Should you leave your slides behind after the talk?

One of the main themes of this website is that slides should not stand on their own, or else why are you giving an oral presentation? A slide presentation is a synergy between the audio and the visual. A visually effective slide may not have all the information and explanation needed for an audience to understand it without the spoken explanation. Usually such explanations would make the slide too busy to comprehend in a presentation format.

Often I get the statement, "but I have all this detail on the slide because I want it to stand on its own, because I'm going to leave the slides behind after the talk." Of course the consequence is that the audience won't understand the complicated slide during the presentation.

The answer is the "Notes" command found on PowerPoint or other commands in other presentation software packages. The "Notes" command allows reproduction of the slide at half size and provides space for text which you can use to (partly) compensate for the lack of spoken explanation. So if you plan on leaving your slides behind, annotate them with the "Notes" command and leave them with text explanations that compensate for your not being their to explain what is a simpler but visually more effective slide.

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