In every client project, I try to get rid of the dreaded summary page in front of the presentation. Instead, I give a very clear description of what we are actually talking about, and a teaser of what the presentation is going to show.

Here is a check list of things I regularly see on first pages.

  • It is written in font size 8, in looooong sentences that stretch over the screen (especially on 16:9 wide screens)
  • It is an invitation to tell the entire story (too detailed for a summary, but not detailed enough to cover the content correctly)
  • It is written in chronological order, then we did this, then we did that, then we did this, rather than an order that makes sense to the audience
  • The same point / bit of information is repeated multiple times
  • It is loaded with quantitative data, but because of the text format, this data is impossible to understand / relate to each other
  • It contains dry information, and no encouragement what so ever to be excited about the content that is going to follow
  • It is full of values, mission statements, generic trends, buzzwords and other vague concepts that are context, rather than the core of your idea
  • It is full of details (number of employees, founding year, etc.) that are not a crucial part of the "summary" of your story
  • It has sub bullets, and worse bullets that have just 1 sub bullet hanging below it. It uses different font sizes for the main bullets, and the sub bullets. Bullets are not properly intended, (space space space space)

Art: detail of a painting by Gavin Rain