This blog wasn’t designed with TED Talks and mainstage keynote presentations in mind as much as for ordinary people at the office; everyday presenters who want to pitch better, share ideas more clearly, and to make the most of their work.
In this post, we look at 5 easy rules to help you clean up your slides and create stunning decks that stand out and stick with the audience when you're done.
1 idea or message per slide
Got more ideas? Use more slides. It’s better to add a few extras and stick to the 1 idea rule than to cram everything into the same slide. Give your ideas space to breathe so they really stand out, and people can take them in.
2 fonts per presentation
Unless you’re a designer, don’t get cute with your fonts. Mixing incompatible font styles just make your deck look unprofessional. If you need some variation, try using bold, italic or different colors.
3 to 5 bullets at a time
Bullets can kill, and presentations are no exception. If you need to include a list, stick to 3, 4 or 5 points per slide. Need more? We suggest you either kill some darlings or start on a new slide.
7 or less words per line
Long lines of text are hard to read. Stick to 7 words or less per line. This is a PowerPoint presentation, not a Word document.
This one isn’t law, but the idea is to keep it short and sweet. Guy Kawasaki says 10, but we think that's a little on the stingy side. This big idea: don't go adding extra slides unless you need them, or using filler slides that don’t add value to your presentation. As a general rule, 20 is plenty!
Who wrote this?
This was posted by Brad Hawkes, our Content Marketing Manager here at Pickit. He's not a professor of rhetoric and he's never given a TED Talk. He has, however, clocked up over 1000 presentations, seminars and talks over the last 15 years, picking up a few ideas along the way. He once spoke to a crowd of 5000, but mostly he's spoken to crowds of 5, and he's always looking for simpler, clearer ways to say things and get a message across. He also makes a fine cup of coffee.