DON’T DESIGN WHAT’S THERE – DESIGN WHAT SHOULD BE THERE

The other day I bumped into an ECD (executive creative director) that I had worked with at another agency. We got to talking about the first project we partnered on.  It was a slide presentation – a really bad one, as I recall, and I kind of put my foot in my mouth. I remember it clea
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PRESENTATIONS IN THE REAL WORLD

When I was a kid my father went back to school for his MBA. (For a while I thought everyone was saying “NBA,” but then I realized that he’s actually not so tall and couldn’t secretly be a professional basketball player.) Anyway, after his classes he would come home and try to explain
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THE DETAILS AREN’T THE STORY

“What’s the big idea?” Surprisingly, people don’t get offended when I ask this question, and I ask it all the time. I guess it’s clear in context that I’m not upset when I ask it. Because the big idea is really important. It’s probably easier
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HOW MUCH DETAIL DOES YOUR AUDIENCE NEED?

I talk a lot about making things audience-centric, which is really just thinking about your audience, and giving them the information that’s relevant to them. And I often preach a message of simplicity (I probably sound like a broken record!) But part of making your presentation audie
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HOW TO FIX YOUR CAPABILITIES PRESENTATION

Those that I work with know my general feelings about capabilities presentations. We wind up doing them a lot in advertising, and while I wouldn’t say they are a waste of time, I often feel they should be done with a different focus and objective. For those that don’t know, a ca
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JUST TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW

I encounter busy slides from time to time (often a lot of them in the same presentation), and the one thing they all have in common is that they represent the knowledge and research of the person that put them together. The presenter/author really knows their stuff. They could talk yo
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A SLIDE IS NOT A SCRIPT

Picture the scene: a presenter standing in front of their audience, reading from a list of bullets on the screen. Even if the audience was interested initially, they’re tuning the presenter out before long. The most frequent critique of this approach to presenting is to point out that
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PRESENTATION TYPES – A GENERAL GUIDE

I have heard lots of theories about how many words (ideally) should be on a slide. It seems to me that the question isn’t entirely the point. There are different types of slide presentations, and different “rules” for each. Beyond that, the expectations of the audience and the n
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CASE STUDY: FIXING A “WHY US?” SLIDE

Here’s an equation I spout all the time: A complicated idea + Design = A better looking complicated idea. The key to better slides is to look first at the story. Once the story works, the slides design themselves. Here’s a quick case study with lots of screen grabs. First
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HOW TO GET THE INSIDE TRACK WHEN YOU PITCH

We’ve all been on one side or the other. If you’re in the audience, you’re trying not to yawn – and trying not to make it look like you’re trying not to yawn. If you’re presenting, it’s clear they are not engaged. You’ve created a beautiful presentation, and want them to know why your
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