less is more in PowerPoint

We've all seen them, endless PowerPoint slides filled with multiple levels of bullet points. The entire speech is posted for the audience to read and then squeeze in a little shut-eye while the speaker finishes. From an aesthetics standpoint, blah. More importantly though, the speaker is doing themselves a disservice. Instead of being the superstar the speaker is sharing the spotlight with a direct competitor, the PowerPoint slides. The human mind cannot process visual and audio input at the same time. Each time the speaker puts up a new slide the audience shifts their focus from the speaker to the slide. It is in the speaker's best interest to offer a slide that can be interpreted in a split second so the entire audience shifts their focus back to the speaker. How does supergirl accomplish this daring feat? It won't be easy. Boring PowerPoint slides have been entrenched in office culture for decades. Move slowly so you don't scare anyone with your radical ideas:

1. The speech, slides and handout are 3 different things. Repeat this with me: three different things. The speaker should have a speech, a few slides to underscore key take-away points and a handout applicable for the task at hand. Supergirl hint; if you don't already know how to use the notes feature, open Help in PowerPoint and do a keyword search for "add notes".

2. Start each PowerPoint presentation from scratch. Avoid reusing old files as much as possible. Opening the old files gives the speaker permission to recycle all of those slides and you lose a lot of ground.

3. There is no law commanding each slide to have a title and body. Remember, key take away points that can be interpreted by the audience rapidly. One sentence, max. Seriously, if you can make it shorter, do it. The speaker should be in the spotlight, not the slides.