Save time by preparing two slide-sets, not one

17th February 2015

Presenters use PowerPoint in one of two ways:

  • As a presenter aid to present alongside; and/or
  • To send before/after/instead of their presentation, as a permanent record

This poses a problem when writing your slides:

  • The former requires sparse slides. After all, if your slides contain all the detail, you aren’t needed
  • However, the latter requires full slides. Since you’re not there, the slides must contain everything

Therefore, it’s impossible for the same slide-set to satisfy both objectives. How can something tell only some of the story, whilst simultaneously telling the entire story?

So, here’s a quick technique to improve the impact your slide-sets – and, therefore, you – have…

When you’re both presenting alongside and also emailing a slide-set, prepare two versions: one full; one sparse. This sounds like twice the work, but it isn’t. It just requires the use of the “delete” key, in that you:

  1. Create the full slide-set – your permanent record; then
  2. Delete as many words as possible – to create your presenter aid

Since both slide-sets now give the two audience-types everything they need, your audiences are more likely to engage and say “yes” more quickly. So, much less chasing afterwards!

This means that, weird though it sounds, it’s much quicker to do two versions, not one.

Action point

Next time you’re required to both present and send a presentation:

  • do the full version first
  • then send it out
  • then delete as many words as you can, to leave yourself sparse slides to present alongside

Don’t fall into the trap of creating a slide set that tries to do both jobs, and thus does neither.

Month 4 of my online video club gives a full hour to explaining how to master the four elements of a top-notch presentation – content, delivery, visuals and confidence. Click here to access it.

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