Is this discouraged? Say I wrote an essay of 20 pages and I'd like to present it in a power point show. Can I simply copy paste what I already wrote in the essay (with shortening it, of course) without the need to re-paraphrase again?

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    Do you plan to kill your audience out of boredom? Jun 11, 2016 at 7:58
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    There's no better way of delivering a boring presentation than that of preparing slides full of text, independently from the fact that the audience has no access to the original text. Jun 11, 2016 at 8:09
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    Don't do that, never. But how can we, strangers on the internet, give any more advice without even knowing what your presentation is about? And what is the context? And have you asked your instructor for advice on this (first thing to do)? Jun 11, 2016 at 8:14
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    What your advisor said, minus the bullet points. Use images. Jun 11, 2016 at 10:50
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    I have heard talks by humanities scholars who read pre-written text from a paper, sitting down. It may have been exactingly formulated, and precise, but amongst the least engaging talks I have witnessed. It felt like an insult to the attention of the audience. Now, being a non-humanities person, I prefer talks who engage with the content, at possible detriment of precise wording; and it is possible that humanities expect such "read off" talks as standard. But nobody is going to convince me that this style is in any form achieving what it wants: conveying information/impression/expression. Jun 11, 2016 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Please, please, please, for the sake of your audience do not create a talk simply by dumping a giant pile of text onto slides. Prose is dense and meant to be digested slowly and without aid from the author. A talk is just that: a talk by the author, and any slides should be there simply to enhance the audience's understanding of your words.

Thus, your slides should generally be light on words and heavy on images and diagrams. You can dump text into the "notes" section that only you the presenter will see, but if you dump it on screen for the audience then 1) they will be reading the text rather than listening to you, and 2) they will be terribly bored and think you are a terrible presenter.

For some better heuristics for approaching the constructions of a presentations, I recommend watching Patrick Winston's "How To Speak" talk.

  • Everyone has probably misunderstood my question. I am NOT asking about presentation skills or 'dumping large texts' into a slide. This is why I clearly said 'with shortening it, of course'. All I meant is that if I wrote the following sentence in the word document: 'abc has been proved by xyz in order to form this framework', can I copy/paste verbatim the same sentence and dump it on the slide? (Or better to rephrase again?)
    – R. AS.
    Jun 11, 2016 at 13:02
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    @R.AS. If "everyone" misunderstands your question, you may want to reformulate it? "Shortening it" is a very fuzzy term. A talk is a completely different medium from a paper. You can do different things. You can infuse it with anecdotes or analogies which would be inappropriate for a paper. You can explain and pay attention to feedback from the audience ("do they look confused"?). A paper cannot do that. For that, you need to forgo the precision of the paper, and give the bigger picture, also something that's harder to do in a paper. Zoom away, give overview, zoom in on few points, that's it. Jun 11, 2016 at 13:22
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    @R.AS.: Using full sentences on a slide is a bad idea to begin with. Keep the information to be processed at a minimum so that people can follow your explanations. The slide could say: "Framework: abc [XYZ 2016]" Jun 11, 2016 at 13:41
  • @R.AS. That is a loooong sentence for a slide. If you're already talking about "abc", simply write "proof by xyz" or, if "xyz" is/are famous put their pictures (with the names) and state verbally that these guys proved abc, or put a picture of the title-author line of the paper where "xyz" proved that. Jun 11, 2016 at 14:00

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