Less is Better
If you must use text on visuals, use it sparingly. Spend more time explaining the visual instead of assuming that the text will explain it for you.
As a rule:
- Use no more than 6 lines of text per slide.
- Use no more than 7 words per line of text.
- Avoid using a number of text slides in a row during the presentation.
A common approach to presentations, particularly in clinical settings, is to have the presentation written out on a series of slides. The speaker then reads each slide to the audience. There are several problems with this approach.
- Most audiences can read more quickly than a speaker can talk, and so are torn between reading ahead and listening.
- Speakers using this approach slip into the habit of paying more attention to the projection screen than to the audience, breaking two cardinal rules of public speaking:
- Never turn your back on an audience.
- Always maintain eye contact with your audience.
- A number of these slides, particularly in a darkened room, function as a highly effective sporific.
If you are unfamiliar with where you'll be making the presentation, here are a few hints . . .
REVIEW the Simplicity page, or CONTINUE on to the Graph & Tables and Simple Graphics pages.
You can RETURN to the 4 concepts page.