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I was asked recently to guest lecture in a leadership class at my university.

My original plan was to do a very informal talk without slides. I was going to base it on my Five C’s of Leadership post.

The morning of the class, though, one of the students who works for me and is also in the class told me I should do slides because he wanted his classmates to see my approach to using visuals in a presentation.

So, I whipped up some slides pretty quickly.

Now, I’ve been asked by another student who was in that lecture to offer the same talk to an organization he’s in. I tweaked the slides today, and I’ll speak to his student leadership society tonight.

A good presentation is about the connection between the speaker and the audience. It’s not about the quality or content of the slides. If your slides can stand alone, then what was the point of showing up to speak? Just email your slide deck to the audience.

But I find real value in connecting strong images and key words on screen with the message I’m sharing. Visuals done right can make the ideas resonate and stick with an audience in a way that just hearing the talk can’t.