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The number one presentation killer is having too much text on your slides and reading it aloud to the audience.

Reading your text, whether as prose or bullet points, is bad enough. You can make things worse if you turn your back on the audience at the same time.

Always remember, you are the presentation, not the slide deck. The slides are there to support what you are saying. If someone can get your whole message by reading your slides then why should they bother listening to you? You could have just sent them an email. In fact, you probably should have just sent an email.

Therefore, next time you write a presentation replace words with images (or video) where you can. And where you can’t use an image, reduce the number of words as much as you can.

This means avoiding bullet point lists. If you really need to have a list, give each item its own slide (with an image) because:

✅ it is less boring

✅ it avoids slides that are walls of text

✅ it gives the audience more to look at

✅ it focuses the audience on the list item you are presently talking about.

The end result of this approach is a slide deck that is not self-explanatory. If the slides are printed or exported as standard handouts they still require your presentation to make sense. I think this is a feature not a bug.

Gary Bandy Limited is a company registered in Cardiff, number 5660437.

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