If your presentation is overloaded with information and you want to minimize the amount of text, but keep the main message, this post is definitely for you. 🙂
During working on slides design or redesign we also often face the problem how to simplify a complex presentation. So we share here three tips for how we cope with it.
The usual problem is how to can avoid too ‘wordy’ slides, that are good for reading on screen if someone has lots of time. But who has it today? Even more, if the slides are to be presented at a meeting, texts on slides are effectiveness killers. However, there is a way to visualize key facts and make it simple and easy to understand for our audience.
Apply those three steps when working on your next presentation:
1. Split Content into More Slides to Get Space
If you feel you definitely need to present all the information, if you cannot reduce it, then this simple trick will help you. Break the text into two or three slides so a slide is less overloaded.
This will create more space to make your slides more visual, for example:
- make your structure slides (e.g. title slide, section break slide – see examples in this blog post) as an eye-catching “splitters” of your presentation. Avoid too long series of the same looking slides.
- add illustrative pictures to express emotions or create visual associations
- visualize your presentation concepts by simple pictograms. Check this posts to see how to illustrate a business concept such as Strategy, Innovation or Risk.
- use markers to highlight the key text parts, as in slide picture below
- consider adding a personal touch to slides, using doodled shapes, sketched symbols and hand drawn pictograms
2. Keep Only the Keywords, Eliminate Less Important “Filler Words”
Sometimes our presentations are overwhelmed by unnecessary texts. Next time you’ll prepare slides, try to analyze them and decrease the amount of information, saving only the keywords, that carry the main thoughts. Firstly it is hard because you start thinking everything is important 😉 However, try doing this exercise more often and you’ll notice the progress.
See on a picture below how we underlined only the keywords that should stay on a slide. All the rest can be removed. Those are things to be told, not necessarily to be written on slide.
After this underlining exercise, you can change the keywords to list of points that are easier to read. But you can go a step further and recreate the list as set some interesting of shapes (more examples of infographics list shapes here)
3. Create Simple Diagrams
The next step is to replace the keywords you chose previously, i.e. with the set of shapes, or create simple diagrams instead of texts. Visualizing is one of the best solutions to create attractive looking slides. You can start with plain ones: SmartArt or different shapes to keep attention on particular things. Another good idea is to use ribbon lists and diagrams to place the most important data and to make a comparison.
If you need to illustrate features or benefits of product, service or project, which happens very often, then you may check our blog on, where we discuss how to Show Lists in a Creative Way.
Try to follow these three steps, to make your next presentation truly engaging for an eye, to impress your audience.
And if you’re stuck with your presentation, share your visualization problem in comments. We will propose you several ideas how you can illustrate your concept on a slide.
Further articles on presentation graphics
For more inspiration on using visuals in your presentations, check out these articles as well:
- How to get creative sketchnoting your slides
- Build an Engaging Presentation using Structure Slides
- 3 diagram mistakes to avoid in slides design