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

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.