Tuesday, September 18, 2007

PowerPoint Tip: Throw out some slides

Like most professionals, you are an expert in your field and you are asked to speak on the same or similar topics frequently. To save the time of recreating all your slides from scratch, you have a file that you usually use and it works pretty well. Let me encourage you today to throw some of those slides out. Why?

Because I know (and you do too) that you have improved and you can think of more effective ways of presenting certain points. So why keep using the same old slides? Throw out the ones that don't work and create new slides. Your whole presentation will get better as a result.

Every few months I do this for my slides. About two months ago when the last revision was made, I threw out over 50 slides. Why? Because there was a better slide that had been created or I had newer material that was stronger than the points on that slide. Let me give you a couple of examples.

I eliminated some slides in the area of adding photos because my audiences didn't want that level of detail. A good lesson for you is to watch your audience when you cover really detailed parts of your presentation. Are their eyes glazing over? If so, adjust the detail level to match your audience. Now if I have a situation that requires the detail, I will put the slides back in.

I also cut out a slide in the section on audio and video that I found I could consolidate with a similar slide, saving me time and my audience from hearing similar information twice. Where can you possibly consolidate information that may be similar, such as policies or features of two products? Cut slides to keep the focus on the most important information.

And then I added slides from recent research I have read or restructured some slides based on some presentation coaching I received this summer. All of the edits made it a much better presentation at the end.

Want to see the new version? Come to the one day Think Outside The Slide workshop in Seattle next week on Friday the 28th. Seats are filling up, so don't miss out. Register today at: http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/powerpointseminar.htm .


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