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Slides: — USE TEXT – as little as possible! PLEASE!

Updated: May 21

Text and Bullet Points Do Not reinforce the message!

Have you ever sat through a presentation where the speaker read, word for word, the bullet pointed text that was on the screen?  Terrible, wasn’t it?

Why do speakers do this?

If they want to use notes for their presentation, those details should be placed in the ‘Notes Section’ of the slides, visible only to the presenter using Keynote or PowerPoint in ‘Presenter Mode.’

Placing Text on the screen does not reinforce the presenter’s message with the audience and help them GET IT!

On the contrary, Text and Bullet Points

  1. Complicate the message.

  2. Conflict with the speaker’s delivery.

  3. Confuse the audience.

The audience is reading at a different speed than the presenter is speaking.  They are ahead or behind the speaker.  The result is worse than just seeing text or merely listening to the speaker!  (This also happens if you distribute handouts to an audience before presenting.)

The Answer: Instead of placing lots and lots of Text on slides, use Images to help the audience GET IT!

There are three main styles of learning.

  1. VisualSeeing something.

  2. AuditoryHearing something.

  3. KinestheticDoing something.

A good slideshow presentation will combine two of these learning styles: 1. Visual –  high quality Images. 2. Auditory – ‘Text’ provided by the speaker’s voice. The audience’s understanding of the presenter’s message is greatly increased.

Images should be:

  1. High quality.

  2. Universally recognized.  No – “What is that?”

  3. High enough resolution to not be blurred.

  4. Large!

  5. One per slide, or several that express the same main point.

  6. Example: I use images of a blackboard, clown’s feet, and a person writing on a chart on the same slide to deliver the point: “For the audience to GET IT!, a presenter needs to Educate, Entertain, and Explain.

Free images, when giving attribution, are available at Flckr’s Creative Commons.  Use Compfight to make that search easier.

Great, high quality images can be purchased from a number of on-line sites.  My favorite is  Be certain to search for a Coupon Code before buying your credits.

Also important in this discussion is timely use of the ‘B’ Button in PowerPoint and Keynote that ‘blanks’ the screen.  When used, the attention of the audience immediately goes from the screen to the presenter – where it should be!

YOU are the presenter; not the slides!  The slides should have the image that reinforces the message you are delivering.  Once you have finished that message, and continue to elaborate or tell a supporting story, ‘blank’ the screen to have the audience focus on you!

This stuff works!  Try it and make your next presentation – No Sweat!

For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the Author Fred 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.

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