That’s when I have to tell them it’s a stupid rule that they need to abandon immediately. (I make the point a bit more diplomatically when working with paying clients.)
Sure, I understand why speakers are attracted to that rule: It provides a specific and easy guideline for putting together a presentation. But the rule usually leads to disastrous results, for at least five reasons:
1. Gives speakers permission to create packed presentations. The “one slide per minute” rule says nothing about how much information should appear on each slide. As a result, many speakers pack 120 slides worth of information into 60 slides in an effort to fit everything in. Since they present only one slide per minute, they deceive themselves into believing they’ve created a good presentation, when, in fact, they’ve only produced a cluttered mess.
2. Nobody wants to look at 60 slides an hour. If I wanted to be put to sleep, I’d take an Ambien or watch a PBS documentary. When I see one slide per minute, I know I’m in for a snoozer.