Welcome to the 21st Century

Holding the door for a lady, dial up internet access, travellers’ cheques and a limited number of slides in your deck are definitely remnants of times past. Some of the behaviour of the 20th Century however still persists in 2013 as presentations are created and delivered.

In the olden days every single slide was hand made, literally printed onto glass and then the glass mounted inside a slide. As such slides themselves were valuable and delicate. There was strong encouragement to limit the number of slides in a presentation to minimise cost and the likelihood of the slide getting jammed in the projector or carousel. 

The limitation on number of slides, variously quoted as no more than one slide per minute probably lead to part of the behaviour that persists today- cramming. There is no value whatsoever in this. The text is illegible and could only be made worse by reading it out word for word. Its only purpose is as part of the handout. The slovenly approach of making the handout as the slideset fulfills neither purpose: the slideument.

Composite slides made of multiple images are ineffective creating only confusion and cognitive load in the face of commentary. If there is a requirement for multiple images, why not project each separately and allow it to perform its function? There is no additional cost per slide.

The same applies to cramming data slides. This slide is recognised as “The Worst Slide in the World” and exemplifies the concept of cramming. It redefines impenetrable. No-one should ever stand before an audience and utter the words, “I’m sorry for this busy slide.” All that shows is the lack of value placed on the audience. Can you understand the slide in 3 secs? If not, there is too much on it.

Cramming is a remnant of the past times, why not move into the 21st Century? Ask yourself, does the slide need this text? Could the images be projected separately? Is the graphic understandable? If not, change it, don’t apologise. This is the 21st Century. Slides are free. But still hold the door for a lady though.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.