One Point Per Slide: Why It’s Important And How To Do It

Published on
October 10, 2016
PowerPoint presentations have come a long way from bullet points and ClipArt.

Presentations have evolved with not only the presenter and the audience, but also our preference to be moved and not sold to. This means our presentations not only look different today but are presented differently too.

One of the biggest presentation trends is having only one point per slide. Think about instruction manuals: each step is broken down to digestible pieces – one step per line – and listed in a clear chronological order. Presentations are following the same format in that only one point is displayed at a time and each slide builds on the next. What’s different from an instruction manual is that it has the added value of your verbal presentation where the context and details can be derived from.

So why is it important to stick to one point per slide?


People can only retain so much information

Your audience will only remember pieces of your presentation so it’s important that your slides present them with the key points you want them to walk away with. When you give too much information all at once, you dilute your message and cause each person to remember something different. Giving them the one key point you’d like to have stick in their mind helps them to absorb it and ensures everyone is taking away the same message.

People came to hear you

No one comes to a presentation to read – they came to hear you speak. Using your slides as a teleprompter naturally makes your audience read your content and takes the attention away from you. Providing one point on each slide allows them to quickly digest it, then turn their focus back on you so you can elaborate on the point. They should be able to comprehend each slide in 10 seconds or less and use it to support to your verbal presentation.

Too much information will bore your audience

A long winding list of bullets is a quick way to lose your audience. Being presented a block of text is uninspiring and once they’ve read it, they’ll zone out until the next slide because they already know what you’re about to say. Having just one point allows you to utilize different mediums to convey the message – like an impactful visual or motion graphic. This keeps your presentation interesting and stimulating.

Tips on creating a one point per slide presentation:

  • Think of your presentation like an essay: the words you present on the slide are your heading or subheading (usually one condensed sentence) and your supporting points are what you actually say. The slide should contain enough words to help the audience understand what you want to elaborate on.
  • Just because each slide has one idea doesn’t mean it stands in isolation. Your slides should flow from one to the next and have a clear transition. Before jumping in, create an outline for each of your points first so that it’s consistently structured and you don’t stray from the overall objective of your presentation. 
  • Avoid multiple bullet points on a slide because they signify a list. Instead, place each bullet onto its own slide and focus on one idea at a time. 
  • Mix up the type of points you use. Use shock or humor to grab your audience’s interest, or a visual with no text so your audience will need you to help them understand what they’re seeing. 
  • If you need to go into a lot of detail or have technical information to show, consider providing a handout that’s distributed after your presentation. This handout can also act as an overview to summarize the main ideas you’ve already covered. 
  • Using the one point per slide layout puts the focus on you as a presenter and tells the audience that you really know your topic. This allows you to speak naturally and convey the enthusiasm that’s difficult to show when you’re reading from your slides. 
  • Don’t worry about racking up your slide count – the quality and flow of the content is more important. 
  • Adding impactful imagery and illustration can really help to make your points shine. Can’t decide which points to leave and which points to keep? We’re here to help! Just reach out and we’ll be happy to assist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Stinson: The Presentation Agency

What exactly do presentation agencies do?

We provide all the help you may need to design presentations that achieve your goals. This can include content consulting, presentation slide design, custom icons and illustrations, and presentation handouts—ultimately, our team of PowerPoint designers and consultants develop a comprehensive presentation solution that meets your specific needs.

Why do companies work with presentation agencies?

Consider how much time you (or your team) spend making PowerPoint presentations for meetings. Think about the back and forth over which fonts, colors, icons, and images to use. Is it okay to use bullet points? Did you use the right brand colors? Does the slide look too crowded and busy? Or does it look too plain? How do you create the look and feel that you're picturing? After the design is done, do you have enough time to practice presenting?

As presentation experts, it is our second nature to understand your goals and work with you to create the professional PowerPoint deck that you envisioned. You can learn more about our 3-phase process here.

By leaving the presentation design to an agency like Stinson, you save yourself the time and worry over the look, feel, and progression of your presentation—we make your PowerPoint presentation-ready so that you can focus on the presentation delivery.

Which presentation design service will I need?

As a presentation company, we offer every service you may need to develop your you may need to develop your PowerPoint—however, it's tough to say exactly which services of ours would benefit you the most without having chatted about your company, industry, and presentation uses.

We've generalized the scenarios that we regularly see and help our clients with. If your situation is similar to any of the below, then rest assured that our presentation experts have proven success in developing solutions.

