Why Less is More in Presentations

Have you been guilty of creating a presentation that was over-the-top – crammed with as much content as your slides could hold? We all have…

Do you feel like a kid in a candy store when you’re surrounded by icon sets, design themes and beautiful images?

When you’re working on a presentation, it’s easy to get carried away by your script and visual tools. By failing to use your material judiciously, you risk alienating your audience and leaving them frustrated with the information overload.

Counter to this, low level content makes an audience feel they’ve learned nothing, but too much of it can make them feel the same.

Here are a few techniques to keeping your presentation uncluttered and distraction-free, but not necessarily short.

Bite-sized

Sometimes it pays to keep things simple and convey more with fewer words. Take a cue from developers of e-learning courses who create short and snappy content using visual aids.

Engage your audience and prevent boredom by focusing on key points. Avoid any material that is not relevant to your core message or solution. Using keywords, simple graphs, and restricting your bullet points to three or less is a good practice to follow.

Practical and actionable

Simplify your concept with analogies, metaphors or important statistics. Find ways to relate a specific point to them as an individual or a group.

Answer this question: does your audience spend more time reading your slides than actually understanding the concept or following your point? Cut out the flab. Let each of your slides be a link to the main goal or serve as a call-to-action for a specific activity.

Design

If lack of white space is the reason for bad presentations, inconsistent design elements is a major deterrent for a focused audience. Don’t go crazy over colors, fonts or images.

Emphasize a key point with colors or fonts and use your background image to reiterate or reinforce a finding or take away message.

Reports

An easy way to keep your presentation simple is to create a detailed report to accompany it. This helps you to stick to essential facts or statistics in your slides.

If you believe the audience can benefit from all that extra information, pass around copies of your report after the slideshow.

Tell your story the minimalistic way to ensure that your audience gets the message and it resonates with them.

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