Why you need to think about your “Walk away” content.

Many people want to create a presentation that can also be used as a document that people can read and understand if they don’t attend the presentation, but it just won’t work. Here’s why:

  1. A presentation needs to be designed to be delivered with the aid of a speaker. Our design philosophy is that you ONLY put the key take away on the slides; the key things you want the audience to remember. The speaker should give context and meaning to the content of the slides, that’s their role and gives the audience the best understanding of the content.
  2. With a document, it is designed to stand on its own, to be self-contained in its information. The extra words on the page give the context and meaning that the speaker does in a presentation.
  3. If you try to present a document, the speaker can’t help but read what’s on the page/slide…but the audience can do that anyway, so the speaker is just a waste of time and rarely adds anything, or if they do, it’s muted at best. If you cut back the content of the document to facilitate a presentation, you cut out the material that is needed by the reader, so they don’t get the full understanding.
  4. You wouldn’t use your web page on WeChat or use a presentation as a web page. Why? Because all good communication uses the media best suited to the purpose; and it is the same here. If you try and create something that works as both, you end up with something that doesn’t work well for either. We know, we have tried numerous times.
Lee Featherby presenting in Shanghai in July ’14
Lee Featherby presenting in Shanghai in July ’14

If you want to save time, use the notes pages when you output your presentation as a leave behind. In the notes, give the detail you would normally give as the speaker. This is about the only way we have been able to minimise the time needed to create a workable leave behind without designing something specifically.


Lee Featherby (@mrpresentations)

Learn more about how to become an influential presenter https://powerfulpoints.com.au/become-influential-presenter/

Feel free to “Pick Our Brains” for 15 minutes. No obligation… we just want people to communicate better.

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English as a second language
Content, structure & visuals ALWAYS matter

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