As presentation consultants we have people come to us with all sorts of presentations. We’ve seen everything from blank PowerPoint slides to over-designed presentations that can make you motion sick.
In 98% of cases we hear variations of ‘can you bring this to life’ or ‘make it more interesting’, and one of my favourites ‘just make it sexy’. Easy right? Well not exactly. To make an engaging and sexy presentation it all begins with the old cliché ‘less is more’.
Loads of text and bullet points on a single slide will bore your audience and ultimately hurt your presentation (hence the phrase ‘Death by Powerpoint’). If you want people to actually listen to your presentation, ditch the bullet points for a simple statement and then back up the statement with your speaker notes and a visual. This will force people to focus on just one thing – listening to your message. It is extremely difficult to process information when you have to read one thing and listen to another thing at the same time. As the brain switches focus between the objects fighting for your attention, concentration declines and the messages aren’t received because the brain can only fully digest one thing at a time. So do yourself a favour and give your audience just one thing to focus on.
In the words of Leonardo da Vinci ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, therefore next time you’re creating a presentation use this thought as your starting point. With less text on the page it leaves more scope for sexy design.