In today’s Minutes to Remarkable™ I discuss the importance of streamlining your slides or visual aids.

Over the years we can really see how presentation parameters for slide use has changed. Or, at the least, what is really preferable. Vestiges of these old fashioned slides can still be seen when the slide appears gray with text. I mention this one since I see it often and it is so not preferred.

If bullet points must be used, use no more than three per slide, then only use three words per bullet point. Consider revealing each bullet point as you get to it in your presentation. People will read ahead and be done long before you are.

If there is text, then don’t read it word for word. People will read ahead and, you got it, be done long before you are. Consider saying what the bullet point represents, or elaborate with an example, or simply look at the slide/bullet point and look at your audience and move along.  This last example can come in handy if you are giving a presentation and using a pre-created slide presentation. Often many of these have not been updated and I see managers and staff sort of stuck.

When in doubt, leave it out is an old motto I use often when prepping a program. No audience has ever been upset about too few slides.

Consider a non-visual, instead, like the beloved story or anecdote. The telling of stories has become quite trendy in recent years, which made me glad since I’ve been a professional teller for a long time, however aside from that, the story has been around since humans have been able to hold someone else’s attention. Storytelling is classic and timeless and need not be very long. In fact, consider the proported Hemingway classic six word short story: ‘For Sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.’

A slide replaced by a story. Think about it.

How have you used slides differently?