Another thought from the last High Impact Presentations program about PowerPoint.

When creating your message, you essentially have three types of element at your disposal:

  • Visual elements
  • Auditory elements
  • Words

In the High Impact Presentations program, we help participants design their presentations. During that process, we’ve seen slides that look more like a PowerPoint ebook with a fancy background. Keep in mind that PowerPoint is a visual medium. You can convey much more feeling and power by employing visual images and photos over using words alone.

PowerPoint Design Tip

Here’s a quick guideline when designing your PowerPoint slides:

If you really need to use words, the recommendation we use is the 6X6 rule. That is, 6 words per line, 6 lines per slide.

Just remember, your audience has to read your words. Reading is a linear process, and that takes time.

People process visual imagery holistically and it’s done much faster than reading words. Let the slides deliver the full impact of the message quickly with visual drawings and photos.

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using pictures on a screen can make a bigger and longer-lasting impression over words alone.