3 quick tips for better slides, by @NancyDuarte [Video]

Pad of unused, vividly coloured sticky notesIf you’d like 3 quick tips for making better slide presentations, here’s a 2-minute video inspired by Nancy Duarte, and made by HBR (Harvard Business Review):

See the video

The 3 tips are:

  1. Outline your deck on sticky notes first [0:30].
  2. Use diagrams to replace bullets [1:22].
  3. Reduce animation [2:00].

And those tips give you these benefits:

  1. Sticky notes help you in 3 ways:
    • They keep each point highly focused, which makes your message easier for people to understand.
    • They make it easy to reorder your slides.
    • They help you focus on your message (rather than on software features).
  2. Diagrams let you convey a richer message, yet they’re also easier for your audience to absorb than slides full of text.
  3. Reducing animation helps your audience focus on the meaning of your message (instead of being distracted by meaningless movement).


My view on the tips

Sticky notes

I must admit, I’ve never used sticky notes to outline a slide deck. But I certainly agree with working out the flow of ideas before creating each slide’s content. So I tend to rough out the flow either on a single piece of paper or in Outline View in PowerPoint (or even in Word).


I’m a big believer in using true visuals (like diagrams, charts or photos) rather than text.


I also strongly agree about making animation meaningful – using it to help people follow what you’re saying. For instance, I wrote before about showing 1 point at a time, and about subtly animating a quote to highlight its main point.


Over to you

Have you ever used any of the tips from the video? What other tips do you rely on for making slideshows?


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