How to design gorgeous slidedecks without being a designer | Jack Zerby | Skillshare

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How to design gorgeous slidedecks without being a designer

teacher avatar Jack Zerby, Design at Gumroad

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Chapter 1: Intro


    • 2.

      Chapter 2: Simplicity


    • 3.

      Chapter 3: Consistency


    • 4.

      Chapter 4: Priority


    • 5.

      Chapter 5: End


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About This Class

Ready to learn how to create head-turning pitchdecks with ease?

Equipped with the information in this class, along with practice and application, you'll close more deals, raise more money, and make your story unforgettable...all without being a designer. 

About your instructor

After pitching dozens of investors over the past 10 years, I know how "fun" the process can be...From traveling 8 hours on a plane for one 45 minute meeting that ends "how can we be helpful?", to getting the same questions over and over again... "what about Google and Facebook?", "any revenue?" and "who else is in this round?", I know how to use design to help close deals. Having a well-designed deck helps communicate the narrative clearly and eliminates all distractions.

Here's what I've learned teaching design and copywriting to over 33,000 students on Skillshare......nobody wants to sit through 10 hours of a monotone voice and endless blah blah blah lectures filled with inapplicable material. Learning design should be fun, approachable and actionable. You don't need to wear black rimmed glasses and say fancy things like "the way the finial breaks the baseline on that G is exquisite", to understand and apply design fundamentals. Here's some background on me:

  • $8m dollars raised in my own companies
  • $100m+ raised using my deck designs
  • Employee #10 at Vimeo as Design Director
  • Design at Gumroad, Pentagram, Frog

