How to eat a Sub one bite at a time! AKA How to de-clutter your slide!


You are hungry. Very, very hungry.

You get in line at the sub shop and get ready to order. ” I’ll have a 12″ cold cut combo on italian with double meat and all the junk.” The spiky haired kid on the other side mutters, “Fo sho.” As you walk the length of the display, you notice that their soup of the day is Broccoli Cheese. “I would like some of that soup as well” you add. “And some classic chips, please.” You are eyeing the extra large cup and looking at the myriad of sodas with free refills that are available for a dollar!

Then just as you are about to load up your 64 oz cup with pure refreshing Mountain Dew, the little guy on your sholder gives you a nudge and you look for a little balance. Thanks to the little guy, Iced Green Tea wins, and you walk to a table, proud and feeling good that you eat healthy.

Tray loaded, you got your sandwich, your greasy classic chips, the soup and the Iced green tea with no sugar. Carefully, opening the wrap, you take your first bite. It is good! As you chew, your gastric juices start crying, “MORE! MORE!
NOW! HURRY! You turn into an animal and start shoving the entire sandwich down your throat. Barely chewing, not even waiting to take a breath.

That monster inside you has to get fed. NOW!

Two hours later, back at your desk, the sandwich is gone, and you have heartburn and a very heavy feeling inside. You thank the guy on your shoulder for recommending the Iced tea. Adding Mountain Dew to the mix would have been disastrous!

That is what my dear friends, can happen to the slide with a list of bullet points.

Eat your sub, one bite at a time!

It goes back to the axiom presented in “Made to Stick” that I so willingly stole and proudly explicate on this blog.

“Tease, Don’t tell.”

If you give your audience the whole enchilada (or Submarine in this case) all at once, somethings are not going to stick.
You see it happen so often, the speaker has a slide with a lot of bullet points and continues droning on about them. You being so smart, quickly glance at the screen, get a good idea of what the speaker is going to say and then, turn to the guy in the next seat next to yours to discuss the Dodgers disaster. Or if you are a salesperson, you whip out your business card.

So the moral of this story is to ALWAYS  break up a text heavy slide with a lot of information into smaller nuggets so that you can articulate and tell each story without giving the audience too much to digest or losing their attention.

Take a look at the slides below to understand what I mean.

The BEFORE slide has bullet points that list what the speaker is going to talk about. Just with one look, you can admire the beautiful picture and glance at the speaking points.


The AFTER slides allow you to digest the information one slide at a time avoiding the dreaded bloated feeling afterward!

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