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Public Speaking: Slides: How to Make the 30 Seconds Viewing Time Work

Public Speaking: Slides: How to Make the 30 Seconds Viewing Time Work


Keep the key principle in mind—presentations are merely another form of communication.  Visual aids are an ingredient in the recipe of presentations. Visual aids make it easier to communicate complex topics.

Now for critical information for you.  The viewing time for most slides tends to be 30 seconds.  Yikes.  Not much time.  So what’s a presenter to do? Let’s get specific for that 30 second viewing time.

The Words–Tips for Optimal Power Point Type Visual Aid

  • Restrict your coverage to one idea per slide page.
  • Use as few words as possible to get your ideas across clearly.
  • Where possible, use key phrases rather than full sentences.
  • Keep text to no more than eight words per line and eight lines per aid.
  • Create concise titles that tell viewers what to look for in the slide and that reinforce your message.
  • Maintain design consistency across all slides. Use the same combinations of fonts, upper- and lower case lettering, styling (use of boldface, underlining, and italics), and spacing.
  • Use colors consistently across all slides. If an object is red in one slide and you repeat the same object in another slide, do it in the same color.
  • Apply the same style and typeface to titles throughout all slides.
  • Carry through any repeating symbols, such as logos or pictograms, across all slides.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

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Rerun from July 29, 2015

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