Here’s another true story, possibly even an Oscar candidate in the “wrong answer to a good question” category.
One of my colleagues – let’s call him John – was recently presenting at an industry seminar. With more than 200 experts and potential customers in the audience, the speaker had a great stage for promoting our company’s vision and portfolio. The event turned out to be a big success and John’s message was well received.
Actually, the content of his talk was outstanding. But, during the after-event debrief, there was this one comment about “too much text on the slides and too small font sizes.” As I was sitting in the back of the room, I can acknowledge that a pair of binoculars would indeed have been a good thing to bring along.
When confronted with the poor readability of his visuals, John’s reaction was unexpected and wrong:
“Well, when we come back next year, we should probably ask the organizers to install a larger projection screen…”
In my humble opinion, a more straightforward – and easier solution – might have been to put fewer words on the slides, and to increase the font size of the remaining text. And to follow Guy Kawasaki’s advice:
“The reason people use a small font is twofold: first, that they don’t know their material well enough; second, they think that more text is more convincing. Total bozosity. Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well.”
Size matters, John, also for your presentation fonts!