Today, hardly any presentation comes without powerpoint sheets. To be truly useful however, the text on your sheets should be thought through. It is worthwhile to consider how to use text effectively on your sheets. This posts tells you how to do so in just three steps.
A. Omit the obvious
Text that is not essential to the message, is just a distraction. Therefore, try to omit any obvious information. Consider the following when your filling the template with information:
- The name of you or your organisation is only needed when you present to external parties. Your colleagues know where they work and who you are.
- Ever wondered what the date is during a presentation? Probably not, so leave out the date on regular sheets. On the first sheet, it might be handy for those who take notes.
- A sheet number might seem useful but you don’t want people counting till you’re finished. So, leave it out. Instead, focus on giving a presentation they don’t want to ever end!
B. Use images instead
Powerpoint sheets serve as a mere support for your story. The sheets should keep the public informed on the topics you’re treating and serve as additional explanation. Mostly, you need additional explanation for the things you can only show, not tell. Therefore, try to use images, graphs and diagrams instead of plain text. This post tells you more on visualizations in presentations.
C. Stick to keywords
Always keep it short. People generally ignore sheets that contain more than about seven lines. Moreover, each line should have just one to three words. Any additional text increases the chance your sheets wont be read at all. If you want people to focus on just one line or word, you could consider the option ‘appear on mouse-click’ and ‘dim’ in effect options. That way, only the words that appeared last will be highlighted.
So, if you want to use text well in powerpoint sheets, you should omit the obvious, use images where possible and stick to keywords!