I’ve seen it again and again. Someone is giving a PowerPoint presentation and hits a dense slide that literally slows the talk to a crawl. Eyes glaze over and Blackberrys come out.
The secret is this — the slide must work for you, not the other way around! There’s no need to cover every point on a slide, particularly a complex one, as you can safely assume your listeners have looked at them all the first few seconds the slide went up. Find the point orpoints on the slide that directly relate to the story you’re trying to tell overall and simply ignore the rest. You must do this, otherwise this one slide can threaten your whole presentation.
Yes, sometimes it does seem there’s no one single point that relates to the slide that came before and the one that is to follow. In this case, the problem is not you. It’s the slide. Either it is misplaced or misconceived. It has to go.
Follow this approach with the entire presentation and you’ll have a fast-moving, compelling talk that will not put people to sleep.