People have the terrible habit of wanting to jam every imaginable detail onto their presentation slides. This usually happens is because people are underprepared – they don’t know the materials or they didn’t have enough time to put together a decent slide deck.  Either way, sitting through one of these presentations is painful.

When you present the focus should be on you, not on your slides. Putting too much detail the slides causes your audience to stop listening and read for themselves. They can probably read faster than you speak anyway. Remember, you’re selling the sizzle, not the steak. Don’t teach, tease. Use your slides as a complement to enhance what you’re saying, not a substitute.

Guy Kawasaki came up with the 10-20-30 Rule: No more than 10 slides, no longer than 20 minutes, and no smaller than 30 point font.* Realize the 10 slide rule only counts for the main presentation. You can have as many backup slides as you need.  This might sound impossible if your current presentation is a monster, but keep condensing and improving until you’ve distilled only the most important points and complementary visuals possible.  Your audience will thank you.

Matt Sand

Author Matt Sand

Passionate about making a difference through innovation and entrepreneurship.

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