Text on slides

text-on-slide

You can talk. That means you can say the words that appear on the slide. If you can say them, then the text is mere duplication. You can talk. That means you can say the words that appear on the slide. If you can say them, then the text is mere duplication (see how annoying this duplication is?)

As any astute businessperson will tell you, if two partners have the same set of skills, one of them is surplus to requirements and you get rid of one. In this instance I’d get rid of the text because:

You’re already there and can talk but the slides are useless without you.
You can add emphasis to your voice whereas text on a slide is deadpan.
You can add dramatic pauses to the words whereas text on a slide is wooden.
You don’t need to worry about the technology if you don’t use slides at all.

If you can do so much more with your voice, why would you choose to use a device that produces inferior results? Are you pretending to be an incompetent villain in a pantomime?

People are inherently lazy. Reading text requires more energy than listening to the spoken word. Why would you ask the audience to do more work than necessary – are you the sales prevention officer for your cause?

Reading text on a slide requires the reader to exclude all other stimuli whilst they read – including listening to the spoken word. So if you are trying to verbally explain something whilst a slide with text is being displayed you’re competing with the audiences urge to read the text. Why are you deliberately sabotaging your own message? Are you demonstrating the saying ‘shoot yourself in the foot’?

Most audiences are simply too polite to express their true opinions of your talk in such an honest way. I however, get paid to tell speakers what does and doesn’t work in a presentation. I won’t charge you for this piece of advice because I’m actually a nice guy and I want to help you (OK, I also want to experience better presentations from speakers in the future too).

THINK before you even consider using images in your talk and SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP if you’re ever tempted to put text on a slide (keep my number handy – 01924 278434).