Enhance Your Presentations with These 5 Slide Rules

Throughout my years of experience, I've encountered speakers who can deliver presentations with or without slides, those who can't function without them (I once witnessed someone break down because their slides malfunctioned during a presentation), and those who despise them altogether.

I empathize with all perspectives on the matter of using slides. I appreciate having them, but I can still deliver a presentation without them. Speakers must be prepared for any circumstance because unforeseen incidents can occur during a live presentation. However, if you prefer incorporating slides into your presentations, it's essential to discuss the guidelines for using them:


Rule #1: When the Audience Reads, they’re not paying full attention

Many presenters overload their slides with excessive content, such as small text, numerous graphs, and extensive wording. Consequently, the audience gets distracted and spends more time reading than listening to the speaker's message. If you fall into this category, consider following these guidelines:

  • Keep your points concise and focus on presenting them on a single slide
  • Avoid adding lengthy paragraphs that compel the audience to read instead of listening
  • When using graphs, limit them to 1-2 per slide and ensure that the legend is large enough to read easily.

Rule #2: If You're Reading Your Slides, You Need to Rehearse More

This may sound blunt, but if you turn your back to the audience to read your slides, they will start to tune you out and only focus on reading the text themselves. This often occurs when you overload a slide with too much information and fail to narrow down your main points effectively.

To avoid this, take the following steps:

  • Ensure that your talk covers only 3-5 key talking points.
  • Include 1-3 sub-points to support your main points, especially if you have limited time.
  • Practice your presentation repeatedly to build confidence and fluency.
  • If you need notes, rehearse using them and find a way to display them on a monitor or screen rather than on your slides.


Rule #3: Incorporate a QR Code

Audiences often enjoy taking photos of presentation slides, making it crucial to include a QR code on your slides. Viewers can scan the code and access your website or other resources for further information.


Rule #4: Keep Your Slides Vibrant and Straightforward

When I say "energetic," I'm referring to slides that are colorful, lively, and consistent with your brand. Dull slides can indicate a dull presenter. I stand by this statement and challenge anyone to prove me wrong. However, it's important to keep in mind the following tips:

  • Avoid cluttered slides that detract from your message and talking points.
  • Use larger fonts, as small print and graphics can be unappealing.
  • Keep your points brief and to the point - fewer words are better.
  • If you intend to include graphics or videos, practice using them on-site, as they can present technical difficulties.

Rule #5: Consider Using Slides Even if You're Not a Fan

Although I understand that slides may not appeal to everyone, it's important to remember that audiences often enjoy taking photos of presentation slides. As such, it's a good idea to include at least 1-2 slides that feature your name, photo, and QR code. This will enable viewers to recall your name and contact information in the future.


We trust that these 5 rules, written by Phylecia, Founder and Lead Researcher of iFind You Close, have inspired you for your upcoming presentation. Why not go ahead and put these rules into practice and see the difference they can make in your future presentations?