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

  • Cheesy-looking images

  • Too many colors

  • Overused gradation

  • Clutter

  • Weak contrast

  • Mix of fonts, colors and sizes

  • Small font size

  • Punctuation

  • Typos

  • 3-D slide elements

  • Small graphics and pictures

  •  Low resolution pictures

  • Clip art

 

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