Most people have gone through their share of Powerpoint presentations where someone is trying to communicate a set of information. Most people also seem to hate these, and get distracted or bored. I know I do.
My theory for such feeling of distaste for this sort of communication is that:
- It is easy to lose focus if the slides stay the same and the person just talks.
- As a counter example of this, short explanatory videos on Youtube (for instance) are the most popular, and often use lots of cuts and image updates to force the viewer to refocus - there is rarely text on screen, and when it does it is impactful and super short.
Now at work, it is customary to briefly update heads (who are usually there out of obligation) with short presentations. I'm advised to make equally short slides (such as 5 for 10 mins), with paragraphs of text, however I feel the previous points apply. I do not wish to do so but I cannot argue against it.
In college, I liked to keep as little text as possible (because I want people to listen, not read), changing slides to simply illustrate what I was communicating. A 10 minute presentation could easily have up to 20 slides, where I'd spend less than 30 seconds in each. While my professors seemed to enjoy them, I recognize college is something else.
So, are there any theories that reinforces that one should make slow, even text heavy slides to help communicate information effectively during a presentation? Conclusions from experience welcome.