Virtuosity 11.11

Where words become worlds…

Using visuals in your presentation

As a rule of thumb, each slide should have no more than 50 words on each, otherwise, you’ll lose your audience because they are doing two things at once: listening to what you are saying, while reading what is on the slide.

Stick to pictures on the slide, while using a script to guide what you say. That way, your visual compliments your words, and add to them, instead of conflicting them (especially when what you say is slightly different from what you’ve written).

Use color, charts, and white space to focus on your message. When your slides have too much clutter, people will not be able to follow along. For example, if you look at the image below:


You just see the red dot. Your message should be the focus, and anything else will distract.

Bullets should be minimal, and you can include key words, short sentences, bold and color to convey meaning and focus the eye.

One advantage to using the Microsoft package is that it includes a SmartArt feature to construct abstract concepts into  graphics that make your information tangible. Here’s an example, for instance, of a slide that I used in my proposal presentation:


I created this slide to illustrate how Thorndberg’s data sensitizing principles could be applied to pre-existing data, and how it fit into my methodology. As you can see, I was able to pack a lot into a diagram, but the funnel helped to illustrate how data are reduced during analysis. The diagram conveyed my concept more clearly than if I had used bullet points or words.


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