In rethinking your strategies for slides and how they can support your technical work better, be willing to consider using sentence headers for even the most mundane of tasks. This set of Before-and-After slides are modeled after those from a colleague’s efforts to re-invent information sharing at his engineering firm. (Identifying information has been scrubbed due to proprietary considerations, but the structure of the template is intact.)
In this Before slide, we see a “traditional” approach to slide design.
It is a fragmented affair. In truth, the content probably made perfect sense to the speaker when he created it; this kind of slide is working more as a speech aid (a teleprompter) rather than a useful visual for the audience members. The header is a fragment, and so is everything else. As well, there is quite a bit of cross-referencing to do: each section + each indicator + form + sample. If engineering is about elegance and efficiency, let’s put those principles to work on the structure of information.
Upon considering the methods that we recommend in the Slide Rules book, his approach changed and dramatically improved the delivery method. The sentence header now conveys the ONE main idea that he wanted his audience to hear, and it includes persuasive language, targeted for that audience. (See Chapter 5.)
As well, the improved visual cleanly outlines the parts number scheme for his colleagues. (We cover strategies for visuals in chapters 6-9 in the Slide Rules book.)
An added bonus is how he deployed concrete, additional information in the notes pane of the slide.
Here, he archived all additional information needed for someone who missed the talk or who will access the archived information later.
Using notes is a strong strategic move in organizations that use slides as legacy pieces (see Chapter 10).
This, and much more is covered in Slide Rules, available in paperback and e-book formats.