Using Slides Successfully
- Make one point per slide.
If you put 10 points on a slide, your audience is going to jump ahead of you. Slides enable you to focus the attention of your audience on a single thought or idea.
- Limit the number of words on a slide to 12 or fewer.
Slides should be regarded as billboards. They are not pages of text.
- Make your words as big as your ideas.
With 12 words or less per slide, you can give your words some size. They’ll be easier to read, and they’ll look important.
- Slides are not substitutes for scripts.
Do not read slides as they appear. Slides should trigger your thoughts.
- Vary the content of your slides.
Don’t make every slide look the same. Use words, charts, simple graphs, cartoons or photographs to make your point.
- Simplify charts and graphs.
Long rows of figures and statistically overpowering graphs are turn-offs for most audiences.
- Don’t assume you need to label or title each slide.
Slides are a visual medium supported by an oral presentation. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Give every slide a focal point.
Cluttered slides discourage interest. The disciplines of good layout apply in slide design, as well as in advertisements.
- Select the best orientation for each slide.
If you’re showing a spread, use a horizontal slide. If you’re showing a page, use a vertical slide.
- Use color appropriately.
Color for color’s sake is an extravagance. Use color sparingly, for emphasis, not ornamentation.
- Operate the slides yourself.
This gives you the absolute freedom to say exactly what you want to say about each slide, before moving on to the next.
- Don’t leave a slide on the screen after you have discussed it.
The visual should always correspond to what you are saying.
- Check your slides yourself.
Know the slides are in proper order — and not upside down or backwards.
- Rehearse with everything exactly as it will be.
Say every word. Make every move. Don’t leave anything to chance. This is the most important and most often violated principle of persuasive presentation.