The Power of Minimalism: Why Less is More in PowerPoint Presentations
Today I want to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart – minimalist PowerPoint presentations.
As a designer and creative professional, I have sat through my fair share of presentations. I've seen some great ones, and I've seen some not-so-great ones. And one thing I've noticed repeatedly is that the best presentations are the ones that use minimal text.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "But Matt, isn't the whole point of a presentation to convey information? And isn't text the best way to do that?" And to that, I say, "not necessarily."
The problem with text-heavy presentations is that they can be overwhelming and exhausting for the audience. When you cram a slide full of text, people will naturally try to read it all, which means they're not actually listening to you. And when they're not listening to you, they're not engaging with your message.
On the other hand, a minimalist presentation with just a few keywords or phrases on each slide can be much more effective. Not only does it allow the audience to focus on what you're saying, but it also gives them the space to think about and process the information you're presenting.
Now, I'm not saying that you should never use text in your presentations. There are certainly times when it's necessary. But when you do use text, be intentional about it. Ask yourself, "does this text add value to my message? Or am I just using it as a crutch?" If it's the latter, consider whether there's a better way to convey that information – perhaps through a graphic or a chart.
Here's an example of a lengthy paragraph that could be condensed into a shorter amount of text:
Original text: "Our company is a dynamic, innovative, and customer-focused organisation dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality products and services. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to delivering customised solutions that meet every client's unique needs, and we are constantly striving to improve our processes and procedures to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry. By leveraging the latest technology and industry best practices, we can deliver superior results and exceed our client's expectations every time."
Condensed text: "We are a customer-focused company committed to delivering customised solutions using the latest technology and industry best practices to exceed our client's expectations."
Here's one way to condense the text into bullet points:
Committed to delivering customised solutions
Utilise the latest technology and industry best practices
Exceed clients' expectations
That's quite different!
But now, you still need to get the crutch you had set for yourself. Let's add a bit of context to help.
Customer-focused company: We prioritise the needs of our clients and strive to provide them with the best possible experience.
Customised solutions: We understand that every client has unique needs and requirements, and we tailor our solutions to meet those needs.
Utilise the latest technology and industry best practices: We stay up-to-date with our industry's latest tools and techniques to consistently deliver the highest quality products and services.
Exceed clients' expectations: We don't just aim to meet our client's expectations - we aim to exceed them in every way possible.
Ok, not huge, but better than what we started with. Leave that on the screen, but here's the trick. Make use of the notes built into PowerPoint and accompany a note for each bullet:
Our company is committed to providing exceptional customer service, and we make that clear from the beginning by stating that we are a customer-focused company.
One of the ways we deliver on that promise is by providing customised solutions to our clients. We recognise that no two clients are the same, and we work hard to ensure that our solutions meet their unique needs.
We stay up-to-date with the latest technology and industry best practices to provide the best products and services. This helps us ensure that our clients are receiving the best possible solutions.
Finally, we always aim to exceed our client's expectations. We can build solid and lasting relationships with our clients by going above and beyond what is expected of us.
In short, the next time you're putting together a PowerPoint presentation, think about the power of minimalism. Remember that less is often more and that the goal of your presentation should be to engage and inspire your audience. So keep it simple, keep it clean, and above all, keep it memorable.