Years ago, I attended a motivational weekend seminar called EST training. Picture a full captive audience occupying a large ballroom in the Hyatt. Everyone is seated, elbow to elbow in folding chairs, knowing that they will be listening to someone talk (the trainer) for hours upon hours. There are breaks here and there to give folks a chance to stretch their legs and use the restroom. But there’s something built into the program that brings people back to that folding chair after the break, rather than making a b-line to the parking lot. What is it? Well the presenters, or trainers, were very skilled at making you excited about “What comes next.” For example, they’d say something like “After the break, we’re going to uncover three simple business strategies that will bring you an additional $20,000 a year, or something else that will change your life forever. That’s enticing, isn’t it? I can remember being tired of sitting for hours on end, and yet I was dying to learn “What was next”. It made me realize that a PowerPoint presentation should do the same, because some of the aspects are similar. Surely, PowerPoints don’t last as long as a weekend seminar (thankfully), but when you give one, you are expecting your audience to sit and listen for a period of time. And not only stay put, but stay interested. Maybe that period is not long enough to merit a coffee break, but you can still structure your slides in such a way that makes your audience yearn to see the next slide, and then the next, just because you have unfolded your story in a clever way, almost like a book leading up to a terrific ending.