My favorite book on making slides is Slide:ology, and my favorite website on the topic is how to give a talk. I also like to follow the following checklist, which I find helpful. I realize there are only nine, maybe somebody can propose a tenth?


  1. Use fewer words
  2. There are no full sentences on slides. Slides are visual cues to remind you and the audience where you are, full grammatical sentences are not necessary.
  3. There are no more than 3 bullet points per slide. Each slide “should” contain a single concise point, you can say more, but more words will distract.
  4. If a slide has a title, it is an “action title”, meaning that if somebody were to read merely the titles of your slides, they would understand your message.


  1. Show your data (remember this all important data science video).
  2. No more than two slides in a row utterly lacking a visualization or graphic. Your slides “should” be visually compelling, to support your auditorily compelling narrative.
  3. Every graphic on the slide is “up to code” (see here for a figure checklist).


  1. Remove every pixel that does not further your point (such as irrelevant jokes)
  2. Have 1 slide per 1 minute of talking, and plan to speak for 65%-75% of the minutes allocated to you, to help make you finish sooner than you are done.
  3. Have an acknowledgements slide, thanking those who have helped, ideally with pictures to remind people that these are humans.