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’s it important to stick to one point per slide?
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.
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.
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.