​Viewing your presentation in outline view gives you an opportunity to audit your story flow. Presentation software’s default display is the left panel highlight slide view. To view slide titles only, simply click the tab for outline view and read through your slide titles in order. Each title should give you a good understanding of what that page is about. When you read them sequentially, if they are written well, the page titles should make a logical case or persuasive arc.

​Many people write fragmented slide titles that state the category, instead of the point, of the information. Writing clear headlines on every page will help the reader guess the content that will follow.

​Having the titles flow into each other not only helps your readers, but it can also assist you during the creation and refinement processes. As you read your titles in outline view, check to make sure they form a complete arc. Ask yourself if the thematic intent is clear. Does each topic build naturally onto the next?

Are there subordinate ideas that don’t need their own slide? Viewing your slides in this context will make your content stronger.

​Traditional outline reads like a list:

Solar Evolution

I. Introduction

  • Summary
  • Our Galaxy
  • Our Sun

II. The Protostar

  • The Solar System
  • Binary Star Systems
  • Other Planetary Systems
  • Supporting Facts
  • Definition of a Protostar

III. The Hydrogen Burning Stage

  • Birth to 4.5 Billion Years
  • Luminosity Over Time
  • Hurtzprung-Russell Diagram

IV. The Red Giant

  • Hydrogen Fusion at the Core
  • Expanded Hydrogen Fusion
  • Sun Lifecycle Diagram

​Topical outline creates meaning:

Solar Evolution

  • Our Sun’s Place in the Universe
  • The Birth of Our Solar System
  • The Possibility of Other Planetary Systems
  • Protostar: The First Stage of a Star
  • Hydrogen Burning: The Second Stage of a Star
  • Growth in Size and Brightness
  • Continued Growth and Incineration of Mercury

The difference between a traditional outline and topical headings is apparent. Topical themes dramatically increase the reader’s ability to predict content and read more like a story.

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