Dew Recommends: Keep Your Presentations Simple

While I certainly love Apple products (as we speak, I can’t wait for my new iPhone to arrive), I especially enjoy watching their brilliant product launch presentations.

Woman Giving a Presentation - Keep Your Presentations Simple

Forbes recently posted a great article called 10 Presentation Techniques You Can (And Should) Copy From Apple’s WWDC Keynote. No matter how large your audience, you can use some of these techniques to keep your presentations simple.

Here’s the list:

  1. Stick to one theme per slide.
  2. Make data visual.
  3. Always avoid bullet points.
  4. Share the stage.
  5. Stick to the 10-minute rule.
  6. Have a chip on your shoulder every now and then.
  7. Create a Twitter-friendly headline and repeat it twice.
  8. Practice. A lot.
  9. Show your team some love.
  10. Make your presentations public.

Avoid Bullet Points

I could easily discuss all 10, but one change I’ve made in my presentations and LOVE is #3:

There are no bullet points on Apple slides. There are images and text (sometimes on the same slide), but no bullet points. Bullets are the least effective way of transmitting information on a slide. It simply adds too much clutter to the screen and forces the audience to read too many words as the presenter is talking. Most people can’t listen to someone speak, read text at the same time, and expect to retain anything!

Like most of you, I have been forced to sit through countless awful presentations with far too many words on the screen (I call this “throwing up on the audience via PowerPoint”).

I was fortunate to have a great mentor early in my career who forced me to limit the amount of words on my slides. Over the years, I continued to push myself to make my slides even simpler.

This year I switched to 1 thought per slide, no bullets points, and no more than 5 words. In fact, I’ve really grown to LOVE one word slides and I try to use them whenever possible.

One More Thing

And in the words of the late Steve Jobs, here’s one more thing:

The best way to keep your presentations simple? Don’t use slides at all! Whenever possible (like when my audience is less than 25 people), I have done away with slides altogether. I’ve found that using a white board (or nothing at all) can be a great way to make sure my audience is always focused on me and my message.

Read the entire Forbes article here…

Watch the latest Apple keynote here…

Until next time – go sell some stuff!


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