Meet Your Teacher

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Jack Zerby

Design at Gumroad


Design @gumroad @designfordecks @vimeo @pentagram @frogdesign @rga

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1. Chapter 1: Intro: Welcome to pitch deck design 10. In this training, we're going to be talking about creating pitch decks debt Wow investors, and tell your story in a simple, clear, and effective way. Now, this training is going to be broken up into three chapters, simplicity, consistency, and priority. Now before we dive into simplicity, let's talk about the reality of pitching investors today. So an average investor, we'll see in one-year anywhere from 3 thousand to 5 thousand pitches submitted to them, either through emails, through networking, through, through LinkedIn, whatever. And of those, 1500 of them don't actually take a closer look. 500 of them, they will actually have follow-up meetings. They will take a look at the slide deck and the slide presentation. Ask more questions. A whole bunch of meetings inside of there. But at the end of the year, they may not invest in any of those. And at most they may invest in two of them. Now the ones that they closely view, they'll spend an average of three minutes and 44 seconds looking at the slide deck. So you can't afford if you want to get to the bottom of that funnel or to the next step in that funnel, you can't afford to send over a mediocre deck or a deck that is filled with mistakes. Now, after working on probably hundreds of these slide decks, here are the five things and I've made the same mistakes as well. The five things I see over and over again. Number one, unclear and narrative, no clear story. It's kinda all over the map. Their this, their, that they're this or that. And at the end the investor has no idea what you do or what your story is. And then number two, they may have a clear story, but then they try to do that story in 60 slides and this is ridiculous and it overwhelms the investor. Then you have the ones who have a clear story, ten slides, but they're trying to jam all this information on to every slide and that also becomes overwhelming. Then you have the ones who have a clear story. They have a great amount of slides. Those slides are very simple, perfect, but they have a poor layout and they're using font, they're using crapping fonts or whatever they're using like the default layout and PowerPoint's just doesn't look good, it's distracting, it doesn't look professional. Then the last one, they can have all of these things, but then they have these, especially for, for really highly technical companies, they have these like super complex diagrams that nobody understands unless you understand the market. So we went to avoid these five mistakes so that you don't end up in the investor's inbox trashcan. Now, when I talk about design in this course, there's a difference between just making a pretty and making it effective, effectively communicating the message. There's things that are gorgeous but aren't actually that effective, and there's things that are effective, but they're pretty ugly. You can see this in product world and physical product road. You see this watering can is beautiful molded plastic wood like this, perfect shade of blue, but it's totally non-affected, doesn't work. Then. And I picked this one because my dad had one of these when I was growing up that like imagine this today too. If it's raining, you have both hands free and you can use your phone or whatever. Now, it's super effective, right? Hands-free, whatever, but it's ugly and nobody would wanna wear this because they would look ridiculous. So in order to do this, in order to make something beautiful and effective, the good news is you don't have to be an amazing designer. You just need to follow a few simple frameworks. I've developed these frameworks over years, creating slides for my own companies. Will my partners and I raised over $8 million from dozens of investors, large and small VCs investors. I've sat in the rooms like Kleiner Perkins in Union Square and learned in the trenches what worked and what didn't work as we pitched partner after partner travelling all over the country, everybody knows if they've done that, what that is like. Now I've also had to create slide decks in different contexts. So these were ones that I created for potential acquisition meetings with companies like Facebook, Twitter, move, Squarespace, and this is where and these are the most stressful presentations you are presenting to the entire product team and you have a one shot to nail it. Now eventually my friends who are VCs and angel investors started sending me their portfolio companies to help redesign their decks. So they would call me up and be like, hey, so-and-so told me that my decks really bad, Jack, I need you to fix it. Are they? Okay? And so after a few of those years, those decks have been used to raise over a $100 million in funding. Now I've also done decks for sales partnerships with companies like Apple when I was Design Director at Vimeo and dozens of client pitches for Bloomberg Time Warner. When I was a designer at Penn anagram, the world's largest Lee, the world's largest independently own design firm. Now, my teaching experience, I taught as an adjunct professor at FIT and New York, teaching web design and teaching design fundamentals and on skill shopping was with skill share since 2008, where right now I have 333,760 students who have watched 1.3 million minutes of my classes on design and copywriting. My wife laughs at me. They're like, they listened to you for 1.3 million minutes. That's insane. Now, I finally put all of those learnings about pitch deck design into what I'm about to share with you today. So let's dive into simplicity. 