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Here’s a way to keep your
audience from falling asleep.
Look at a typical PowerPoint
slide like this one.
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
Cognitive scientists say
that most people can only
process around 5 to 7
pieces of information at
one time.
More than that, they start
getting confused.
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
How much information is
on that typical slide?
Let’s count.
6 large elements:
1. The title
2. The graph
3. Big bullet 1
4. Big bullet 2
5. The company name
6. The company logo
6 smaller elements:
1. The labels on the x-axis
2. The labels on the y-axis
3. The labels on the colors
4. The bars on the...
There are 5 kinds of color.
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
There are 5 different fonts
and one emphasized text.
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
And there is a mixture of
shapes (bullets, logo, bars
on graph, etc.)
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
You can count as well as I can.
Way more than 7 pieces of
information.
No wonder audiences
are getting confused
and falling asleep.
What to do?
Remove the logo and the
company name.
You showed them at the beginning, you’ll
show them at the end, they’re on your
hando...
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
Title of this slide
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
Remove the title.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another important thing
 really imp...
Make a title slide.
If you feel it is necessary to have a
title, make a title slide.
Then get on to the content.
Title of this section
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another important thing
 really imp...
Remove some of the bullets.
Why are the bullet points there?
If you really want the audience to read
them, then keep them....
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another important thing
 really imp...
Put the graph on its own
slide.
If you are talking about the graph,
then talk about the graph.
Make it big enough for ever...
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
Give the graph a title.
Otherwise, people get confused.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
title of the graph
Put the bullets on their own slide.
Make the text large enough to read from the back
of the room.
Remember that we can rea...
• This is the text
• important point 1
• another important thing
• really important!
Change to an easy font.
Sans serif fonts can be read easily from far.
They also work better with weaker beamers or
when th...
This is the text
• important point 1
• another important thing
• really important!
Keep the audience with you.
Put the bullet points on a series of slides so
that they appear when you are ready to talk
abo...
This is the text
This is the text
important point 1
This is the text
important point 1
another important thing
This is the text
important point 1
another important thing
really important!
The idea is to communicate,
rather than to confuse.
So,
The next time you see this on
your screen.
Title of this slide
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Series 3
Series 2
Series 1
This is the text
 important point 1
 another importan...
Please change it.
Or, you could just pass out
pillows and blankets in order
to help your audience sleep
better.
Slides to keep your audience awake
Slides to keep your audience awake
Slides to keep your audience awake
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Slides to keep your audience awake

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Published on

www.tipresentations.nl
Let's face it, most presentations are boring. This usually happens through information overload.
Talbott International Presentations (TIP) has a mission to make the world interesting one presentation at a time.
Here are a few tips for avoiding information overload, thereby creating simple slides that keep your audience from falling asleep.

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Slides to keep your audience awake

  1. 1. Here’s a way to keep your audience from falling asleep.
  2. 2. Look at a typical PowerPoint slide like this one.
  3. 3. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  4. 4. Cognitive scientists say that most people can only process around 5 to 7 pieces of information at one time.
  5. 5. More than that, they start getting confused.
  6. 6. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  7. 7. How much information is on that typical slide?
  8. 8. Let’s count.
  9. 9. 6 large elements: 1. The title 2. The graph 3. Big bullet 1 4. Big bullet 2 5. The company name 6. The company logo
  10. 10. 6 smaller elements: 1. The labels on the x-axis 2. The labels on the y-axis 3. The labels on the colors 4. The bars on the graph 5. The 3 bullets under big point 1 6. The 5 bullets under big point 2
  11. 11. There are 5 kinds of color.
  12. 12. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  13. 13. There are 5 different fonts and one emphasized text.
  14. 14. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  15. 15. And there is a mixture of shapes (bullets, logo, bars on graph, etc.)
  16. 16. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  17. 17. You can count as well as I can. Way more than 7 pieces of information.
  18. 18. No wonder audiences are getting confused and falling asleep.
  19. 19. What to do?
  20. 20. Remove the logo and the company name. You showed them at the beginning, you’ll show them at the end, they’re on your handouts and your business cards, and you were introduced. It’s just extra information at this point.
  21. 21. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 Title of this slide This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8
  22. 22. Remove the title.
  23. 23. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8
  24. 24. Make a title slide. If you feel it is necessary to have a title, make a title slide. Then get on to the content.
  25. 25. Title of this section
  26. 26. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8
  27. 27. Remove some of the bullets. Why are the bullet points there? If you really want the audience to read them, then keep them. If they are for the presenter to read, well, write them on a notecard…
  28. 28. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important!
  29. 29. Put the graph on its own slide. If you are talking about the graph, then talk about the graph. Make it big enough for everyone to see. Make it clear. What is important about the graph? Explain it with no distractions.
  30. 30. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1
  31. 31. Give the graph a title. Otherwise, people get confused.
  32. 32. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 title of the graph
  33. 33. Put the bullets on their own slide. Make the text large enough to read from the back of the room. Remember that we can really only comfortably process 5 things at a time. Make sure there are never too many points. Group them in an understandable way.
  34. 34. • This is the text • important point 1 • another important thing • really important!
  35. 35. Change to an easy font. Sans serif fonts can be read easily from far. They also work better with weaker beamers or when there is too much light in the room.
  36. 36. This is the text • important point 1 • another important thing • really important!
  37. 37. Keep the audience with you. Put the bullet points on a series of slides so that they appear when you are ready to talk about them.
  38. 38. This is the text
  39. 39. This is the text important point 1
  40. 40. This is the text important point 1 another important thing
  41. 41. This is the text important point 1 another important thing really important!
  42. 42. The idea is to communicate, rather than to confuse.
  43. 43. So,
  44. 44. The next time you see this on your screen.
  45. 45. Title of this slide 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Series 3 Series 2 Series 1 This is the text  important point 1  another important thing  really important! Things I want to say  point 4  point 5  point 6  point 7  point 8 X Y Z C o m p a n y , s i n c e 1 9 8 4 ! LOGO
  46. 46. Please change it.
  47. 47. Or, you could just pass out pillows and blankets in order to help your audience sleep better.

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