“The best teacher is very interactive.”

– Bill Gates

If audience members were allowed to banish one slide element, what would they choose?


   Clutter in slides.

Unorganised structure that irks your audience and takes away points form a good presentation.

Slides filled with text…

Overwhelming design elements…

Complicated graphics…

A simple but effective interactive element comes to your rescue. Progressive Disclosure.

At its core level, this concept is about not divulging all your information at once. This avoids confusing your audience.

At the presentation level, this is about –

  • Revealing information in sequence
  • Starting with something small and building it up into something significant and beneficial
  • Acting as a teaser for what follows
  • Showing key features first and following it up with others

This is not about dumbing down ideas or details, but a way of reducing the load on your audience’s brains. You do this by segmenting and then delivering information.

How do you use progressive disclosure in your slide deck?


#1            One Slide One Idea

An idea per slide is one suggestion spoken unanimously from speakers and presenters when it comes to tips on presentation format. This is an effective method of communicating your concepts or opinions, and it works.

When you break up a block of text into bite-sized data or snippets, your audience gets adequate time to process. Time to read, understand and remember key points.

You may need more slides, but viewers are less likely to be distracted or confused.


#2            Create impact

You’re able to generate tension and excitement within your presentation. This, in turn, keeps your audience on the edge and curious about the rest of your message.

You can use this interactive technique in different ways –

  • A question on one slide and answer in the next one
  • A statistic followed by an explanation
  • A daring statement with credible proof

To ensure this method creates the desired outcome, transition pauses between such slides are the key.


#3            Achieve Contrast

Present information that distinguishes your project, idea or service. It also serves as a comparison tool for products, features or actionable solutions.

This design technique provides contrasting information in a sequence. You walk the audience through the details by either using a series of slides or an overlay effect within a slide.

The data sequence can be about –

  • Simple to advanced concepts
  • Project timeline
  • Standout features

As with other design components, utilize this method sparingly.


Have you used progressive disclosure in your slides? Did this technique help you achieve your end goal?


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