One message per slide

In the last blogpost I suggested the best place to start improving #presentationskills is by deleting the slide set. The rationale behind that statement was not to suggest that presentations should be done without supportive media but in order for the beginner presenter to consider the purpose of their slide set.

Once you have changed that aspect and re-established the very purpose of the media, then we can improve it.”

The purpose of supportive media is in illustration of the story (p1) not annotation of it. One should illustrate the story with one single message per slide, preferably an image. One single message per slide. That’s not two, or four, it’s not a list, it isn’t a picture of a journal article, it’s not a huge spreadsheet or a complex diagram, it is one single message. The reason is because that’s what illustrations do. 

More than one message will distract the audience. It doesn’t matter how good you think they will be, just one at a time. A list will require reading. A picture of a journal article is worse and a massive spreadsheet will have the audience mining for something other than your point as soon as the slide changes. Just one at a time. All of these things are important but in a presentation what is essential is the audience listening to you. That is why you are there, not some furry slide changer.

When beginning the development as a presenter your first step in constructing media is to consider only one message per slide.

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