We all have days when we need inspiration, especially when the weather outside is wet and miserable. It may be sunny in your part of the world, but my little corner of the world is soggy. Today’s post features two of my favourite presentation designers.
When I started designing presentations, the first designer I discovered was Garr Reynolds and his site Presentation Zen. Garr’s work features big bold visuals with minimal text and a distinctive look and feel. I have bought most of his books and recommend them for people starting out. His blog covers not only design tips, but articles on presentation techniques, storytelling and audience engagement.
Almost simultaneously, I discovered Nancy Duarte and instantly became a big Nancy fan. Duarte made her name designing the presentation slides for Al Gore’s ground breaking climate change keynote An Inconvenient Truth. The graphics created by Duarte for the keynote were later used in the award winning documentary of the same name. I strongly recommend that you check out her website and if you need a book on presentation design, buy this one.
One of the problems with looking at other people’s work is that you can become disheartened and disillusioned, especially if you work in an environment that doesn’t really appreciate creativity. Your efforts to do something even a little bit different might be met with indifference or derision. You may not be able to get away with using big bold graphics or full screen images.
If this is the situation that you’re in, I suggest you try to make small changes rather than trying something radical. Sometimes it can be a major achievement to simplify your slides and make them clear, short and to the point. This is relatively easy to achieve and doesn’t ruffle too many feathers.
Make a start today
Changing the culture in a workplace is a long slow process. Managers need to be convinced that simple, understandable presentations are far superior to ones which bamboozle and baffle their audiences. Try to make small changes and encourage everyone in your workplace to get to the point as quickly as possible and write clearly. Who knows, with time you may be able to add some relevant images!
Let me know if you have any challenges that I can help you with, or successes that you’d like to share.