2. Chapter 2: Simplicity: Simplicity. How do we make our slide decks simple, clear, easy to understand and calming? And the thing, the reason why I say calming isn't we have all these things in the thing. It's just carry on your slide. It just creates all this anxiety because you're not sure where to look and you're trying to understand him. Read the slide quick enough because you're hoping that the person won't hit the clicker and go to the next slide. If you've ever done that and been in a presentation you're trying to read or maybe if you've taken notes, you trying to write all these fixed, right? All these things down. What are you not doing? What you're not doing is paying attention to the person that's presenting you to thing. And you may miss and key points because you're too busy trying to get, you know, trying to understand and comprehend everything that's happening on the slide, which creates anxiety and doesn't create a calming effect. And this is the mistake that I see founders making over and over and over again. They're trying to say all the things on all the slides and they come to me and they have these the slide decks and I've looked at them. I'm like, well there's way too much on this slide and they're like, well, say, I have said because if I don't say it, then you best there's not going to understand what I'm saying. So I have to put it. I'm like, okay, well, every time you add a new thing on there, it creates more and more distraction and possible confusion. So it's actually going to work backwards. And by saying all the things you're going to say none of them because they're not going to understand why you're talking about and you're going to end up with a decks like these. You have big blocks of text. You have this sweet eighties Ferrari back here. You have all this content. You have all these crazy little diagrams and pictures and drop shadows and all of these things which people are creating this like why half to tell them, I have to tell him that, you know, that the sample daily meal plan I have to literally go through. And the person who's looking at this presentation is like thinking about AIG and tomato breakfast burrito, rather than what you're talking about, right? Like dieting or that you're creating a diet app if they're too concerned with like, how good spaghetti squash with turkey meat balls would be right now. So you're distracting them by putting all these things instead of just keeping them simple. Now I'm gonna go through six ways to simplify your deck. These are things that you can do right now. You can do in a weekend. It's things that can help you take something that might be really complicated and parse it down to the, the simple focused white hot core of what you're trying to do now the easiest thing to do is cut down the amount of slides. I had said that earlier. One of the mistakes that founders make is they try to have too many slides. Now if you're raising a seed round the ideal length slide deck length is around ten to 15. So if you have 30, try to cut it down to 15. If you have two slides to try and get it up to at least ten. Now on, on, when you're raising the Series a. So over here you're like trying to really prove what you're doing and really trying to like, grab their attention over here. The trains already pulled out of the station. Syria, you have data, you already have successes and things that you can talk about. So those extra five slides over here are for data, revenue, profit, all of those things, employee account, what you're playing the due on this new With this new growth capital, you can afford to spend a little more time with those extra slides over here. And this is true in my experience. I've seen this. I've worked on C dx, and I've worked on series A's, ones that are successful. They're always sticking within this amount of slides. And then for series a, they're sticking within this amount of slides. Now, the other way to look at it say, okay, well how do I do that? Jack is one thing. I have 50 slides. How the heck am I gonna get it down to 15 slides? Well, if you take an organized approach and say, well, you know, it's one thing for me to think, well, this is what I want to tell investors in this stage should they're going to really understand it versus what are investors expecting to see? What are some patterns that you can follow that doesn't disorient them. I've never seen this is weird. I'm not sure how this is structured. But if you structured like this, yes. It may feel like, oh, this isn't unique to me, jack, this feels so formulaic. Well, inside of this is where you can play play out of the boundaries and things like that. You can talk about your mission and your team in different ways, and the problem in different ways and the solution different ways. If you try to reinvent the wheel, you'd made disorient the investor because they have no cognitive model for how you're trying to approach it. So if you stick with a structure like this, you can take all your slides and say, hey, you know, do I have a financial slide or attraction slide? Do I have a clear problem and solution slide? Now if you want to take it a step further, you can go into specific incubator accelerator models, which is what 500 Startups teaches their startups to use. Very simple ten slides, Elevator Pitch problem solution. You'd kinda see the same, similar ones over there with some different ones with product demos and things like that. The Y Combinator model is similar. They have a one-liner Kind of like, here's your value prop in one line. What the problem is solution track, market and competition, division team, and what you're gonna do with those funds. Now, the second tip, so hopefully you understand like, Hey Jack, I can go back here. I can double-check my slides and say how do I fit them into any of these buckets? Now, the second tip to simplify it is one idea per slide. Notice on this slide, but you're looking at right now, there is no other ideas here. It's really just one idea I'm talking