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The Virginia Engineer's Guest Articles

No More Mind-Numbing Number Slides

September, 2006

No More Mind-Numbing Number Slides:
5 Easy Steps to Bring Your Presentation to Life

By Jerry Weissman

Business people are perpetually faced with the challenge of one of life’s greatest burdens: presenting number slides without numbing their audiences into a soporific stupor. This narcoleptic effect is the result of four common missteps perpetrated by most presenters:

The presenter starts each slide by saying, “Now I’d like to talk about…” forcing the audience to re-start the presentation with each slide. The presenter reads the words on the slide verbatim, causing the audience to feel patronized and become resentful, thinking “I can read it myself!”

The presenter discusses the general subject of the slide without referencing the specifics on the slide, splitting what the audience sees and what they hear, forcing them to dart back and forth between the screen