How to make a bad presentation, from the front lines of the RHGUD conference:
- Fill your slide deck with words. The more, the better. The smaller, the better. Avoid negative space.
- Use color schemes that make your words hard to read, or better yet, invisible in some places. Giving your audience members a puzzle to figure out keeps them from falling asleep.
- The bulk of your presentation should be reading your slides. Unfortunately, you have to assume the majority of your audience is illiterate, but they always come to appreciate it in time.
- Switching fonts from line to line really makes your design pop and your audience go, “Ooooh! Aaaah!”
- The more you quote from famous dead people, the fewer actual ideas you have to worry about. And people love quotes!
- Don’t practice your presentation, which makes it sound too rehearsed and polished. People don’t like slick talks that work too well — they get suspicious.
To be completely fair, these are problems that plague many, MANY presentations. I’ve been guilty of one or two in my time, for sure. But be warned, next time I’m bringing the soft pumpkins left over from Halloween.