Presentation Tip: Put Less Text on Your Slides

Image: Thatcher Cook/PopTech (Flickr)

When you sit in the audience at a conference or presentation and the presenter shows you a new slide, what do you do?

You look at it.

And while you’re looking at the slide you pay less attention to the speaker, you may even stop listening completely.

This gets worse as the amount of text on the screen increases. The audience may not direct their attention back to the presenter until they have finished reading all the text. You lose connection with the audience and whatever you say to the audience will be lost.

You have two choices:

1. As mentioned in the post “Allow Your Audience Time To Read And Think“, when changing to a new slide, pause and give your audience time to read but the problem with this approach is that you spend a lot of time waiting for the audience to read and less time actually speaking to them, it will also reduce the amount of information that you can cover in your presentation.
2. Put less text on your slides. They spend less time reading and you can cover more and the less text, the more connection you can have with your audience.

It’s clear, the more text on screen, the less time the audience spends listening to you thus the less text, the more they listen and the better connection you will have with the audience.

Less is more, cut down on the text.