  • You have an upcoming presentation with investors or clients. You feel your slide deck looks outdated or dull, and you don't know how to help it. You're also not sure if the content in your presentation conveys your value. View our case study where our presentation development and content consulting services helped our client achieve their investor funding goals.
  • Your company has regular internal department presentations. Everyone works on their respective slides, which are then combined into one presentation deck. The resulting PowerPoint does not have a cohesive look and somehow, there are five new shades of your corporate colors. We can help you identify your common slide layouts and design easy-to-use custom PowerPoint templates so your team members can create seamless, unified slides.
  • Your company has a great PowerPoint template that strongly reflects your branding, but your team tends to include too much text and irrelevant images on their slides. During the presentation, key messages are lost. We offer presentation training for exactly this—we'll train your team to create better slides more efficiently.

Expectations when working with us

How does partnering with a PowerPoint designer work?

Once you contact us, we'll meet with you and ask for as much context as possible regarding the project: what materials you already have, who is presenting, who is the audience, and so on—this is our Discover phase. From there, we move onto Develop and Design where we start defining the narrative and visual characteristics of your new presentation. For more details, please read our process.

How long do projects take?

Our standard turnaround for presentation development is 2–4 weeks; for custom presentation templates, our typical turnaround is 3–6 weeks. We know this is a wide range, but due to the collaborative nature of our presentation design process (i.e. asking for and incorporating your feedback), our turnaround time also relies on your responsiveness and availability. We do offer a rush service if your timelines are short.

How much does a presentation design cost?

We price on a project-by-project basis, involving a number of key factors outlined in our pricing model. However, we do require a minimum project cost of $1,500.

We often see companies that do not have budget allocations for presentation design and are hesitant to make the initial investment. We understand—at first, it can be difficult to see the value and difference a well-designed, practical presentation can make. For our clients that started in this situation, we worked on a smaller pilot test project; when they saw the positive ROI of the presentation, they were able to secure larger budgets and found more presentations that needed our help.

What are the final files that I will receive?

All of our final PowerPoint (or other presentation software) deliverables are shared with you in its native, editable file format. We are also able to provide a PDF or video version of your presentation if you would like.

Any presentation collateral we design for your project is shared as a ready-to-print PDF, unless if you specify a different preference.

Have you worked with other clients in my industry? Can you share related samples?

Our list of clients spans a wide range of industries, some of which we hadn't known of prior to the client's project. Since our approach involves familiarizing ourselves with the client's business and industry, we've become a team of jacks-of-all-trades for industry knowledge.

We're able to share blinded, industry-specific samples of presentations that our clients have consented to. Contact us if you're interested!


Aside from PowerPoint, do you work in Google Slides? Keynote? Prezi?

Yes! While we prefer designing PowerPoint presentations due to its robust features that let us create advanced designs, we've created custom presentation designs in Google Slides and Keynote at our clients' request.

We generally do not design presentations in Prezi since it does not support the level of design customization that we need for our clients. Instead, we use PowerPoint to create the same animations and layouts that are characteristic of Prezi presentations—you can view examples in our portfolio.

Will we run into issues if we use Mac and/or Windows PC?

There are some differences in functionality between PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows—but these are not for your concern! We use both Mac and Windows computers at Stinson, so we're able to ensure cross-device compatibility with every PowerPoint presentation we design. During our initial call with you, we'll ask you for these tech specs so that we know to bear them in mind when working on your project.

Does it matter which version of PowerPoint we use?

Yes; the latest versions of PowerPoint have new functions and features that earlier versions of PowerPoint cannot load. We'll take note of your tech setup to ensure that our presentations for you run as intended.

Designing with branding

How are you able to design with our company's brand?

If you have any brand guidelines, we ask you to provide them early on in the process so that we can familiarize ourselves not only with your logos, colors, and fonts, but the overarching brand tone. Our collaborative process includes rounds of revision for you to provide your feedback on the presentation design.

Are you able to design within our very strict corporate brand guidelines?

Absolutely! Many of our clients are companies with well-established brand identities. We do our due diligence to maintain the integrity of their branding when designing their presentations and collateral.

Strict brand guidelines do not necessarily restrict the possibility of creating a sophisticated PowerPoint; our presentation designers thoughtfully use photos, animations, and other visuals to build the story.

We don't have concrete branding yet or we're in the process of updating our brand. Can you work without defined brand elements?

Yes! When we work with clients who are still ironing out the details of their branding, we ask them to provide us any materials they have already and to share their design inspirations. From there, we lay out moodboards of different tones and styles to see which resonates the most with what our client has in mind.


We have highly sensitive information. Will my data remain confidential?

Absolutely—we respect the proprietary nature of businesses, and enforce a strict confidentiality policy company-wide. From the first point of contact with you, we assume a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); we are happy to sign your company's NDA as well.

Where do you store my files and data?

All of our files are stored securely in an industry-leading content server. The server exceeds regulatory standards and encrypts each file using AES 256-bit encryption in diverse locations.

Additionally, the Stinson team works completely in-house, so your files will not cross borders.

How secure is my data?

We take data security seriously. We enforce numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that Stinson continues to meet compliance and security standards for data protection, including multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and access restrictions.

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