Less Is More: Ways To Reduce Text From Your Powerpoint Slides

Whether we do or don’t know too much about Powerpoint slides, one thing that people know universally is that the amount of text should be kept to a minimum. Gone are those slides with paragraphs and paragraphs of information, leaving the reader darting between information on the slide and the speaker, possibly missing both in the process.

But what can one do if there is so much information on your page, and you are tasked with making a presentation? Here are some tips to reduce the text density on your slides, to make a better presentation.

RANK YOUR ARGUMENTS

When one makes powerpoints, it is important to have one’s priorities straight. Oftentimes presentations are made to substantiate points and give proof to investors / students. Here, one can get carried away into citing as many proofs as come to us, thinking it helps our case. When it comes to arguments, choose quality over quantity. And so, when looking to eliminate text, rank your arguments from the best to the worst and only keep the top few (ideally 3). By ranking the importance of the arguments you make in the essay, you can eliminate ones which aren’t as important as others, keeping the essay strong while removing large portions of writing.

THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING

Once you determine what the important arguments are for your essay, read through it looking for any paragraphs or sentences that fail to address your main argument(s) or topic. It’s easy to accidentally go off on tangents when writing, and eliminating these tangents can help reduce word count. The more focused you can remain on your topic and arguments, the more concise your writing will be

PLAY WITH VOICE

Try to write using active voice instead of passive voice. In general, active voice is better than passive voice because it is easier to read and avoids potential dangling modifiers, which can make writing unclear. Active voice also typically requires fewer words to convey your ideas. For example:

Passive voice: It was found that protein X activated transcription of gene Y. (11 words)

Active voice: Protein X activated transcription of gene Y. (7 words)

EDIT RUTHLESSLY

Some words in sentences are overused and can be done without. Words like the, that, etc. and long phrases can replaced with shorter words or just removed altogether.

Eliminate unnecessary adverbs. Often, adverbs make their way into writing and other times, multiple adjectives are used when one (or none at all) would suffice. These can all be removed to make the text succinct.

Sometimes articles at the start of sentences can be gotten rid of relatively safely. For example, consider the following:

The invisible reins around her neck tightened another notch. (9 words)

Invisible reins around her neck tightened another notch. (8 words)