Awesome Slides

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(complete summary of the video)

Make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them. Create slides that demonstrate, with emotional proof, that what you’re saying is true not just accurate.

Seth Godin

We’ve all seen bad PowerPoint slides…you know what I’m talking about…the ones that instantly make you want to either fall asleep or run screaming from the room! Sort of like this:

Please don’t use these…ever!

This type of slide creates something called “Cognitive Overload” (Fenesi, B., 2011; Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R., 2003).

Cognitive Overload happens because your brain can either read text or listen to someone talking, it can’t do both and do them well.

Your brain will automatically decide “I choose to read the slide and ignore the presenter” or “I choose to listen to the presenter and ignore the slide”.

What your brain can do REALLY well is process images. In fact, your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text! So your brain will automatically think “I am listening to the presenter and watching images that are reinforcing what the presenter is saying, wow are they ever a smart presenter!” Or something like that…

Slides should animate and support what you are saying, because you are the star of the show, not your slides.

So instead of creating a slide like this:


You could create a slide like this:


Tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make your graphics prominent, and meaningful.
  2. Use very little text (Seth Godin says no more than 6 words per slide).
  3. Use new fonts – you aren’t limited to Ariel or Calibri (just make sure they are embedded in your file)
  4. Don’t use bulleted text or any other PowerPoint template.
  5. Something is happening on screen every 3-5 seconds, or go dark (loosely related to Chekhov’s Gun).
  6. Use animation sparingly and smartly, it’s meant to highlight not dominate.

Check out some examples of Awesome Slides!

more info about why the brain loves images: