Term #1: Prom Queen

Prom Queen: [prom kween] A prized slide, particularly one that is vastly superior in content and beauty from any others in a given presentation. Also, a resource-laden, time-intensive slide.

The best prom queens are inspirational: they demonstrate the highest ideals for humanity across all categories. How novel, that one individual may be beautiful, smart, and kind all at the same time. It boggles the mind.

The worst have seven kids right after high school, gain 100 lbs, and work at a local Dairy Queen. Seeing them from time to time is a horrific lesson in the frailty of human life and how fleeting our best moments can be. Fortunately, it takes at least 5.25 years (assuming a 9-month gestational period and perpetual pregnancy and seven kids) for such degradation to occur, giving most old classmates watching time to rationalize, justify, and fortify their own reasons for why it won’t happen to them.

The problem with your prom queen slides is that it doesn’t take 5.25 years for the beautiful fonts, cleverly designed charts, and witty commentary to go from engaging to boring: it takes about 15 minutes. It’s like seeing your high school prom queen go from prom stage to abject poverty in a 15 minute documentary. Who wouldn’t want to cry?

Really, the prom queen is great. But it’s the pressure on prom queens everywhere that brings them to ruin. Don’t force your audience to consider the meaning of life; invest in a complete presentation.

The Takeaway: If you can say it in one slide, you probably shouldn’t be taking so many people away from their work to say it at all. A good presentation brings a group of people from one place to another. Use every slide in the presentation to fully develop your ideas; every school has a prom queen, but she gets there on the shoulders of her classmates.

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