Text in presentations

For the benefit of clarity, I am not against text in presentations. The goal of the perfect presentation (p2) is NOT simply to eradicate all text. The goal of the perfect presentation is to augment the story (p1) and add to the delivery (p3) so that the value of the whole is increased. Text, in its place, can add to a presentation.

The problem with text in presentations is distraction. It has been covered in many blog posts. It forces the audience to read and this distracts attention from the speaker. It often forces the speaker to read and this distracts from the delivery. If it accompanies images it distracts from their purpose. The majority of presentations are made poorer by the quantity and (lack of) purpose of the text contained in the supportive media (p2).

Text can have value in supportive media. It can clarify a data slide such that interpretation is quicker. Text can give emphasis to a motif or discussion point. Text can itself be an image. Text can be important in a presentation when used with purpose and subtlety. Text is not banned in presentations.


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