“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Slide exist to help assist in the delivery of your message, not to provide you with a script to read to your audience. The slides are for your audience, not the you the presenter.
Slides should not double as your handouts. If your entire message can be understood by reading the slides, you should just give your audience the slides and let them read the slides at their leisure.
Packing your thoughts onto your slides not only creates intimidating slides but it does not inspire anyone to sit through your presentation.
Slides with nothing but bullet point sentence after bullet point sentence creates what is known as a “slideument”; slides that double as a document or handout.
Handouts should be separate from slides. The handouts provide detail for reference once the presentation has ended. Few will remember every word uttered during a presentation, and the handouts are a great reminder of the finer points.
Your slides should serve to steer the conversation, introducing topics and ideas without giving much detail. The detail is provided by you. Your audience did not come to be amazed at your PowerPoint prowess; they came to here what you have to say about a subject. As with movies, audiences are drawn to the actors not the buildings in the background. Your slides are just that, the background. They help set the stage for the real star of the moment, you.
It takes just as long to explain a single complicated slide as it does to explain several simple slides.
Break your ideas down into single ideas and dedicate one slide per idea.
An easy trick to determine if your slides have too much detail is to show your slides to someone without telling them what their about. If they can understand what you are talking about by the slide contents alone, you have too much detail. You have just created your handouts.