This image is from one of Dr. Bailey's books: The Practical Writer (7th edition) Explanation

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In the model, the explanation slide is the second one you show—right after the cover slide.

What is an explanation slide?

An explanation slide explains anything unfamiliar on the cover slide. Consider this cover slide:

Sample cover slide -- serving as context for explanation slide

There's a good chance that some people in your audience don't understand the term "concurrent engineering." They'll be relieved if your next slide explains it!

Sample good explanation slide

Tips for an explanation slide

A explanation slide:

  • Is unnecessary if there's nothing on the cover slide unfamiliar to your audience.
  • Should have the same design as your body slides—the ones you'll use for most of your presentation.
  • Should, at the same time, have some connection in design to the cover slide. Notice, in this case, the repeated image on the cover and explanation slides.
  • Usually needs an optional slide immediately following it—containing an example. For the term "concurrent engineering," an additional slide like this may be helpful:

Example slide that usually must accompany an explanation slide

Other examples

Let's look at the cover and explanation slides for two other sample presentations.

In this example, your audience may need to know more about "Yellowstone National Park" on the cover slide. So your next slide—your "explanation slide"—gives you a chance to tell them where the park is:

 Cover slide for presentation on Yellowstone National Park 

Notice that both slides have the same color scheme. The similar color scheme helps make the two slides part of the same family of design.

In the next example, the presenter may decide that, since he's talking to novices, his second slide should define golf:

Cover slide for presentation on keeping score in golf Explanation slide explaining golf

Notice that the explanation slide can't stand alone—it needs Sandy there to explain it. That's fine. Otherwise, why is Sandy there?

And notice that the designs share the same color scheme—that's what makes them part of the same family of design.

A quiz

What's wrong with this explanation slide?

Quiz: What's wrong with this explanation slide?

See if you can find something wrong.

Ready to see the answer?

Through with the quiz? You're ready to move on to . . .

Your next step

The next slide in the model is the purpose slide.

Copyright 2007 by Edward P. Bailey
(all rights reserved)