The Fear of Not Enough Slides
I just finished a slide show on opportunities in commercial energy management. As usual, I created too many slides. From more than 30 years of presentation experience, 10 slides is enough for most one-hour presentations. Too many slides forces the presenter to focus on the slides rather than on the audience. OK then, why did I create 35 slides for a 1.5-hour presentation? I think that presenters have a fear of somehow reaching at their last slide halfway through their presentation time slot. However, I’ve never exhausted my slides early in a presentation. On the contrary, I have to skip slides in the interest of time and this can be frustrating to a curious audience. Why do I create too many slides then?
Getting Your Audience Involved
I believe in asking a lot of questions when I present. This works better in small groups compared to large groups. My commercial building presentation on Tuesday afternoon at the ACI conference could last 1.5 to 2 hours. I don’t know how many people will be there. I want to try something new. I think that part of the presentation will be a sales pitch for the building solutions in my presentation. I’ll ask the audience to act as the building owners and to ask questions and state objections to my proposals. The presentation is about business opportunity after all. To realize an business opportunity, you must sell something. If this strategy works, I’ll have far too many slides. What should I do about that?
The Two-Pronged Presentation
Is there a law that says that you must read or discuss every slide? Your audiences thinks faster than you can talk. Just keep advancing the slides. They’ll process two teaching channels at once. Your speech and your audience interaction is one teaching channel and the slides are another. If you keep your slides simple, you can project two teaching channels. Don’t be a slave to your slides!