Don’t write your speech on the slide

14 May 2010

The temptation is often present: as you build your presentation slides, you think of the messages and words you want to say, and you end up writing them on the slide. Then you look at the “wordy” slide and decide an image might help visually. So you make room and add one on the side.
This is an example that I recently saw at a conference I attended:

the speech is on the slide

The result was this:

  1. the audience automatically disconnected from the presenter to read ahead the text that appeared on the slide
  2. the audience read faster than the presenter talked
  3. the audience couldn’t wait for the presenter to move on to the next topic.

A better slide would have had the image at full size, the title, and nothing else. This would have allowed the presenter to get the full attention of the public and the slide would have served its purpose as a “visual” aid to enhance the message.

With no speech on the slide, the presenter needs to rehearse before the event  But communication improves as the eyes of the audience stay on the presenter (unless he watches the screen).

Could you do with a second opinion on the quality of your slide presentation?  Get in touch with me.

3 Responses to “Don’t write your speech on the slide”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alessandra Cimatti. Alessandra Cimatti said: Don’t write your speech on the slide […]

  2. Nell’altra mia vita ero un manager informatico, ora sto studiando per diventare chef (si si sono un matto folle è vero) e hai ragione nelle mi presentazioni facevo slide molto stringate la platea doveva ascoltare è comunque difficile non annoiare
    CIAO Paolo

  3. Your post is absolutely on target.

    YOU supply the text.

    Text on the slide doesn’t reinforce – it DISCONNECTS and CONFUSES!