Presentation slides once evoked the images of disconnected overdone slides that either made your eyes bleed from too much going-ons or made them close from sheer boredom. But one look at the presentation slides on SlideShare, the world’s largest community for sharing presentations, shows you that presentation slides can be an engaging, fun, and gorgeous communication tool.
Proving that point, Kapost recently published this fantastic slide show of tips from SlideShare enthusiasts—such as Jonathon Colman of Facebook, and Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners, and Michael Brenner of SAP—who make creative and entertaining slideshows.
(Disclosure: I’m in the presentation… and blown away to be among such amazing people.)
What strikes me as the most important aspect of the slideshow is its emphasis on the readers. The advice was not about how to best pitch your company or how to show off your assets… but the advice focused on what readers want in a slideshow (such as readability, quick info, crisp images), how to best honor the readers’ time (such as in giving them a reason to look at your presentation), and how to make information beautiful for them via captivating images and ideas.
Your presentation should honor the time that a reader has given you. Even if you only receive a glance, make sure the glance makes the time worthwhile to the viewer. Think I’m exaggerating? Remember when you were in high school and had a huge crush on someone. Can you recall how much work you put into your clothes, your hair, your fragrance, everything when you knew you’d have a .0000001% chance of seeing your crush that day?
You made the most of the time given to you—even if just a split-second look. And you packed that moment with all you had to transform that cursory glance into a conversation and eventually a relationship.
The same is true with your time on SlideShare. No one owes your presentation a look. Unfortunately, myriad slideshows forget that very fact. The slapped-together-eye-killing-text-overkill slides tell the reader, “I’m complicated. I’m self-absorbed. And I don’t care a fig about you.”