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The Tricky Final Slide

I give a lot of talks. Lots of slides. Lots of images. Lots of different venues and types of talk.

One thing about giving talks remains constant: your final slide is important.

It’s up on the screen when the audience applauds at the end (hopefully). It remains there throughout the duration of any Q&A session, and it’s your last chance to convey whatever message you deem most important.

My aim with the final slide is pretty consistent, whatever event I am talking at: to show the audience how they can find out more about me online and continue to follow me.

There’s other things I’d love to do too:

  • – Encourage the audience to buy books (without me doing a cheesy sales pitch in my talk)
  • – Encourage the audience to sign up to my email list (email lists are like gold dust)

This evening I was preparing a new talk and glanced over a bunch of old documents I have on my computer. One thing leaped out at me: I have never settled on an effective final slide. And many of them are pretty rubbish!

The purpose of this post then is two-fold:

  1. – To point out to any of you who give presentations that your final slide, and its message, are a golden opportunity worth thinking carefully about.
  2. – To canvas your opinions on my efforts below and ask for any advice or examples as to how I can make the final slide work. I’d be grateful for any comments you care to leave below.

Here then, are my efforts (some were made for 4×3 screens, hence the black side bars):

Back in the olden days. —>

Cringeworthy-bad colour blending here! —>

First attempt to push the different social media options. —>

My bluntest in-your-face attempt to lure people to my site for FREE STUFF (Kindle versions of my books / Into The Empty Quarter film download) in order to get their emails. Blatant picture showing I’ve written some books too. Guess how many people visited the FREE STUFF page over a year of giving talks around the world? Zero! —>

Hence the simplification —>

After a while though, I can’t help myself. That big screen real estate just crying out to be filled up with stuff! —>

And, of course, it soon dawns on me that it looks horrid. Back to simple… —>

And then I start thinking, again, pleeease come visit my site… —>

Subtlety? Sod that! BUY MY BOOKS YOU B@STARDS! —>

Or at least heed some large font MOTIVATION (and hashtagging). —>

Yes, you guessed it – back to simple again… —>

Which brings us, at last, to where my evening began: making yet another final slide. Will it be my final final slide? I fear not! What do you reckon? —>

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  1. Yep, keep it simple stupid (KISS)!

    Big inspirational background image with great colour, web address, Twitter handle.

    Leave out everything else. If people want to buy your books they’ll find out about them on your website.

  2. Matthew Day Posted

    The last one ……. reminds me of the highlands – an inspiring photo – makes me want to revisit the bothy you prompted me to visit !

  3. Keep it simple and make sure there is something in it for them (as well as you) So I’d work on the “Why not” slide with just the twitter handle for now (you can cross post on that to web).

    Remember the old (or maybe it’s even still running) Australia Tourism ad (we’ve got x, we’ve got y we’ve even got z (pix of awesome sites and experiences -(but still you’ve not visited) so what are you bloody waiting for?

    Your resources are then supporting them achieving their goals – we are all somewhat narcissistic . If you wanted to put pure marketing analytics behind it you should A/B test formats with similar audiences and monitor uptake in likes after and then retest refining the images. You’ll need landing pages – but in many ways conversion is as much about how easy it is once they get to your content as it is to get them there in the first place. Just my 2p.

  4. I think the telling thing is that no one visited the free website. I would say that the final slide is not as important as you think! If free things don’t attract people, I would suggest that they are not jotting down your web address at all, but rather listening to you answer questions.

    Do you take business cards/something for people to take away, or are your slides shared post-talk by email? I think this would be a better way of making sure people have your details to hand over the coming days as they think about your talk.

  5. I am so glad to see that you ‘um and ah’ as much as the rest of us!!
    Your final final slide looks pretty much perfect to me!

  6. +1 for keeping the last slide simple. Most people in the audience probably have checked out your homepage anyway before they had decided to go.

    For something completely different: I’ve been following your blog for a while now, but never found a way to subscribe via RSS? Is there hope for change or a workaround?

  7. Chris Willberg Posted

    Looking forward to seeing you talk tonight in Abingdon. I’ll keep an eye out for that final slide!



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