through. It's just a white headline on a blue background. And who are you listening to me? You're not trying to read the headlines. You've already read the headline. It took you two seconds and read a headline. And now I have your attention and I can just blab on about one idea per slide on this particular slide. Now, there's a thing called Hicks law. You can use this in web design. You can use this in app design. Basically, anytime you're trying to present an idea, the more choices that you put on the screen, aka the more elements, the more text, the more diagrams, the more icons, the more that, that goes up on the page, the more time it's going to take for them to understand, make a decision. Read through the things that you're trying to tell them and what are they not doing when they're spending the time reading that and reading all the different choices you've given. They're not listening to you. They're distracted. And you can't get your message across because you've given them too many choices on what to read and what to try to understand. Now, here's the simple formula. The simplest formula. It's an every PowerPoint deck, but it works because it really breaks down into two different things. What's the headline? What do you saying and how can you prove it? Here's what you're saying. Here's how to prove it. Now you can prove it with bullets. You know, these are three bullets here. Short, pithy, focused bullets that are easy to read, quickly read and they can get back to listen to you. Or you can know big fat headline here, up here with the charts and graphs that make it, that basically prove what you're saying here. So if you said you had 30% year over year growth, you know, if you're raising a Series a, This is where you're going to talk about that and prove it with a very simple graph. You don't wanna get into like crazy graphs because again, that creates more choices and now they're distracted. Now, here's another way. And this goes into that one idea per slide that if you have one idea, it doesn't mean that you just have to have blackjack and you just say no, I just have to have one headline, No. You can still have that one idea, but you can break it into what's called the Rule of Three. The role of three is a writing principle based on the idea that humans process information through pattern recognition. As the smallest number that allows us to recognize a pattern is three, then there is a reason why companies like Apple uses and all their presentations. It's memorable and it's just enough not to overwhelm. So you can see here, I can pick between these three, but I just had to, it wouldn't be a pattern. But when I see three that creates that pattern, I can easily understand that headline. Prove it, which I've thrown is right for you now I'm going to prove it with showing you which iPhone is right for you. Here's another thing where it's saying touch here three ways. The idea, the main core idea is to stay in touch. You can schedule a call, you can join the community and you can check out the help center. This is from a, an app called pitch, which is really great. Here's another slide in here, the target audience, If I'm talking through Maria, she's the COO lady. We have Hellen who's a great dancer. We have Jenny who's a Gemini. These are still based on one idea, using the Rule of Three to prove that headline up there. Now the next one, number four, make it obvious. Let's take a look at this map. Doesn't tell you anything other than the fact that it's the United States and where the time I'm recording this, it's their em around the election. So hopefully this doesn't give anybody nightmares for looking at this map. It doesn't tell you anything. Well, how about now? It's getting a little clear. Now I can see, OK, active customers average revenue, a 100 million potential customers, particularly predicted revenue 129. Okay, I'm starting to understand, OK, this gray is a rehear the blues active customers. That's pretty cool. But now, what happens? Now? It's obvious that 80% of the states in the US are active customers. Now, if I were looking at this slide here, I could have gone through, done the math, counted up every state, and then said, OK, well, this many out of this many. Okay, so that equals 80%. Wow, that's pretty good. 80% of the customers, or by the time that they've figured that out, you've already moved on to the next the next slide and that's where they're like, I didn't get that. And if you ever had somebody say like, oh, go back, that's because you didn't make it obvious. It should be obvious. Now if you go right to this, if you went right from here to here, now you go, Matt, interesting, 80% of the US or cow that's interesting. And then you could go through, and if you wanted to kind of look at these on your own and say, okay, I get it. You know, active customers, potential customers. It's obvious because you're doing the thinking for them. Number five, show, don't tell. Look at the word horse and your head. Are you picturing the letters H, r, S, E, like this in your head as you look at that? Or are you thinking of this? Right? That's because we think in pictures and visuals and not the letters of the word. We, we see a word and we think a picture. So the more you can express an idea visually, the more powerful it becomes. So if we look at this real-time collaboration, post files and desktop or mobile get fast credit report approval. That's fine. It has the text there. I mean, it's not like it's unclear what they're trying to say. But as soon as you add illustrations now, it gives you that picture that they're thinking, What are they thinking about? When they're thinking about collaboration? What are they thinking about when they're thinking about posting files or do they thinking about when they see the words, fast? Credit report, approval? These are the things these illustrations reinforce and create visual