How to avoid presentation clichés

These corporate presentation clichés make us shudder, in fact we didn’t really want to write this piece.

However, as the martyrs to the cause that we are, with gritted teeth we will take you through some of the worst clichés you could ever make in your corporate presentation. We hope that by the end you will find them as torturous to talk about as we do.


Sickening stock photos

Nothing screams “I couldn’t be bothered to be original, or creative or in any way inventive” quite like a poor stock photo. Although it is proven that images can be of great help in reinforcing a point, some stock images have been so overused that they will fail to provide any kind of an aid to your audience’s understanding. Given that the key purpose of a stock photo is to be suitable for a wide variety of different uses, if your corporate presentation is worth its salt, it deserves images and visuals that are unique and directly relevant to your subject. If possible, consider asking a professional photographer to visit your work environment to take some shots that will illustrate the true nature of your business. If done correctly, these photos will reflect the messages that stock images attempt to convey – such as diversity, teamwork and general bonhomie – but in a fresher, more believable way.


Beastly buzzwords

What used to be buzzwords are now clichés. ‘Thinking outside of the box’ and ‘going the extra mile’ are no longer acceptable things to think, say or do let alone put in a corporate presentation. Feel free to advocate your company’s assets but, rest assured, use of such phrases as these will not help you to drive home your point. Not only this but use of clichés such as ‘at the end of the day’ and ‘giving 110%’ will actively give cause for the attention of your audience to wander. Again, if you firmly believe in what you are saying then attention grabbing ways of articulating it should naturally follow.


Cheesy clipart

Before the 21st century this was acceptable. But no longer. No excuses. Clipart once offered presenters the chance to inject a bit of colour and even humour (oh how we chuckled back in the early days of Office Assistant as Clippit, the friendly paperclip, tapped on our screens offering help). In reality, clipart is often patronising and not at all attention grabbing. It will give your audience license to question your sincerity as well as your business’s credibility. At the risk of being repetitive: for your own sake,  do not use clipart.


Tiresome transitions

Moderated use of animated transitions between or within slides is acceptable. In fact their use can help your audience to concentrate on what you are currently saying rather than on what you will be saying in a few minutes’ time. However, unless you wish to appear an overexcited PowerPoint beginner, it is highly recommended that you minimise the use of over the top transitions that are likely to detract from your presentation’s message.

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