How Many Slides does it take to make $1 million?

The business world has been exposed to just about every PowerPoint template there is. The fact is, PowerPoint slides are beginning to replace the presenter.  But, people don’t buy ideas or products from PowerPoint slides.  People are persuaded by people.  Take Bryan Stevenson, for example.

Bryan’s 2012 TED talk drew the largest standing ovation in TED history.  But there’s more.  After his talk, the TED attendees donated over $1 million to fund his campaign to end the practice of putting children in adult jails and prisons (through his nonprofit, the Equal Justice Initiative).

How many PowerPoint slides do you think Stevenson used?


Now, you don’t have to be a TED presenter or eliminate every one of your PowerPoint slides to achieve this kind of result.  However, many business presenters we work with have maximized their most powerful visual aid, themselves, by being mindful of these simple strategies.

Show Up to the Conversation

Thinking “conversation” instead of “presentation,” will help you be more approachable, engaging, and real when you speak.  If you watch Stevenson’s presentation even for a few minutes, you will notice immediately that he comes across as if he’s talking to a friend across the table.  You too can you make this happen by…Beginning and ending your presentation with you — not a fancy PowerPoint slide

  • Beginning and ending your presentation with you — not a fancy PowerPoint slide
  • Blanking the screen when you want the audience to focus on you
  • Looking at your audience, not the screen
  • Injecting your passion for the topic into the stories and data you share

Create Slides that Aid, Not Invade, Your Presentation

  • Replace text with images whenever possible
  • Use 24 point font or larger for body text, and 32 point font for headers
  • Consider the 1:2 ratio–no more than 1 slide for every 2 minutes of presentation
  • Become a friend of white space and keep slides clutter free

One more thing. If you become more and more accustomed to being your presentation’s best visual aid, you will always be ready to shine, even if technology fails.


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