Slides can be misused in oh so many ways. In some cases, the design of the slides is at fault.
Here’s how you can monitor for certain design elements. Pretend that you are the person stuck in the back row. Now call up your slides on the screen and assess what you see with a critical eye.
Are the colors crisp? Are the fonts large enough? Are the charts and graphs too dense?
While leading a presentation skills workshop for a corporate client recently, I asked these questions numerous times during our practice sessions. Why? Because the colors looked faded, the fonts were unreadable, and the charts demanded too much in the way of explanation.
By the end of our time together, it was heartening to hear the clients wondering, “You know, I don’t think someone sitting in the back of the room will be able to understand this.” To their credit, they went back and redesigned those pesky slides. The final product was much more attractive and made a bigger impression on the audience.
What other factors should we care about when we are that individual sitting in the back of the room?