I'll do your props — PowerPoint templates & content
It really depends if you want the audience to focus on your message or the one coming in on their cellphones. (See Cellphone Zombies on my other blog) If you put too much on screen, like too much text, they will not be able to focus on reading it as well as listen to you speaking. It’s impossible to do both at the same time. Like listening to the news anchor on TV and reading the scrolling captions below — and — understanding both! We can properly focus on only one thing at a time.
I’ve found that zooming out in slide sorter view is the best way to gauge the visual effectiveness of your slide deck. Have a peek at these.
Not only are these slides consistent in look and feel, they do not stress your audience members. A short 5 to 7 word blurb of text and a large image work as an accent to your spoken word. Think Billboard along the highway. Not like a stress inducing, in your face data, you have homework to do tonight kind of slide, like the ones below!
Most difficult is the “convincing” part.
Ninety percent of the presentation drafts that I receive, all look the same. Text and charts. Maps and stats. Way too many bullet lists. Text and more text. Projected data slides with no insights.
I try to give my input and convince the speakers that they need to reduce the text and increase the visuals. They understand, but are usually pressured by time. Or their boss. By the volume of information that needs to be transmitted in a short session. Maybe next time they say.
Very few clients will allow the time to recreate their message in a more visual form. Fancy section headers do not make a great presentation if the rest of the slides look like these.
Above is a sample of way too much data. It is absolutely overwhelming for a viewer to absorb and interpret the information presented. Even if the intention is for the speaker to fly through all the slides, and then, the audience is expected to dive into the data with a printout later… then what is the use of a presentation? Is it a fancy way of giving them homework? Here’s the data, go study these slides and figure it out.
Take the time to study your own data and present your insights — not the colorful bar charts!