things in their mind as they're reading the texts. Now if you look at these, okay, so if I have total available market, Total Addressable Market 2.5. then I have this one at 90 million and then I have this 120 million. Or what happens if I take something like this that's clear. It's not like it's unclear. It's simple. But if I take that and I put these little illustrations, these just circles behind it, it starts to give you a better idea of what those numbers are, how much bigger, and this actually should even be higher because it's, it's, you know, it's way bigger than this one. So this circle should be even way bigger. And now you get to see visually in your head how much bigger 2.5. is 2.5 billion as to 90 million. I know if you've ever seen on the internet those pictures of like what a $100 in cash looks like versus what a billion dollars in cash looks like, fills up like half a building. Those are visual representations of what those numbers actually mean. Now the last one we're going to be talking about is something called economy of words. Word economy is the practice of using fewer words to say more. It truly is, less, is more. And this is a slide that I was working on recently and read it with me. Did your energy Co is a premier consulting firm that specializes in an energy industry with a focus on cogeneration plant operations and financial promise. In addition, the digital personnel or there's a spelling error there too. It's not good experience with the NYSE over the law, Bob, I'm not going to read the whole thing. But what happened? No matter how fast or slow you were reading the text, chances are you are either behind or in front of me when I read this paragraph. So we were doing the same thing. How many times have you seen presentations where people are literally, your teachers were famous for doing this, literally just reading off the slide. And if you're a slow reader, now you're like, oh great, they're way ahead of me and if you're fascinated, you're like waiting for them to view them because you've already read it. Now if you look at Guy Kawasaki, apple guy investor, kinda internet personality, marketing guru. He talked about, I'm not going to show you that first. He said, and this is what he, he quotes as much text as possible is jammed in, in the slide and the presenter reads it. However, as soon as the audience figures out that you're reading this text, it reads ahead of you because you can read faster than you can speak. The result is that you in the audience are out of sync. Now, what if I wanted to put that quote up on that would have violated my own rule. Instead, I read the quote and now you're looking at guy and you're like, OK, I can see, I can connect him visually to that quote. I can probably hear it in his voice. But now I understand that if I put too much text, there is a very high chance that your reader and you are going to get out of, out of sync. Now here's, here's what I was going to show you before. These are Y Combinator deck examples there brutal about the economy of words. The best ones have short, pithy, powerful statements rather than wordy diatribes. So cut out all the unnecessary words and see if you can explain your ideas in shorter and shorter sentences until it's lean and mean. And to the point, well, let's move on to the next chapter. Consistency. 3. Chapter 3: Consistency: Next up, let's talk about consistency. How do you create a consistent professional? Look in your slide deck? Now, the thing about the word professional is it's subtle. And most people know when they see one that looks professional, but they can't put their finger on why it looks professional because there's a fine line between something that's amateur and something that's professional like, wow, that looks really good, is now one of the secrets to creating this subtle difference. Leaning more towards Obviously the professional side is creating consistent visual patterns. Humans recognize these patterns very quickly and when we violate these patterns, it distracts from the message and is disorienting. Disorienting. Remember how I talked about in the previous thing, previous about simplicity, about using these common slides, structures, team problem solution, those things. That's because if you don't use those and they don't know what to expect and they're trying to orient themselves in there, trying to find that pattern when they can't find that they're distracted that are kind of lost because they don't have a mentor cognitive model to attach it to. So the whole time they're kind of on edge because they feel dumb because they're not, they're not able to orient themselves and understand What's happening. We look for these patterns to help us understand things quicker. And in the case of investors in the sheer volume of decks, imagine like when we talked about before, like 5 thousand of these, like they subconsciously look for these patterns to help them scan. Otherwise they would just, they would just go crazy because they can't they can't process that amount of data without trying to pull out certain patterns. Now, breaking those patterns a distorting because our brains are constantly trying to find those common shapes and structures. Now, all the marketers will talk about those who jerk Well, what about like breaking the pattern and pattern interrupts? And those are powerful ways to get someone's attention, but do it in the copy. Do it in the words, do it in the story dude, in the illustrations, that's where you can break that pattern and hopefully you are breaking that barrier because that's what makes your product special, but you don't have to do it in the design. I mean, if you really wanted to break the pattern, don't even use a slide deck like use stone tablets, like engraved in stone tablet that break the pattern but it will be completely disordering. So I'm gonna give you four ways to create this