presentations

Consider the lighting conditions

Dig­i­tal pre­sen­ta­tions are infa­mous for their ter­ri­ble typog­ra­phy. But I blame those who cre­ate the default tem­plates for these pro­grams. The qual­i­ties that make these lay­outs cheer­ful and attrac­tive on your lap­top often make them intol­er­a­ble to an audi­ence.

Why is that? When you’re writ­ing your pre­sen­ta­tion, you’re prob­a­bly sit­ting in a well-lit space, look­ing at your slides on a rel­a­tively small screen. In that con­text, slides with bright back­grounds and large type are fine. Your audi­ence, how­ever, will likely be in a dim room, view­ing the slides at a much larger size. To them, the bright back­grounds and large type will be as pleas­ant as star­ing into a flash­light.

This insight yields a sim­ple tip that will improve any pre­sen­ta­tion: choose typog­ra­phy for your pre­sen­ta­tion based on the size and light­ing con­di­tions where it will be dis­played.

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