As you’re refining the copy into clearer and more succinct text, start thinking about the best way to organize that information on the slide itself.
During a presentation, you have a captive audience. But if the information isn’t compelling, they can simply stop listening and tune out.
So, organize your information in a way that’s easily digestible and helps guide your audience through the presentation.
The best presentation slides use just a title and minimal text, but you can use many more organizational techniques that make it easier to scan and draw the eye through the material.
Great presentation slides usually contain this type of copy:
A. Headlines use 6- to 10-word titles around the slide’s main topic.
B. Subheads include the thesis or a summary of the slide’s main point.
C. Paragraphs cluster sentences into complete thoughts.
D. Bullets use full sentences and a parallel structure.
E. Pull-quotes are used for emphasis and help important content stand out either in line or repeated in a box.
/1 Concision Pays Off
Constraint requires more thought and effort, but it’s worth it because it will keep your audience listening. Information seekers thrive on concision. If our tendency to read tweets and text messages over long-form articles isn’t enough to convince you of this fact, consider this: As much as 50 percent of daily cognition is spent daydreaming.
This means you don’t have a lot of time to say what you want to say, so get to the point. Clarity and concision should always be your guide when communicating a message, especially when writing your presentation copy.
/2 Develop Titles with Meaning
Strong titles are important. They introduce your overall topic and your point of view on that topic.
For example, you could have a title read “Network Router Options.” But what about the options? And what does it mean to your audience? Instead, you could say, “Fast Network Routers Speed Time to Market.”
Instead of informing your readers that you’re about to tell them about routers, by changing the title you’ve introduced two more ideas: 1) It’s a fast router. 2) It will help your audience accomplish a goal. That’s not a bad trade for five more words
Review the title after you write the body copy and ask yourself three questions. First, does the copy support the title? If not, you might need to change the title or change the content to support the title. Second, does the title fit within and support the greater presentation message? If not, then you might not need the slide at all. Third, is the title concise? If your title is longer than two lines, tighten it by cutting out the fluff.