I've got three points to make, but I only have time to make one?

The title of this "tip" comes from a question I received at a recent lecture. After arguing that slide presentations have significant limitations in the amount of data that can be transmitted, a somewhat distraught audience member asked the above question.

My first answer is that if you try to convey all three points rapidly, you will probably convey none of them. Talking faster or cramming in additional content does not work in a slide presentation.

A second response is to ask if the three points are related and whether they can be synthesized into a single overarching argument. The process of presentation creation is all about synthesis, so ask yourself if you've fully integrated these three points.

Finally the last resort is to explain one of the three points and offer a teaser, "if I had more time I would give you two additional reasons..." The interested audience member will track you down after the talk.

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