Only put elements on your presentation slides that help the audience recall your message. There is a range of presentation slide content density. The number of words and amount of time it takes the audience to process the information determines whether you’ve created a dense document or a true visual aide to project onto the screen.

Your goal is to move away from projecting a document and toward giving a presentation. Reduce large phrases and bodies of copy to single words. Simplify the slides so the audience can process it in under three seconds. Remove as much from the slides as possible and move material into the notes. You can actually put as much information in the notes as you’d like.

Then, set up the slideshow to project the notes on the computer in front of you (Set Up Show / Show Presenter View). You can use the machine facing you as your teleprompter with all your notes in it, but behind you are projected clear, comprehensible slides for the audience. That way you won’t miss a beat!

After hearing the advice to remove as much as possible per slide, many react with, “But my boss wants each of her direct-reports to send in a five-slide overview of our initiatives and if I make sparse slides, she might not understand the progress we’ve made.” The boss is not asking for a presentation, she’s asking for a document. So cram as much as you need into that document to make it clear. There’s a time to be sparse-per-slide when you’re presenting and a time to be comprehensive-per- slide when submitting a document.

When slides are used appropriately, they work with the presenter seamlessly like a dance partner on the stage. One is coming and the other going, and each contributes to the other’s stage presence and craft.

Practice with your slides until you move as one with them.

how a presenter to interact with her slides

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