Show them what you mean.

Your visuals are an AID to your presentation. It is not the presentation itself. In his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo, he describes how Steve Jobs doesn’t solely rely on fancy sounds and transition for his presentations to WOW! his audience. Some slides have only one word on them. Some slides have only one picture. His presentation is more than his slides.

Think about your visual aids. When you are communicating a point, follow these three (3) simple steps:

  1. Keep it simple – Your audience should understand your point within the first 10 seconds of looking at the slide. No tables. No paragraphs. Think basic graphs and pictures. If they have to read something on the slide, you have already lost them. They are there to listen to you, not read slides.
  2. Know Your Audience – If it is a small group, think about handing out something for them to touch. Remember: Keynote (Apple) and PowerPoint (Microsoft) slides are not the only visual aids available.
  3. Practice – This is true in every part of your presentation. When you know the presentation inside and out, you don’t have to keep turning around to look at the next slide. You don’t have to read the slide. You can better connect with the audience.

Remember: The best speakers in the world, don’t use slides at all. You are your presentation, not your visual aid. The audience came to see YOU, not your slides. If all the audience wanted was the slides / data / information, they would have waited for the book or journal article.


Pictures first. Graphs second. Bullet points last.

And NEVER use generic clip art.

Next Week: Scientifically Speaking…Question and Answer