(Editor’s note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2014. We’re rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.)
Lately I’ve been coaching several speakers getting ready for industry conferences—hired either by their companies, or the conference organizers. As a result, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time telling speakers to ditch slide after slide after slide.
This alarms the speakers (and their assistants and interns) to no end. Some see the slide deck as a shield against forgetting a point or having to speak without giving the audience something else to look at. Some plan fully on reading them aloud, reducing the slide to a cue card and the audience to a read-along experience.
One confessed that the slides she submitted reflected “thinking out loud” about all the things she wanted to say, but that she then couldn’t bring herself to omit them once they were created, even though her presentation was just five minutes.