Problems with Having Too Much Information on Your Visual Presentation

Posted on: 27 November 2019

While some keynote speakers take to the stage armed only with a microphone, it's common for others to have a visual presentation that appears on a stage behind them. If you've chosen the latter approach, you'll want to spend time rehearsing not only your verbal remarks but also your visual presentation, which you'll likely control with a small remote control. It can be easy to cram a lot of information into your visual slides, especially if you're passionate about the subject matter. However, having too much information appear on the screen behind may be detrimental for these reasons.

People Will Get Distracted

As a keynote speaker, you want those in the audience to be excited about what you're saying and to listen carefully. As soon as you introduce visual material, however, the amount of attention that your words are getting can drop off. As you speak, people will be inclined to read the visuals behind you. If your slides contain too much information, people can get lost in reading your words — and stop listening to you altogether. Conversely, when you keep your visuals simple — perhaps with just a few keywords or important concepts — you're less apt to lose peoples' attention.

The Words Can Be Too Small

When you cram a lot of information into each slide, you may face the unexpected challenge of the words being too small on the screen behind you. This can especially be a concern if you're working with a relatively small screen, or if you're speaking in a large venue — where audience members in the back rows will be a considerable distance from the stage. People who struggle to read your words may ask their neighbors for clarification, which can lead to distracting sounds as you speak. Concise slides will allow you to keep your font size large, making it highly visible.

There Can Be Too Many Concepts

It's often easy to be so passionate about your subject that you want to tell your audience everything you know about it. Although well-intentioned, this idea can be detrimental because it prevents you from diving too deeply into any given area. If you put a lot of content on your visuals, you run the risk of there being simply too much content on the screen behind you. This can overwhelm your audience, and you may be aware of people starting to lose focus. Being succinct with your slides will prevent such an issue from occurring.

If you follow these tips, you'll be known for your keynote speaking talent.