Text-Laden Slides Sink Webinars

December 04, 2014    |    Brad Holst

I just sat through, yet, another disappointing webinar.
The presentation slides were so densely packed with text that it felt like a group reading exercise.

I quickly grew bored, lost focus, and went into multi-tasking mode. On a positive note, I did catch up on my email. But for the organization hosting the webinar, it was a waste of time and money. A lost opportunity.

The tragedy is that I’d been very interested in the webinar topic. But the “bad practice” of putting too much text on slides negated the value of the content and the credibility of the presenter.

Want to ensure your next virtual presentation won’t sink under the weight of text overload?

Here are three actionable tips you can implement immediately.

1. Think in pictures.
Want to grab and keep your audience’s attention? Abandon the traditional bullet-point driven slide template. 
Instead, use intuitive graphics, interesting pictures, and a creative yet simple layout — all of which make it easy for your audience to stay focused and engaged.

2. Put text into "sound bites."
Text can add value to your webinar slides. But, unless you’re showing a quote, there’s no need for complete sentences.  Instead, put text into a minimal number of short, high-impact, easy-to-process “sound bites.”  

3. Move slides briskly.

Your slides are the audience’s only source of visual engagement. That means, in order to hold your audience’s attention, the visual cadence of your webinar should be brisk.  The ideal pace is to have some kind of slide movement — a meaningful animation, annotation, or slide transition — every 20 to 45 seconds.   

Thirsty for more? Download Best Practices for Excellent Presentations in a Virtual World to help you prepare for and deliver webinars that wow your audience — everything from crafting your story and image selection to using technology effectively and handling Q&A with ease.  

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