We’ve all seen dense presentation slides. Worse yet, we’ve all terrible slides presented to us at one time (or presented it ourselves in our pre-Duarte days).
These odd, projected misdeeds are probably one of the most hated digital artifacts in business today. They’re hated because they fail to accomplish their purpose, which is to communicate ideas clearly and effectively.
But there’s a reason behind why people make these slides. First, the default templates in PowerPoint® encourage their creation.
Second, presentation software is the easiest way to combine text and visuals, so it has become the default visual communication platform.
Third, people need their ideas to be understood on their own without the help of a presenter.
Programs like PowerPoint® were created to make slide presentations, so users feel they need to project what they create. Many files should not be projected, but read instead.
Lovely sparse slides are perfect as a visual aid when presenting. However, in many cases, your audience would be best served by creating a document—but not just any document.
Slidedocs: A New Medium
It’s time for a new medium— a medium that retains presentation software’s ability to seamlessly integrate graphics and words—and quickly travel throughout organizations.
A slidedoc is a document created using presentation software, where visuals and words unite to illustrate one clear point per page.
The result is a medium that can be read and digested more quickly than either a document or a presentation.
Slidedocs are meant to be printed or distributed and read on screen without the accompaniment of a presenter.
Nancy Duarte’s books so far have advised people on how to create sparse, highly visual presentations. So, it might come as a surprise to hear us support another use for slide software. We’ve been creating slidedocs for the past 25 years because they help quickly spread our clients’ ideas around their organizations.
Slidedocs work because:
Uniform format of a slide encourages clear, succinct articulation and visualization of concepts on one page.
Editable nature allows it to be a living document that is collaborative and can can evolve over time.
Overarching view allows you to see the whole, instead of only the parts. By working in outline or slide sorter mode, you can see the entire message and structure in addition to individual pages.
Spreadability allows the smartest pages to spread throughout an organization. Great slidedocs are reused again and again.