PRODUCING YOUR SLIDES
Suppose that by now you have your story as an outline or as a mind map, or maybe just written as plain text. What's next? Now you get to the slides. This is the process that I typically follow:
- Reproduce the story in your presentation software—PowerPoint, Keynote, or whatever you are using: One slide per message, text only.
- Decide what you want to see on the slides on a very basic conceptual level: Text or visuals? What kind of visuals? Some people sketch their slides on paper at this stage. I don't, but only because my drawing skills are terrible and my Keynote skills are very good, so it makes more sense for me to sketch in Keynote, or a similar program.
- Define the overall style for the presentation: Colors, fonts, backgrounds, textures, and so on.
- Finalize the slides: Draw the diagrams, find the pictures, place the text, and so on.
Before you get to the process, however, I want to address one very important question first: Why design slides at all? Why can't you just say what you need to say and be off? Why spend hours tinkering with fonts and line widths when this time could be spend on other worthwhile activities?
There are four functions for the slides, four reasons why they are well worth your time. (There may be more, but these are the most important.)
- First of all, slides are used to remind the speaker what to say next. If they are passed to the audience after the talk, they also remind the audience what the speaker said. Text slides usually do ...