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Three Quick Tips for Better Presentation Build Sequences

Mr Potato HeadSpeakers use build sequences as a way to tell stories while delivering content in controlled stages. You can slowly pull back the curtain on a quarterly revenue slide or incrementally reveal map pins showing facility expansions. Build sequences can add drama and a sense of anticipation for the audience. Unfortunately, if done improperly, build slides can slow your presentation down and, worst of all, leave the speaker vulnerable to onstage miscues. So here are three quick tips to create better build sequences:

Tip 1 - Limit builds & limit clicks – Like anything in life, you should approach build sequences with moderation—don’t go overboard with build sequences throughout your presentation. When you do create a build sequence, limit the number of “reveals” or clicks. As a rule of thumb, I recommend three to five clicks per build sequence.

Tip 2 - Keep it simple & keep it moving – Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote software allow users to create all sorts of fancy animations for build sequences. You can have stuff flying and spinning in from all corners of the slide. My advice is to keep it simple. Go with a simple revealing transition like a “Fade” or “Dissolve.” When setting the timing for these transitions, I always recommend going with “Fast” or “Very Fast.” This keeps the pace of the sequence, and your presentation, brisk and lively.

Tip 3 - If you build it…you better rehearse it – Whether you are creating a sequence for yourself or another speaker, be sure the presenter has time to review and rehearse the build sequence. Make sure they are using the same projector and remote control clicker they will be using when giving the presentation. Some slide remotes can have a slight delay or hesitation which may cause the speaker to click twice and reveal the next stage of the slide prematurely.

Bonus tip - Make certain the remote control has fresh batteries.