On Slides

, Apr 10, 2007

From the great Presentation Zen:

[A]s you examine your work from previous talks remember this rule of thumb: if your presentation visuals taken in the aggregate (e.g., your “PowerPoint deck”) can be perfectly and completely understood without your narration, then it begs the question: why are you there?

I’m more and more convinced that presentations should not have slides with more than maybe a dozen words on them, and preferably less — obviously they won’t be very useful for someone taking a look at them afterwards, but that’s not what they’re for.

On April 12, 2007 2:47 PM, Piers Cawley said:

I tend to stick to that rule except for ‘code’ slides if I’m giving a technical talk. And I try and get the code sample down to the smallest chunks I can. To be honest, I’d rather present with a deck of 3x5s for notes and not bother with the projector, but I accept that some things need the reinforcement.

On April 12, 2007 5:53 PM, Stefan Tilkov said:

You’re of course right about the “code slides”. Regarding leaving out the projector completely, another aspect is that having some visual support helps keeping your audience interested — which may be hard otherwise, depending on how amusing and interesting speaker and topic are :-)