In crafting and delivering a PowerPoint presentation, it may seem like a great strategy to introduce a slide and slowly build up to the most important and compelling point of that slide. However, paying close attention to any audience indicates that this may not hold true. In fact, you will very often notice the following pattern: at the introduction of a new slide, the audience sits up, their eyes fix on the slide, and after about 15 seconds, they begin to slouch in their seat and their eyes wander around the room until the next slide is brought up on the screen.
Contrary to popular belief and the strategy of “building up” to the powerful message of each slide, the introduction of a new slide is the best time to get your message across. It is by far the most compelling moment – there’s movement, new graphics on the screen, and the audience is curious and paying attention. This pattern repeats every time.
This, therefore, creates the perfect moment to get your slide’s message across. Never again while that particular slide is on the screen will you have the audience paying such close attention as in those first 15 seconds. The longer you speak on a particular slide, the fewer audience members are paying attention and only a fraction may get your message.
This new strategy will require practice as we have been programmed to do the exact opposite. Keep in mind, this isn’t about changing the content but rather the order of the content. So, save the best for first and get this new pattern down, and your presentations will certainly have a greater impact.