Do you love using bullets? Are you bullet-crazy? Well there has been some evidence that shows why bullets are not always the best choice. The research work of professional public speaker, Chris Atherton, in which she tested the effectiveness of using two types of PowerPoint slides in presentations, has proven this.
Using two groups of students, the first experimental group attended a typical bullet form Power Point presentation with a few diagrams. The second group attended a Power Point presentation using “sparse slides”, – still utilizing the same diagrams and visuals. Each presentation had the same auditory content and narrative. Chris tested the students for recall with multiple choice questions and short essays.
Working with a group of independent people, Chris identified 30 themes in the presentation. The essays were marked by counting the number of themes included in their essays.
The students that had experienced the presentations with sparse slides recalled more than 100 per cent compared to the students that viewed the traditional bullet point slides. That is more than double the amount of information retained!
So what can you take from this? As a result of the experiments, It is quite clear; less is more. It will benefit your presentation, as well as the audience to use less information on each slide and increase the use of graphics. This way messages are still clear and concise.
I personally like to use the KISS method: Keep it Simple and Succinct. So give yourself a KISS for Valentine’s Day!