General Tips for Visual Media
Be fully present; don’t let your slides distract or upstage you
Create a document, not a slideument.
Use three formats: the slides your audience sees, the slide notes you see, the handout you provide as a takeaway. Each one fills a different function.
Use slide headlines to move your story forward, don’t just have a static headline for all slides.
Be consistent in graphic elements, colors, fonts and placement on slides.
Aim for fewer text-only slides.
Use quotes by other experts periodically
How to Master Slide Technology
Learn how to trouble-shoot your laptop/projector connection
Bring the proper adaptors if you are using a tablet or mini laptop
Practice with your slides and your own clicker
Get in the room a few minutes early to set up your slideshow
“B” blackens your screen temporarily, “W” whitens it
Know key slide numbers to jump from one section to another quickly
Use hidden slides for additional detail if needed
Use an onscreen highlighter or laser to highlight key information; surprising
Bring a backup; your slides on a flash drive, or a hard copy
Have a spare battery for your remote clicker
How to Design Visually Appealing Slides
Use high contrast, generally dark text on white or light background
Limit graphic elements that do not add value, especially on templates
Use bold and simple fonts, generally non-serif
Have only one idea per slide
Do not use paragraphs or sentences; use key words only
Use graphics that elicit an emotional impact (i.e. the shark in deep water)
Find (or take your own) high resolution pictures of good quality
Use the rule of thirds for visual appeal
Think about where you want your listeners eyes to travel
Leave white space so the slide can “breathe”
Avoid overuse of builds and transitions; if you use them make them simple and natural
Look at your slides as your audience would see them; walk to the back of the room
Avoid the Following
Too many elements on one slide
Overuse of bulleted lists and bullets in general
Too many colors
Mix of fonts, colors and sizes
Small font size
3-D slide elements
Small graphics and pictures
Low resolution pictures
How to Deliver with Slides
Use a slide clicker so you aren’t glued to the computer.
As you display each slide, allow a pause for the audience to look at it.
Maintain your use of space, preferably in the center of the room or off to one side of the screen.
Whenever possible, place your laptop in front of you or where you can see it easily.
Do not stand where the light projects on you, even partially.
Glance at your slide, then return your eye contact to your audience.
Keep your body turned toward your audience.
Rather than reading your slides, interpret them, or call out highlights, or enrich what is on the slide. Make sure you have something to say about each slide above and beyond what is written.
Rehearse with your slides, saying each one aloud, rather than rehearsing in your head.
How to Improve Charts and Spreadsheets
Aim for a mix of visual elements: text, charts, graphs, and photos
Round numbers for simplicity
Use high contrast, thicker lines on charts
Take off unnecessary elements like duplicate labels, gridlines, etc.
Be sure all visual elements are necessary to the story
Make sure all elements are large enough for impact; about 30% to 100% of the screen
If you use “bumper stickers” reveal them at the end
Use charts and graphs to tell the story, not to replace the story
How to Use Flip Charts
Be sure you have good markers
Write large and bold
Always create a title or headline
If you have trouble writing straight, use gridded flipchart paper
If you need to remember certain facts, write them on the flipchart in pencil before the session, so you can see what you need to remember
Create flip charts ahead of time and then reveal them as needed
Create posters at a print shop if you want them to look professional and keep them posted throughout a session
Use self-sticking flipcharts if you plan to post them