Slides Are Harmony

Funny thing about this thing we call a “presentation”. Usually our first thought when we’re getting ready to give one, besides the possible dread or stress, is the visuals, the slides that will be on the screen.

The PowerPoint guys have convinced us that visuals are what makes the presentation, that no presentation is complete without them. But they’re wrong.

I was talking about this with a friend recently, and he had a great metaphor that helps give a good perspective about visuals. He said that, if you think of your presentation as a song, slides are like harmonies in your presentation. Visuals serve to add texture to the song, but they don’t overshadow the melody.

The melody, of course, is what you, the presenter, are saying. If your slides do a good job, they’ll amplify the story you’re telling, they’ll help you emphasize certain notes. The slides on their own are incomplete, like a karaoke track, missing the lead vocals that make the song.

Here you see slides from a presentation I gave last week, covering some of the content from 10Tips. The slides are really difficult to decipher once the melody is removed!

During your next presentation, make sure the melody takes center stage!

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