No flicker books please

Have you ever witnessed a presentation which looks like a flicker book when you go from slide to slide? I bet you have…I surely have, and more than one. Actually, this is one of the most common Powerpoint mistakes and, unfortunately, also one of the worst because it is so obvious.

So what am I talking about? Let’s say you have an object, for example a text box or a standard shape. You place it on your slide. On the next slide, you need this object again. So you put it on the same place as on the previous slide. And here comes the problem: You THINK you put it on the same place, but in fact you put it slightly more left or slightly lower. On the next slide the same thing: You think you put it on the same place, but again, it is slightly displaced. By doing this, you create a very annoying effect that’s similar to a flicker book: When you are in presentation mode and go from slide to slide, it looks like your objects or texts move or “jump”, just as if you were browsing through a flicker book. This mistake will be spotted by Powerpoint professionals immediately (in fact, when you work for a consulting company, this will be one of the first things your supervisor will look at) and also unexperienced audiences will be irritated by that effect. Luckily, it is very easy to avoid: Don’t place the objects manually on the slide. Instead, just mark the object, copy it and paste it on the next slide. This way, the object will appear on exactly the same position as on the previous slide and you don’t need to worry about the flicker book effect.