top of page

Slide Basics: Dos and. . .

Updated: Jan 19


Transcript Fred Miller, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”

This video is about Slide Basics: Dos and Don’ts!

The bottom line with all communication; verbal, written, or visual, is all the same. We want the recipients, as quickly as possible, to GET IT! They may not agree with everything you say. They may not agree with anything. But unless they GET IT! you can’t have a conversation going forward.

Slides are a great way, if used correctly, to help people GET IT!

Here’s why. We have three learning styles: Visual – that’s probably sixty-five percent of us. We learn by looking. Thirty-five percent of us are auditory. We learn by hearing things. The remainder are kinesthetic people, people who learn by doing.

TEXT Let’s talk about TEXT first for these slides. TEXT is not my favorite. You’ll see that.

Okay, we bring up PowerPoint and it says, TEXT. Then you type in something, and you hit ENTER and it says more, TEXT. Then you do it, again, and it says more, TEXT, and you wind up in the PowerPoint Hall of Shame.

I’m sure you’ve seen presentations like this. Some of you’ve probably made presentations like this. Or maybe bring up a template like this! Oh my gosh! Could you imagine reading this from the audience! That would be a groaner!

I’m just going let you read this. These are Bullet Points. Bullet points do not reinforce a message. They complicate the message, they confuse the audience, and they conflict with the presenter. And here’s why, as we just saw. You’re reading here. The audience is reading here because they read faster than they hear. And there you are: Completely confused! They’re not going to GET IT!

Bullet points kill. Kill the bullet points! Let’s talk about TEXT. If you’re going to use TEXT, and you’re going to have to use some, make it SIMPLE. Things like this: different colors and different fonts. Those only confuse you.

Stay with SIMPLE TEXT. Here’s thirty-two point. They say that’s the minimum. I like sixty-point much better.

If – You – Use – TEXT, – Use – It – Like – This! That way, they can’t read ahead of you.

Now, sometimes you have to use text. It might be for the theme of a slide presentation, but use it minimally. Put at an angle. p gets people’s attention a bit better. Add a little color to it, if you must.

Flashy Stuff. Don’t use that, either! I’m a Mac guy, and I would have things flying in. I’d have spinning out. Images Fly in – fly out. Drop in – Flash out. Wipe up – Wipe out. Flip in. Get wiped up by a comet. I always ended with a guy popping out in the middle, and going out in a flash.

That’s all clutter! It’s a distraction.

Keep your presentations Clean – Simple. Think Zen-like.

Let’s talk about Transitions. I’m sure you’ve seen some of these. Whoa! That really adds a presentation, doesn’t it? Pretty slick, but it’s clutter! It’s a distraction! Don’t use it!

How about those corporate templates? That’s great, isn’t it? No! It’s all clutter! You can have your name and contact information on every single slide. If you’re lousy, no one will call. On the other hand, you don’t have to have it on any slides. If you’re great, they we’ll seek you out!

Here’s my template. You’re welcome to use it. Do you need more time? Here’s another one of mine. Okay, have you got it?

Well, instead of TEXT, how about using IMAGES! We think in terms of images. A great way to start a speech is, “Picture this. . .”

Let’s look at an example. If I say the word, Apple, you probably don’t see the letters A-P-P-L-E. You probably sees something round, red. Let’s try another one. Kiwi fruit – Kiwi fruit. Let’s do like the eye doctor: Better? – Better? No one ever says, “Oh, Fred, go back to that text! I can’t wait to go the store to get some kiwi when we’re out of this conference.”

As far as those images, they have to be universally understood. Some of you’ve had a little psychology training. This is called an ink blot or Rorschach image. Psychologists and psychiatrists use these to get people to describe their maladies, because people see this differently. Don’t make your images like that! When we come your images – that’s probably too small, very clear, though. Oh, there’s one you bought, but didn’t buy high enough resolution. That’s terrible. That’s a real distraction! Now, that! That looks sharp! High quality, universally understood images, in the right resolution.

Think about it: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube – moving images. That’s what people are used to. Make those clean and simple.

There’s a crowd. There’s a crowd. Let’s do like the eye doctor, again: Better? – Better?

Clean and simple. Cheap clipart – Don’t use that, either!

And I know you can do all kinds of fancy stuff with your software. Nice image like this, and you can make drop shadows with it – Don’t! It’s a distraction. It’s clutter!

Some of you are photographers and you’ll notice this. You divide your screen into nine equal sections. Where they intersect, those your Power Points. Place your images there. Watch this! Centered – to the side. Let’s do like the eye doctor, again: Better? – Better? Absolutely!

Here’s another thing. If you have an image that’s looking a specific direction, get it to the side so they are looking to the middle.

And we can do all kinds of fancy things with this software. Maybe, have it move across the screen. Every once a while, that’s okay. Don’t do it like that, though. They can’t follow it.

And you can add Sounds. I’ve been adding some sounds as we go along like, a buzzer! That gets the audience’s attention. That’s great stuff!

You can add Music to your slide presentations. Listen to this! That’s the appropriate music. This is my “Show-before-the-Show.” This warms audience up. Good stuff!

And you can use Video. I’m going to show you a short clip of what I use. You’re going to love this! (Michael Jordan video on Failure.) Isn’t that great – Michael Jordan. That adds to my presentation about the value of failure.

Well, it’s time to close this presentation. Let’s review, very quickly, what we talked about.

  • Make those slide presentations clean – simple – Zen-like.

  • Use high quality images. You, the speaker. provide the text.

Do that and I guarantee your next presentation will be absolutely, positively, there’s no doubt my mind. That presentation will be – NO SWEAT!

Till next time, this is Fred Miller – “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the AuthorFred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books,“ NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, andPresentation Skills.

They do this because they know:"Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities."

They also know:We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching

  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this post or other posts please contact me:

Thank  you for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated!


bottom of page