Less is more

Today I undertook an exercise in trying to get a complicated message across in just two PowerPoint slides without resorting to smaller fonts.

The slides had to stand alone and persuade the senior management audience without any voiceover. What made this challenge more significant was that my original presentation was 14 slides.

We are bombarded with data every day, and we can be tempted towards information overload when given the unlimited canvas of PowerPoint, so maybe two slides isn’t such a bad practice?

What did I learn in the process?

  • two slides did get the message across and it was easily digested
  • I had to be creative with the slides
    • coloured panels (to separate thought group)
    • brief bullets (three or four words is a challenge, but can create powerful statements)

More than the obvious, I learned that it is possible to abbreviate without losing sense, to condense without losing meaning, and to reduce without losing impact.

Detail rightly has its place – and yesterday’s blog was all about ensuring complete communication – but in other places I am now convinced that less can certainly be more.