Ah, it has come to this! There is always a point, in any blog in the creative industry, when the creativity runs a little dry. At that point, it always seems that a venting happens and the inevitable “Sh*t our clients say” comes out.
Seems like we’ve reached that point.
Not quite – we’ve been gathering up some of these examples as a way of illustrating why these are bad ideas and what the theory is behind the why. Here are four of our favourite things our clients ask us to do and the reasons why we push back. Hard.
“Take the image off. This one will work better with just text I think.”
Nope. No, it won’t. Not at all. It will tank. And if it’s bullet-pointed text, it will work against you.
No matter what the last fancy personality test you did says, we are visual creatures. Sure, you use your eyes to read words, but you process them with a single channel in your brain. When you look at an image, you process it with the channel of your brain that deals with images PLUS the same channel you use for words. That’s because your brain also works out what word names the picture.
When the brain processes those images, it means people are 65% likely to remember your point three days later. Those words you want by themselves only get remembered 10% of the time.
“Let’s just simplify this by combining these three slides into one.”
Let’s not. Ever. Combining things onto one slide simplifies nothing. It clutters the single slide and makes it a nightmare. When people see over-stuffed slides, they die inside. When they die inside, you die up the front of the room.
Keep slides simple and lessen the cognitive load on people. Keep those three slides, if you need to make those points, and move through them quickly. Momentum and pace gets an audience’s attention and creates a feeling of energy.
“Can you make that text block spin?”
We will not do that for you. We will scoop our eyes out with spoons before we do that for you. And that’s because spinning text is distracting. If the text is worth putting on the slide, it's worth giving people the time to read it. People all tackle text at different speeds and your spinning text can be frustrating.
If you are worried that its boring and needs movement, look at the composition of the slide and the way you are presenting it.
If you want movement and animation, great. Insert a short motion graphic into the presentation. That’s great. It breaks things up for your audience and lets you take a break.
“I’m just a little worried that the slides are light on detail.”
Congratulations! You’ve found our secret. They are. On purpose. Because the slides are only part of the presentation. They support it.
All they should have on there are the key points. You can elaborate more when you are talking.
People will remember a bit over half of what happens in a presentation at best. If you’ve got detail, put it elsewhere – a white paper, a website, or a ring-binder full of detail.
The purpose of a great presentation is to move people to action, to make them want to find out more. Not to turn them off.
Here’s hoping that this has empowered you not to make the same mistakes yourself when you come to your next presentation. Better still, you can get in touch with us and trust the process. We’ll have you looking outstanding.