The purpose for developing the vast majority of slide shows is to support an oral presentation. Establishing or developing a relationship between the presenter and the audience is integral to the purpose of any presentation. In a sales presentation, for example, the desired outcome is to culminate in a sale. An audience does not do business with the slide show. Hopefully, however, the audience will do business with the presenter. The most important thing to understand when designing a slide show to support an oral presentation is that the slide show is supposed to support the speaker, not the other way around. The speaker should not be a footnote to the slide show.

Technical presentations entail more complex messages than nontechnical presentations. Consequently slides for technical presentations cannot adhere to such simplistic rules-of-thumb as the "seven-by-seven guideline" (i. e., maximum seven lines per slide, maximum seven words per line). Design for Effective Communication of Technical Information, however, provides techniques for accommodating complex messages. Catering to the predilections of the eye and brain helps the audience assimilate complex messages, maximizes the attention span, and minimizes audience fatigue.

I have provided graphic support for technical presentations for many years. I have designed slides for teams of engineers, each with his own stylistic idiosyncracies, and successfully projected a unified, professional corporate image. I can provide presentation consulting, slide-design services, or training in developing slides.

The video provided below was developed using Microsoft PowerPoint. I designed the slide show and generated all of the graphics from scratch.


© 2012 - Joseph A. Spitzig. All rights reserved.