Workplace: Slides

Slides are a feature in the JUMP (Jack’s Urban Meeting Place) building in downtown Boise, Idaho. JUMP is a community space for events, workshops, and tradeshows that is grounded in creativity, taking healthy risks, and stretching yourself into new, helpful directions. As a part of the mission, the space itself is built to invite exploration, thus the fair-style and five-story slides found on site.

Slides are also a part of weekly business life in the form of slide-decks for presentations. Today’s slides are mostly improved over the days of “death by PowerPoint” and monotonous presenters. However, having recently seen several association presenters’ slides and slide-decks that were unreadable, I’m offering these tips for improving your presentation slides.

  1. Readable. Six words per line. Only six lines per slide in a font that is over 32 points in size.
  2. Interesting. Does it capture your interest? If not, rework the slides.
  3. Relevant. Content and images that communicate your message.
  4. Images. Make sure you own them.
  5. Data. Turn it into charts, graphs, or visuals that are easy to read and remember.

The more content you put on a slide, the less readable it is for your audience. Slides are meant to be reminders of your points. Slides are NOT your script.

Presentation slides, like fashion, go through style phases. Remember the days of blue backgrounds and white lettering? Now we’re back to white backgrounds, with the addition of amazing photographs and images. Slides work well when they are prepared in advance and have been proofed by someone else.

Yes, proof-read slides. Too often, slides contain spelling errors – which reflect poorly on professionalism. Slides often also contain outdated or inaccurate information – proof-read! Once the proof-reading is completed and corrections made, do not – I repeat do not – make changes the night before your presentation and then tell your audience about the changes you made last night! Unprofessional.

What can you do to improve your slides and presentations? Get started today!

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore    what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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