Debunking 6 myths about presentation slides

PowerPoint and other visual aids can work wonders, but many speakers have taken certain erroneous assertions as indisputable. Here are the counterpoints.

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Many presenters believe in a mythology about slides that’s hard to shake.

The result? Audiences all over the world are experiencing what’s commonly known as “death by PowerPoint,” although it can happen with any slide software.

If you are building slide decks with these myths in mind, it’s time to rethink your approach so you can be a more effective presenter:

1. Fewer slides are better. This myth sounds good, but it leads to overcrowded slides or slides with complex graphics on which the speaker plans to spend considerable time. A better option? One thought per slide, to allow your audience time to absorb each point.

2. I need a slide for every thought. The converse is another common myth. This idea suggests that the speaker can’t communicate without a slide in view. This is how truly overcrowded slide decks are born. Consider moving to a blank or patterned slide without text anytime you don’t have to show something. Your audience will reward you with its close attention.

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