pattern. Consistency in your slide deck, which would give you that professional look. The first way to do that is in the layouts, looking at the different layout patterns. These are common ones. You'll see these in Keynote and PowerPoint. There's a reason why they have these, because it gives you a headstart. It gives you kind of these lines to color within. And that's where you can be unique inside of here you, there's only so many ways to divide a page, like working as a designer over the years, there's only so many, just like creating music, there's only a certain amount of notes in the scale and there's rhythms and stuff like that. And you combine those things to create your own music. So using these structures, you can combine your, combine these things to make your own music and make it unique, your presentation, much more unique. These are all pretty standard headline rule of three over here had mine with rule of three headline with the proof over here. Pretty standard. You can just pause this if you wanna kinda right these ones down. Same with these same thing. And also notice how I'm like. Notice how each one of these has consistent headline positions up here. And that creates, again, that creates that orienting. Making things orienting makes sure these are like the same height, things like that. Here are some other patterns that you can use, but again, using that layout helps them orient themselves on every slide. Now the next way to do it is through the use of colors. We, not only do we look in shapes and patterns in these Leon structures, but we also use color to put things in categories and understand how things are connected. You can use just things like background colors to say like, hey, all of the title slides are going to be blue. I have a blue background. All of the section slides are going to have a black bound, a black background. All of the content slides are going to have a white background. You can see here, even in my slide deck, you can see all these title slides have the black background and all of the sections slides have the blue background. So you can start to see the pattern it okay? Oh, we're on a, we're on a section. We're getting into a new conversation. So that's how you can use color to let them know and to signal them, hey, this is where we are now. You can also do that in text color. So if you look up here, the headline is darker. So if you have like a black color and your color palette like a really dark blue, whatever you could use that in the headline. And then in the sub-headline is where you could use like a lighter gray colored. So this one pops out a little bit more and then this one kinda stays behind. Then you have your, your large statue. You can say, hey, everywhere I have a stack, I'm going to use green. And maybe if you have a positive number, you use green and if it's a negative number, you use red. But again, that's that consistency. Every time they see a big green number, they think data, they think stat, they think some sort of like signal to tell me that I'm looking at a number. Same thing here, like if you had captions below images that you'd have some sort of gray background behind that. A dark with dark text color on that to signal like, hey, this is a caption. Now moving on to font sizes. Now this is the next way that you can create consistency into achieved this font size consistency, you need what's called a modular type scale. Now you can sound really cool if you talk to a designer and say Lego, love your modular timescale. And basically that's just a design nerd word for how many font sizes that you have and how they are organized. So if you go to type dash is a cool little tool here that will help you create your own type scale. And so basically gives you these different choices they can use depending on the context and how you want to use it on your slide. So if you start with a base as a 32, I like to start with 32. I typically don't go below that just because it's, you know, you don't want people squinting socially if they're further away or on a phone or something like that. You stick with a bigger font, start with there, and then you can click on the scale, which is golden ratio. Now this is a, you could do a whole lesson and just golden ratio stuff, but it's a mathematical calculation that gives you pleasing ratios. They use it in architecture and stuff like that. So if you want to Google that, Google that you can find, you can find all the different ways and things that you didn't know that the golden ratio was applied and that's why it looks so good. So in here, start with 32. Now I round these up. I don't go with like 51.78 as a font-size, so I'll round it up to 50 to this one that 84, this 121136, and so on. Now, now that you have that, now you need to attach a context of this. So let's say for all the stats, I'm going to use 220 pixels for all the headline level one, I'm going to use 1.3.6 subheads 84 level 250, two body copy, size 32. That way, it gives you every time that someone sees this side they think, okay, this is, this is a stat, This is a headline so that they understand what they're looking at just by looking at the size of a copy. Again, it helps them orient themselves on every slide. Now, the next one, the fourth and last way to create, to create this consistency across all your slides are grids. Now grids or the secret weapon that make your decks look professional and they aren't difficult to use. In fact, it makes the design process much easier because just like bumper bowling and I'm super played bumper bowling or roller thing there. And you rarely ever get a gutter because you can't because it just bumps through, right. It just pumps it back in and you hit one pen at all, depends, whatever. And so if you stick with this grid, year design won't get a gutter ball. Now, basically, all grids are a simply a division of the page to create order out of