. I love designing slides and this post (blog or vlog?) is going to help me greatly.

  2. I have given hundreds of presentations and I just learned three things I need to pay closer attention to. Thank you for the great lesson.

  3. You have this knack for taking something that is not necessarily easy “Creating Excellent Presentations,” and making it ridiculously easy. If we will just do it, of course. Glad to see you are now able to spend more time helping others raise the bar. Sounds like you are starting to hit your stride in this new season. Well done!

  4. I agree on all points also! Great fly by, on the main reasons for “lame” presentations! Now… to post this on Facebook!

  5. Excellent. Ever since I saw Scott Schwertly present (on good presentations) at a Podcamp a couple years ago, my view of Powerpoint and slide presentations was forever revolutionized. I can’t go back to doing sucky work. It’s just so average. Great stuff, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love this.  I just had a conversation with a friend in marketing about one of his presentations.  I can’t wait to share this with him.

  7. I find myself giving more presentations all the time. Thank you for this. It is very valueable.


  8. Michael, I enjoy your blog, I read it daily, and I share your insights regularly with my colleagues and staff in the office as well as with my friends.  As a regular reader, I would like to ask you to consider one caution.  I realize that our culture has adopted the term “suck” as a conventional way to say that something is really bad.  However, being old enough to understand the crude, sexual derivation of this term (which I realize many do not), I would respectfully ask you to consider not using it.  I personally have decided to distinguish my speech from the world in this way.  While this is not a matter of legalism or sin, I think it’s one way we can change the tone of the conversation in our culture and avoid the ever-present invitations to be “of” the world.  Thank you for giving consideration to this request, and keep up your encouraging work.

    • Thanks, Randall. I try to avoid it, too. (This wasn’t my slide show.) However, I thought the merit of the content over-road my objection to the word. Thanks again.

  9. I passed this on to my English Comp II (technical writing) professor. We focus a lot on making presentations of various types in this class, not just on writing them. We begin our final project this week and she’s offered me extra credit to present this to the class as a refresher on what we’ve learned this semester. Thank you.

  10. Thanks for the great information.  Unfortunately it was hard for me to get past that word!  I hate it!  I hate when I hear kids use it and I really hate when I hear adults use it.  I am curious if that is just me or do other adults struggle with that word as well.  I hate it so much, I don’t even want to type it to let you know which word it is – Do you know?

    • Yes, I know.

      I don’t want to defend the word, but it doesn’t have to have a sexual connotation. When someone is out of breath, we refer to them as sucking wind.
      As I said in a previous comment, I try to avoid the word, too, but I thought the content here was worth it. (By the way, this is not my slide presentation but someone else’s.)

  11. Hilarious. Wow, that was both witty and yet spot on in terms of information.  As someone whose current job is Power Point heavy, for teen audiences (the world’s most critical and ADD group out there) it was a great reminder on how to pack more punch with each slide.  Thank you!

  12. I teach online courses with Adobe Connect, and I have used Power Point in the past to help put the material in a more attractive fashion before my students. However, I am reconsidering whether I should use it. It seems that most of my content (e.g. Latin grammar) is crammed when I try to put it in Power Point. 
    Any resources out there for online teachers using Power Point? I’d love to see someone who does it well.

  13. Prep time will kill you. Particularly when I am planning a sermon (I occasionally speak at my church), I’m always amazed at the amount of time I need to sow into my 35 – 45 minute presentation. Stumbling through is not an option. However, this post made me think of my previous job where I did a lot of demos. My prep time for those approached zero after the first 10 or so. How great could they have been if I’d have taken the time?

  14. REally, really good- thanks for the link- have a presentation to give in a week- I need to get practicing!!!

  15. I find it a good rule that if the outfit you are going to wear while presenting exceeds 150 dollars you should probably spend more than the same amount of minutes.  We can spend dollars to make ourselves appear to be more professional/with it only to have it all unraveled with a poorly designed presentation.  I have seen too many business presentations that seemed to want to showcase Powerpoints options more than the actual subject of the presentation.

  16. I love this! As a graphic designer for a government contractor, one of the things I spend most of my time doing is fixing PowerPoint presentations. I think the #1 problem I see is too much information on a slide – and unfortunately, I don’t have any control over that, since I’m just supposed to make the slides pretty and leave the content to the engineers making the presentation.

    One thing I would add, since it’s a huge problem in my industry (not sure about the rest of the world): PLEASE STOP WRITING YOUR CONTENT IN ALL CAPS. Really, it’s just a headache waiting to happen, and contrary to popular belief, it makes your content harder to read, not easier. Occasional use of the CAPSLOCK key is okay for emphasis, but a paragraph in all CAPS just… sucks.

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