Slide Through: How to Effectively use Slideshows in your Presentation

Nov 19, 2020

Visual tools can be useful - and maybe a bit intimidating to consider - when giving a presentation. Wait a minute! You want me to add machinery and technology to my speaking skills? I’m just learning how to walk up to the podium without my knees quivering! It’s okay…take a deep breath. With a few guidelines, you can take advantage of visuals and improve your professional profile at the same time.

What type of graphics should I use? 

The simple answer is whatever improves your presentation. That basically includes graphs, charts, quotes, photographs or video clips.


How do I decide which ones to use? 

Again, whatever works. But here are the primary purposes of graphics:

  • To summarize information

  • To simplify

  • To reduce the number of words spoken by you (and even give yourself time to regroup or relax a bit)

  • To clarify certain points that you’ve made

  • To create more impact. Remember the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Our society is highly visually driven!

  • To introduce your branding

  • To enhance your credibility

What should I know about formatting and creation?

  • Only one key point per slide or picture.

  • Make your words such that they can be clearly read by the audience….24 pts font.

  • Create blanks, if needed, when you move to another point that doesn’t have a slide.

  • Keep the slide style consistent throughout, such as fonts, colors, etc.

  • Use clear and simple backgrounds. Pretty isn’t the goal, it’s - purpose.

  • Only show the portion of a video that is relevant and keep it relatively short.

A few words of caution…

Make sure your speech works without visuals…just in case of tech failures.

Face your audience MORE than you face your own graphics.

Audiences generally don’t read and listen at the same time.

Use visuals in moderation. After all, YOU are the speaker!

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