Slide design tips: How many slides?
A frequent question I get in training is: “How many slides should I put in my presentation?”
My top slide design tip: The number of slides is not nearly as important as creating a clear message that people can hear and act on. Everything in your presentation (what you see and hear) should support or illustrate your message, not be a something you read.
The main concern should be about the core message of your presentation, the audience take-away. Once this idea is clear, and you know how you want to say it, then (and only then) create your deck. The number is not as important as the following design elements:
- A clear message running through the presentation
- Audeince focussed
- Effective content that supports the message
- Simple slides (not cluttered)
- One congruent message/idea per slide
- Finish within time
So the question should be in Slide design : Do they add to my message, or are have my slides become my message?
An easy rule of thumb is one slide per 2-3 minutes, but only if they help you make your point and still comply to the “think billboard rule”.
Some presentations will have a deck of 5 for 10 minutes of talking (e.g. a process with 5 steps – 1 per step). Others, due to the complexity of the concept may have 1 slide per 10 minutes talking (e.g. financial graphs/charts with each project appearing one at a time).
- This pie chart could be used as an overview. A quick illustration of how the different projects add to the organisation’s health (1 slide = +/- 2 minutes of talking).
- Alternately each pie segment could be brought in one at a time and the relevant projects discussed (1 slide= +/- 10 minutes of talking).
It is not about the number of slides, but the impact of the Slide design
Latest posts by Richard Riche (see all)
- Harnessing the power of psychological safety at work - 2 January 2019
- 5 keys to creating sustainable continuous improvement - 19 November 2018
- Using organisational voice to support Change Communication - 28 September 2018