Monthly Archives: March 2013

Connect with Visuals

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Steve Jobs was widely known for his great presentations. In fact, his unveiling of the iPhone® in 2007 is considered by many to have been one of his best presentations ever.

Jobs was particularly well known for building his presentations around powerful visual aids. He knew that slides are most effective when they tell a story rather than convey information, so his visuals were simple, elegant, and image-based. They complemented and reinforced his message, and they didn’t compete with him for his audience’s attention.

You don’t have to be Steve Jobs to give a great presentation, but you do need great visuals. They convey a powerful message about your ideas and your brand, so it’s essential to get them right. Following are some pointers to make sure that your slides connect your audience with your message.

Keep it simple. Don’t lose sight of the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”   More often than not, when you use simple, image-based slides to support your message, your audience can better grasp the information you’re communicating.

Remember the 5×5 rule.  Focus on condensing your slides to no more than 5 bullets per slide and 5 words per bullet.

Break it down.  When you have to communicate complex data or large chunks of information, avoid putting it all on one slide. Instead, summarize the information, split it up over several slides, or rely on a handout.

You’re the presentation.  Your visual aids serve one purpose:  To support your presentation.  Stay consistent with the slides and make sure they don’t detract from your message.

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