The More Slides, the Better

Today, most presenters fear large slide counts. Many worry that a deck that is 100 slides, 50 slides or even 30 slides will create a poor experience for their audience. I’m here to shatter that belief.

Presenters need to stop aiming for 5-slide, 10-slide, and 15-slide decks.

These are weak.

These are ineffective.

These are boring.

To give the most effective presentation, you need to aim for more slides.

Here’s why:

Eye Candy for the Masses

We live in a world littered with low attention spans. To capture attention, you will need to have visual accompaniments constantly rotating behind you as a presenter. You should aim to stay on a slide for 10-15 seconds rather than 5-10 minutes. If you do so, the odds of keeping your audience engaged will be in your favor.

A Thousand Words

We are all familiar with the Chinese proverb: a picture is worth a thousand words. Now, imagine a 100-slide deck that is comprised of 100 pictures. You’ll have the ability to say so much — more than any bullet or text-heavy slide could ever convey.

Pacing

Bullets kill presentations. They also make us slow. The more slides your deck contains, the stronger probability you are going to move at a faster and more engaging pace.

If you are still skeptical, take a look at the deck below for my book, How to Be a Presentation God. This can be presented in about 2 minutes and it’s 57 slides. Again, more slides does not always translate to a long presentation.

READ MORE: 2 Simple Rules for Dealing with Lots of Text

About the Author

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.

If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

Creative Commons License
A picture is worth a thousand words – illustration by Frits hikingArtist.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/7649483672/.

1 Response to “The More Slides, the Better”

  1. Craig Hadden

    I admire the forthright approach here, it just comes to some doubtful conclusions, to my mind.

    I agree that most business (or academic) presenters stay on each slide for too long, with too much content on each one, and too much of it’s text.

    For a typical presentation of 30 minutes, though, showing each slide for just 10-15 seconds would mean there’d be around 150 slides. Even with just a photo or simple diagram on each, that represents some serious competition with the speaker for people’s attention.

    For discussion of a specific example, please see:
    http://wp.me/p1PHR3-G4#comment-3540

    Rather than showing dozens and dozens of simple pictures, as you suggest, I believe the answer’s to use some simple slides but also to vary their content far more (simple chart, or quote, or diagram) and even present WITHOUT slides some of the time (using a whiteboard, or video, or demo).

    As I say in the link above, a barrage of pictures can become just as tiring as a string of bullets.