10 Simple Rules for Making Good Slides
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?
- Use fewer words
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Show your data (remember this all important data science video).
- 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.
- Every graphic on the slide is “up to code” (see here for a figure checklist).
- Remove every pixel that does not further your point (such as irrelevant jokes)
- 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.
- Have an acknowledgements slide, thanking those who have helped, ideally with pictures to remind people that these are humans.