Sticky Presentations bite size article: Communicating dates and events

Communicating dates and events

May 08, 2016

Very often we tend to fall into the trap of using a template from PowerPoint for just any type of information when we build our presentation slides. Templates are useful when used correctly. Caution is needed to be observed to ensure what we communicate is effective.

In this story, I will show you how you can communicate dates and events effectively in your presentation slides.

A fundamental principle of making an effective visual, is to show information that your audience will see instead of reading. Seeing is a lot easier on the eyes and so moving away from reading is important in the case of presentation visuals.

Let's examine the visuals below. Fig.1 is not recommended for presentation slides as it has too much information and likely the audience will not remember anything. This format also makes it difficult for the presenter to engage the audience and to keep the audience interested.

Fig.2 on the other hand is easier on the eyes. Date information is clearly shown in a more visual layout. This eliminates the tendency to read the information.

Fig.1 Not recommended Example of a template based slides that is not effective
Fig.2 Recommended A better way to show dates and events information

When dates and events span across many months, we should not squeeze them all in a single slide. Instead, break them into more slides showing only a few months on each slide. Fig.3 and Fig.4 below illustrates events that span across 8 months, displayed in 2 slides. These 2 slides can then be joined together during the presentation using the PUSH LEFT transition.

Fig.3 Project events part 1 Example slide showing schedule or timeline information
Fig.4 Project events part 2 Example slide showing schedule or timeline information continued

The PUSH LEFT transition has the effect of sliding the current slide to the left and at the same time pulling the next slide from the right of the screen displaying more information as a continuation of the current slide.

Try this approach for your next presentation and see how your audience will respond to your presentation.

The author, ANG Tian Teck is a coach, trainer, and speaker, specialising in inspiring organisations and business leaders to deliver high impact presentations. He has coached, trained, and infected over 10,000 individuals across the region with his Amazing Sticky Presentations approach. Tian Teck is also the author of two books, Sticky Presentations, and Spinning I.D.E.A.S.

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