Use presentation software to create documents.

Presentation software is great for laying out dense material in easy-to-read documents, called slidedocs. The default setting in PowerPoint is actually a document template, not a slide template because of the word density. You can swiftly compose and format your text and move sections around. Because slides are modular in nature, it’s a great document generation tool.

That said, you should not project your document when you speak. No one wants to attend a plodding read-along. It’s boring, and people can read more quickly on their own…anyway. Circulate your document before or after the presentation so you won’t need to project text-heavy slides—which we call these slidedocs. If your content can be distributed and clearly understood without a presenter, you’ve created a slidedoc, not a presentation—and that’s fine as long as you treat it as such. For instance, if you’re giving a status update, distributing that slidedoc may be all you need.

If you step back and realize you’ve created a slidedoc, it may be a sign that you need to distribute it instead of delivering a presentation. If you decide to go that route, make some adjustments so it looks and feels more like a document. Divide the content into clear sections, create a table of contents that links to each one, add page numbers, and convert fragments into complete sentences.

You could also set up a slidedoc in portrait layout instead of landscape so it’s very clear to staff members that they’re documents in the making, not visual aids to be projected.

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