Rethinking the Design of Presentation Slides:
The Assertion-Evidence Structure
Recently, much criticism has been levied at PowerPoint's default structure of a topic-phrase headline supported by a bullet list of subtopics. This web page advocates an assertion-evidence structure, in which a sentence headline states the main assertion of the slide. That headline assertion is then supported not by a bullet list, but by visual evidence: photos, drawings, diagrams, graphs, films, or equations.
One assumption of the assertion-evidence structure is that slides are, in fact, an appropriate visual aid for the talk. Too often, slides are projected when no visual aid would better serve the audience. Another assumption is that the primary purpose of the slides is to help the audience understand and remember the content, rather than to provide talking points for the speaker. More details about the assertion-evidence structure can be found in The Craft of Scientific Presentations.
Contact: Michael Alley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Editor: Adrienne Crivaro