One Slide, One Message
One of the most common mistakes presenters make with slide design is overloading a single slide. I’ve known presenters who’ve taken pride in their ability to utilize the same slide for multiple purposes. While making the most out of a single slide can be an impressive feat, the issue is that it can come at the cost of audience members’ understanding. Remember that the audience needs to first understand your content before they can be influenced to take action or change their behavior.
Consider the following
Being that presentations are linear and only one channel of information is incoming, presenters should endeavor to explain or unpack their content in a thoughtful sequence. For example, imagine you’re delivering a presentation on your company’s latest product launch. You should avoid using the same slide to outline production and sales, then compare it to the competition, then forecast future projections. Instead, you’d be better served using three slides:
- one slide to outline the sales and production
- a second for competitor comparisons
- a third for future projections.
Separating your content in this manner has two benefits. First and foremost, it helps the audience to understand your content, its flow, and the picture you’re painting. They will appreciate the ease of absorption and not having to summon their cognitive energy to sift through the details. Secondly, you, as the presenter, will have more control of your content and appear better organized. This will improve both your performance and your brand as a professional.
I wish you continued success in all of your speaking endeavors!
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