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Reducing the text

From: PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations

Video: Reducing the text

A complaint I hear over and over is that people force too much information onto a slide. As slide designers, we must realize the audience needs to focus on the presenter, not the slide show. If we give our audience too much to read, their eyes will be distracted and they won't see the emotion that our speaker is conveying. In other words, we need to cut down on the text, and here's some advice to make this happen. The second slide of our Human Resources file has a lot of text under Training Program. We're going to cut down the complete sentences into their most basic points and let the speaker convey the full thoughts.

Reducing the text

A complaint I hear over and over is that people force too much information onto a slide. As slide designers, we must realize the audience needs to focus on the presenter, not the slide show. If we give our audience too much to read, their eyes will be distracted and they won't see the emotion that our speaker is conveying. In other words, we need to cut down on the text, and here's some advice to make this happen. The second slide of our Human Resources file has a lot of text under Training Program. We're going to cut down the complete sentences into their most basic points and let the speaker convey the full thoughts.

Now, consider this. If your slide has a period, it's probably got too much text. Let's see what we can do with this. Our slide is already looking better and it gives our speaker enough to convey the full idea, but let's take the step one slide further. I'm going to duplicate this slide by right-clicking on the thumbnail on the left and choosing Duplicate Slide. With slides 2 and 3 identical, I'll go to the first, slide 2, and eliminate the Online Learning section.

Now, I'll go to slide 3 and eliminate the Instructor-Led section. Now, I have two slides that our speaker can advance through without giving the audience too much to read at once. Our next slide is just a giant paragraph, number 5 if you're following along in the exercise file. This is definitely bad news for the audience. They're not going to want to read this. Watch as I adjust this bulk into a slim, bulleted list. It will convey the same information in a way that's still easy to read but brief.

Looking a little better. We've definitely removed most of the text. Now we just need to make it look nice. I'll remove any periods, I'll reset the slide to its default configuration, and I'll take our very last one here, turn off the bullets, center it and make it bold. We'll add proper case to our words and I'll just add a little bit of space here with an empty bullet that I can delete.

As you can see, the goal here is to strip the slides to their minimum. We want to give the speaker something to work from and the audience enough to follow along but the space on the screen can be best used for photos or charts that our speaker can't convey with words. And if you feel like we've taken out too much, take solace by giving your audience a handout, flyer, or brochure or direct them to your website for more information. But during the presentation let them focus on the speaker.

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This video is part of

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PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations

50 video lessons · 20484 viewers

David Diskin
Author

 
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  1. 1m 47s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 0s
  2. 10m 43s
    1. Adding white space
      2m 13s
    2. Applying a transition
      2m 10s
    3. Reducing the text
      2m 37s
    4. Selecting objects with ease
      2m 26s
    5. Opening with Show
      1m 17s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. What's your point?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting in their heads
      2m 29s
    3. What's in it for them?
      1m 55s
    4. Piecing it together
      5m 49s
    5. Holding their hands
      2m 34s
  4. 30m 49s
    1. Understanding the importance of design
      4m 12s
    2. Using color and fonts
      3m 18s
    3. Maintaining consistency
      4m 57s
    4. Using photographs
      5m 21s
    5. Sharing data with charts
      5m 20s
    6. Making your data meaningful
      2m 23s
    7. Using diagrams and SmartArt
      5m 18s
  5. 46m 31s
    1. Breaking the slide into sections
      3m 56s
    2. Fine-tuning shapes and text boxes
      5m 43s
    3. Enhancing text boxes
      7m 46s
    4. Customizing layouts and templates
      6m 7s
    5. Building your own layouts
      4m 59s
    6. Animating bullets
      3m 12s
    7. Animating photos
      4m 56s
    8. Animating other objects
      5m 41s
    9. Inserting music and other audio elements
      4m 11s
  6. 16m 18s
    1. Taking control
      1m 46s
    2. Setting display resolution and improving clarity
      3m 18s
    3. Including hidden slides and custom shows
      4m 21s
    4. Utilizing speaker notes
      2m 17s
    5. Using Presenter view
      2m 2s
    6. Creating handouts
      2m 34s
  7. 27m 52s
    1. Planning the program
      3m 6s
    2. Using the presenter checklist
      2m 39s
    3. Knowing what to do when things go wrong
      5m 16s
    4. Sharing your message
      2m 40s
    5. Making the motions
      2m 0s
    6. Questions and answers
      1m 43s
    7. Reading your audience
      2m 41s
    8. Dealing with audience distractions
      3m 4s
    9. Setting up and tearing down
      4m 43s
  8. 19m 28s
    1. During the show
      1m 31s
    2. Creating a photo slideshow
      4m 8s
    3. Letting the slideshow be the star
      1m 41s
    4. Sharing with your audience
      6m 36s
    5. Keyboard and mouse tricks
      5m 32s
  9. 6m 30s
    1. The good, the bad, and the ugly: A recap
      5m 32s
    2. Additional resources
      58s

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