Episode 17: How To Use Text To Make A Killer Impact

design_draw_speak_artwork_blogPoor use of text in presentations…it’s probably the number one contributor to ‘Death by Powerpoint’. But when used correctly, text can be very powerful!

My ‘Two Things’ about text:

  1. It should play a SUPPORTING ROLE to you, the speaker.
  2. People can’t read and listen at the same time!

5 ways that you can use text to make a killer impact:

  1. Show it or say it, but don’t do both. Is it written on the screen? Yes? Then let your audience read it. You don’t need to read it for them!
  2. Share an important point, statistic or fact through text. And when you PAUSE to let people read it, it forces them to look up and pay attention.
  3. Remove captions if it’s labelling the obvious. Your audience isn’t an idiot. If you’re showing a 3D render, you don’t need a heading underneath that says “3D render”.
  4. Use a typeface that’s BIG and BOLD.┬áCan it be read by someone in the back of the room? If not, make it bigger. Doesn’t fit on the page? You’re probably using too much text!
  5. Use text HIERARCHY. This is a great way to highlight important data.

I go into these point in more detail in the episode, so listen in to find out more!


One of the best examples I’ve seen of the effective use of text is Chip Kidd’s TED talk below. Check it out!

Here are some other great tips on how to use text by Big Fish Presentations:

What are your thoughts?