You know the slide…
The eye chart slide. (“I know this slide is a bit of an eye chart…”)
The loaf of bread slide. (“This slide covers a lot, so it will take a while to digest…”)
The Manhattan skyline slide. (No undeveloped real estate.)
The Strasburg Goose slide. (Packed so tight its about to burst.)
The no pixel left unused slide. (You paid for that slide, so, by gum, you’re going to get your money’s worth.)
The slide that covers… a lot.
It’s time to deal with that slide.
Now, hold your proverbial horses. Don’t just assume I’m telling you to kill, delete, annihilate that slide.
I don’t want you to remove it.
I want you to shatter that slide.
What happens when you shatter something?
If I shatter a pane of glass, it breaks into smaller parts.
And that’s what I want you to do with that slide.
Break it up into smaller parts.
Follow these Five Simple Steps for Slide Shattering:
Decide the “absolutely, positively, have to communicate” points from the slide.
Free yourself from thinking that every single thing on that slide has to be communicated to your audience. For instance, if there’s something on the slide you’re not going to talk about, chunk that point (into where? I’ll tell you in a moment).
Take each point, and make it into its own slide.
Pause and take a deep breath. Why? Because right now you’re freaking out a little. You’re thinking your slide count is going to rise. And I’m here to tell you: yes, it will. But your audience will be so much happier, engaged, and able to follow what you’re saying if you have 20 simplified slides than 10 dense-as-Jupiter slides.
Take any content from that slide that doesn’t make the cut and either put it into the Appendix or use it as follow-up-email fodder.
Don’t present dense slides. Doing so taxes your audience by increasing their cognitive load which means they won’t have as much mental energy to focus on what you need them to understand.
Don’t kill dense slides.
Your audience will appreciate it.
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