Despite the frequent criticism of using slides when presenting, in general it is still a very useful tool for enhancing both the understanding and the impact of the presentations we make.

That said, we must very carefully consider which slides to actually include in our presentation. We should follow the “less is more” philosophy – not only in the way the slides are designed (less text), but also in terms of which slides we should maybe just skip altogether. And why not begin with two of the widely considered “need to have” slides:

Firstly, why do you need to introduce your presentation by showing a slide about your organisation?  Most audiences don’t really care – they want to hear you telling them something interesting, which will provide them with new insights or inspiration – especially in the beginning of your presentation, when attention is high. Moreover, it is not good style to begin a conversation by talking about yourself, so don’t be afraid to skip it – in all probability nobody will miss it.

The second “need to have” slides to let go is the agenda slide. While it does provide some meaning to let the audience know which points you will cover, it is still more focused on you (and what you will say during your presentation) than on them. Most people in the audience will anyway forget your agenda as soon as you move on, and – even worse – don’t try to remind them by inserting so-called bumper slides during your presentation to show which points you have covered and what comes next. This is as irritating and irrelevant as the “coming up next on CNN” kind of messages.

Most audiences don’t need too much handholding – just get on with it, tell them something interesting and useful, and then you will make an impact!

We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: www.bcw-sport.com