I am not a fan of heavy/text-infested slides and hope my audience also second my opinion. I did resort to the healthy image-text ratio in most of the slides and am relying on my speaking skills during my first presentation! In this context, how should he/she adapt himself to suit the interest of audience,dynamically? If I realize that a couple of sides have turned out to be cumbersome or "boring"**, how should I seamlessly switch over to the next section and regain the lost interest.

**boring = Many example slides are available as follows :

  1. Example 1 :Slide which talks about the approach of simulation, when actually results of the simulation are the "meat" of the talk.
  2. Example 2(The first few slides of the talk)
    • Hypothetical Talk : Thumbdrives have changed the world, Jan 2003
    • Motivation Slide, 1 : End of the road for Floppy Disks(3 Bullets)
    • Motivation Slide, 2 : The Storage Roadmap(Image), the arise of the PenDrive(3 Bullets)
    • The News Slide, 3 : Ascend,ManDisk and Watergate 3 News Clippings + 3 Images
    • The Cool Feature, 4 : Pendrives = 1K X Floppy Disks, they are Reusable CDs
    • Paper Starts , 5 : How I used the cool features efficiently to build something even cooler?
  • Edited the question to include two example-scenarios,which I expect to tackle during the presentation. Jan 27, 2015 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


In your talk, every slide tells a story. That story can be as short or as long as you want. Just like the overview slide tells the story of the whole talk in a single slide, each section of the talk and even each individual slide can be presented at multiple levels of resolution. Familiarize yourself with the story you want to tell at these multiple different levels of resolution, and you can change the pacing to match the interest level of the audience.

For example, let's say you've got a slide explaining the details of how you performed a simulation. You might present this same slide at three radically different levels of detail:

  • High detail: explain each of the parameters and why you chose it
  • Low detail: "To study this in simulation, we selected these parameters. The important choices here are ..." [explain the critical choices]
  • Minimalist: "We studied this in simulation using these parameters, and ..." [move on to following results slide]

If you are concerned that you are boring your audience, you can shift to a lower detail presentation without actually disrupting your narrative. This is also a good technique for managing your time, to ensure that you don't go over-time or badly under-time, and can help you customize your material for different audiences.


You can adapt the order of your talk, putting the boring details towards the end. So, you briefly state your simulation, show the cool results (and why should we care about your simulation at all), and then, once you have hopefully convinced your audience that what you did was meritful and worth paying attention to, explain the details of the choice of parameters.

Another advantage of this approach is that you can keep more people engaged for longer. The moment you start talking about the details of the parameters you will loose most of the people non expert on the topic, and you are unlikely to get them back in time to hear your results.

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