Ever been to a training or conference where the presenter had slide after slide of nothing but text? Yeah, me too. (OK, full disclosure, I used to put together slideshows like that.)
Text-heavy slides can kill a presentation. But a few easy steps can transform a snoozer into a hit. Here are my recommendations to keep your presentation engaging:
- Keep text points to 1 sentence each. The important content should be conveyed by your voice. Keep the long-form in your notes, put only a quick anchor sentence on the slide.
- Animate topics/bullet points. When you have more than 1 text element on a page, animate them to appear as you arrive at each topic. If they all appear at once, people will be reading later points while you're talking about the first.
- Use images to fill slides. I never have a slide without an image. Pictures can be fun, goofy, informative, or serious, whatever fits your needs.
- Visualize data. Never, ever, put a table or grid on a slide. They're impossible to read, and bore people to death. Instead, use a graph, a chart, or an image that brings numbers to life. (I love using heat maps to show distribution of support geographically, for example.)
Remember, the slides are there to support what you're saying, not the other way around. Make sure they contain just enough to visually engage people, but not so much that they bore or distract your audience.
What's your strategy for keeping presentations engaging?
Evan Sutton is Communications Manager at NOI