Presentation Style: Lots of Slides or Few?

Published 14 January 05 09:26 AM | Scott Mitchell

I'll be speaking at the Spring 2005 ASP.NET Connections Conference this year and am putting together the final touches on my three sessions. As I've blogged about before, I'm quite verbose in my writing, and that translates a bit to my PowerPoint presentations - that is, I use a lot of slides. A lot more than some others use.

In some 60-90 minute presentations I've seen, the presenter has, maybe, 10 slides. Each slide has a series of very high-level bullet points and the speaker delves into each bullet point with, perhaps, three or five minutes of talking. There may also be lengthy demos that don't have any corresponding slides, but take up another five or ten minutes of the talk.

Compare that to my typical approach. For a 90 minute talk I might have 50-75 slides, obviously containing a finer level of detail than the aforementioned style. Oftentimes I embed my demo in slides - I still go to Visual Studio .NET, use a browser, etc., but in the slides I have code snippets, screenshots, and so forth. The benefit of this (at least in my eyes, what do you think?) is that the slide deck is self-containing in a way. When someone goes back to work at the end of the conference (or user group talk or training session or what have you), they can use the slides as a reference that actually has some level of detail. My concern is that too many slides proves too distracting, that people might not like the near-constant slide flipping (got to average about 60 seconds per slide).

Thoughts? Comments? What's your preferred presentation style?


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