Creating Effective Slides

A lecture given by Jean-luc Doumont on April 4, 2013 – Clark Center Stanford Univeristy.


Those of us who frequently attend presentations probably agree that most slides out there are ineffective, often detracting from what presenters are saying instead of enhancing their presentation. Slides have too much text for us to want to read them, or not enough for us to understand the point. They impress us with colors, clip art, and special effects, but not with content. As a sequence of information chunks, they easily create a feeling of tedious linearity. Based on Dr Doumont’s book, Trees, maps, and theorems about “effective communication for rational minds,” this lecture will discuss how to create more effective slides. Building on three simple yet solid principles, it will establish what (not) to include on a slide and why, how to optimize the slide’s layout to get the message across effectively, and how to use slides appropriately when delivering the presentation.

A truly delightful presentation on creating effective slides.

Even has three laws:

  1. Adapt to your audience
  2. Maximize the signal/noise ratio
  3. Use effective redundancy

Should be required viewing for conference presenters, at least annually.

Website with more resources: Principiæ.

I first saw this at Creating effective slides: Design, Construction, and Use in Science by Bruce Berriman.

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