Friday, September 28, 2012

Never use a "Questions?" slide in your presentation

Most presenters do this. Give a presentation, finishing with a "questions?" slide. Except, that's a really bad idea.

You give a talk at a conference? You have 20, maybe 45 minutes to get your topic into the mind of the audience? Then don't let your audience stare at "Questions?" for 10, 20 minutes (however long the question time takes). Even if there are no questions, it usually takes a few minutes for applause, saying thanks and until you leave the podium. And the whole time your audience is staring at a meaningless word.

So, skip the useless "Questions?" slide. You can invite your audience to ask questions without it too. The whole point of being a speaker is that you're allowed to also say things that are not on the slides.

Finish with a slide that reminds your audience what you just talked about. A summary of the talk, the one point you really wanted to drive home. Maybe even a joke, if you have one that gets the point across.

And your contact details. It gives those without questions enough time to write it down.