Article 10 Hints and Tips: Getting the words right

A lot of what we do at Article 10 is visual – we make words that have already been written more engaging to help grab (and keep) your audience’s attention.

Seeing so many presentations, day in day out, has helped us to develop a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to content.

Here are my top 5 tips to bear in mind next time you’re writing a PowerPoint presentation.

1) Don’t try to say everything on screen. The fewer words on screen, the more your audience will be focussed on you and what you’re saying.
Think about stripping out the words that you are actually going to say – and just use short, punchy bullet points coupled with relevant, thought-provoking imagery.

2) Try not to “prove it” within your slide content.
All too often we see slides that make a single point but are cluttered with loads and loads of supporting graphs and tables of information.
If the point that you want to make is that your market share is 26% – just say that. Your audience will typically believe you.
You can always include extra data as addendum slides at the end of the deck to be called on if really needed.

3) Try to make 1 key point per slide.
If you make more than 1 your message will become complicated and won’t hit home.
Conversely. If your slide makes no point at all – delete it. You probably don’t actually need it.

4) Set your stall out early. Your audience will appreciate knowing at the beginning what you are going to cover.
As your presentation progresses, keep referring back to your initial agenda using highlights to show where you are up to.
Then at the end, summarise what you’ve talked about. The evening news on TV is great at this. Their format is:
– Tell them what you’re going to tell them
– Tell them
– Tell them again what you told them
Audiences remember content structured in this way.

5) If items 1 – 4 sound daunting and you don’t know where to start, consider getting outside help. A professional writer or presentation expert can often see things you can’t and give a totally new perspective on your project.

Overall, remember – less is often more when it comes to words on the slide. But as with any good rule – not always.


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