Microsoft

Break down points into individual slides

A simple change can keep your audience's attention and help them retain what they've learned.

If you create presentations, you already know that simplicity and succinct language is key to an effective slide show. One way to drive this home is to reduce a bulleted list to a series of slides — one slide per bullet. Then, summarize the points after reviewing all the points by including a list or chart that includes all the points. (This technique works with most any kind of list, not just bulleted lists.) Why would you bother with several slides when one slide would do? When faced with a slide with many points, an audience tends to tune out or even read ahead — guessing what's coming next. If you present one point per slide, your audience will grasp and retain each point better and they'll pay closer attention. Be sure to aggregate your points into a summarizing list or graphic, after you've reviewed each point separately.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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