A payoff slide kills the boring build, letting you assert first, support later.
There are more than 100 ways to deliver "death by PowerPoint." One death blow I've wrestled with lately is narrative flow.
We tend to build a case for assertions before making them. It's even built into the standard "problem, solution, results" case study. But building up to an assertion risks losing the audience before you can make your point.
The Payoff Slide
Depending on the presentation, I start out with a "payoff" slide in my deck -- not unlike the payoff sentence that kicks off this post. It's my main assertion -- a 140-character elevator speech that can be tweeted by the audience. And I spend the rest of the presentation proving out the assertion. Here's an example on the second slide.
As I've said before, you still need to tell a story that your audience wants to tell after your presentation. So you still need to end on a high note. But if you save it all until the end? You lose the audience before you get there.
Payoff To Stop Walk Out
Losing an audience is literal these days as presentation attendees are more serious than ever about investing their time. An extreme example is South by Southwest Interactive. I've seen SXSWi speakers flame out as people leave during the presentation -- in droves. It's not polite. But it's based on the content they're getting (or not getting) from a presentation. And it reinforces the need to capture and keep the audience's attention.
This guy is boring uploaded by Narisa