If you use Powerpoint either when pitching, lecturing or presenting, a few principles and tips to keep in mind when using type on a slide:

Don’t read the words.

It is bad enough that people use Powerpoint as a sort of teleprompter.

Much worse that you don’t trust the audience enough to read what you wrote.

If you want them to read the precise words, stand quietly until they do.

If you want to paraphrase the words, that can work.

When you read your slides, this is what your audience sees:

  • Back of your head;
  • No eye contact;
  • Excessive movement;
  • Bad posture;
  • No storytelling.

When you pitch, people listen to you.

When you introduce slides with lots of text, people start reading the text, their focus shifts from you to slides and in the process they stop listening to you.

In essence, when you introduce slides with text, you introduce your own competition to your pitch.

People can read and they read faster than you can read for them. But they can’t read and listen to you at the same time.

Your slides are not the presentation, you are.

You should be able to do your presentation without slides.


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