chaos. Or the chaos is like all the different things that you want to say. So you put them on a page and that grid helps you organize and create order out of all those elements. And so the most common grid for slides is a six column grid combined with 40 pixel gutters. Now, this is a gutters, the space between the columns and then these purple things are the actual columns. Now the reason why I like to work with a six column grid is that it gives you the most amount of whole number divisions, 2346. So you can take that six congress. So you start with one, you can divide it by two. You can divide that by three, divided by four, and divide it by six. So then you can use these in combination all over the place like this is if the musical notes are the colors and the coffee and stuff like that, like this is the rhythm. This is the backing band like these are the drums is are the things that hold everything to gather. So in practice I can go and say, all right, well I'm going to use, I'm gonna take the page and divide it up into two columns. And I've, I started with that. So you can see that that lines up perfectly with that to write here 22. And then when I take the grid away, it looks great. It's pleasing to the eye. It's well balanced and it's understandable and it's not disorienting. Uh, you immediately understand how this is laid out. If you're doing three columns. So let's say I have three illustrations with three main points here that you could divide that up in the three columns. And so looks just nice and organized. And the ratio makes sense and everything just feels professional. Again, going back to that subtle difference that if this was like a little bit misaligned and like this was over here, like all of a sudden it now feels a little amateur. Now if you're using like a team slide, this is where you could use the six, the full six column grid. And there you go. Now imagine if you didn't have that. And imagine if like Skyler was like a little wider, like Mary was narrower and male, it's like, well, why is Schuyler wider than kaitlyn? She more important know, everyone's have equal importance here. And that's why we need that consistency in the grid. Now the last thing I'll say in this consistency chapter is about vertical Lima. We talked about grids as far as horizontal. But the one thing you have to watch where I see this over and over again is the vertical alignment you'll look at. You'll look at headlines, especially up at the top left. And you'll see it just bumped down a little bit up and down, up and down as you move through slides, there's like that little jumpiness. And that little jumpiness is that subtle difference between something that's amateur and something that's pro. So in your, in Keynote or PowerPoint, whatever you do, check those x and y variables. So when you click on it, go over here to the Property Inspector and look at and make sure that everything has the same x and y values, especially if it's top left. That way, then you eliminate all that jumpiness in omic things look consistent and professional. Now, let's move on to priority. 4. Chapter 4: Priority: Now the last chapter is priority. And when I say priority, I mean you have all these elements on the slide. How do you orchestrate what they read first and what they read Second, what they read third, and so on. And it is like an orchestra, right? So you have all of these instruments and your job is to arrange the elements on the screen so that the viewer reads him in the order that you feel is most important. And that's how an orchestra works, right? So they have the different horns that come in at this time. And then the drums are coming in at this time and the violins are coming in at this time. It's orchestrated. It's all thought out and planned out ahead of time. And it works a lot like a mixing board too. That if you've ever mixed a piece of music that you're turning this up at this time and then this time and the turning this upper, you're panning it over to the right of your painting, it over to the left. And that's to get to, to have that the listener understand that music, understand the songs, how you want them to experience that. And if you want the drums to be real loud in the beginning, then you're going to turn it up in the beginning and it's up to you to orchestrate that into what they hear in the order in which they would want to hear. Now the way that you, the way that you pull that off in design world is a fancy word cut visual hierarchy. And you can use that nerdy Design word if you're talking to a designer. But really all it is the arrangement of graphic elements in a design in order of importance of each element. So it's basically 123. What are the order in which you want them to do that? And I'm gonna give you three ways to create that visual hierarchy. These aren't like crazy things, these are things that you can do right away, things you can do in PowerPoint Keynote. And just by tweaking a few knob. So the first thing is bright and dark colors. So you can use brighter, great, bright or dark colors to create depth in your slides, making things appear closer to you. Now look at the shades over here. So if you look over here, I didn't even use colors. I really just use black and white to exaggerate the, the, the concept. But if you look over here, the brighter colors here stand out further. They create a depth. It does feel like it's further out in front of you in these feel like they can have a more behind, right? Even though we're looking at a 2D thing, it feels 3D. But in the inverse, over here in white backgrounds, darker colours stand out first. And as you go down to the brighter colors, they stand out second to the, to the dark color. So in practice, from looking at this team contour slide, that I would use a dark tech or dark color for the text color for the headlines because I want them to read that first. And then for the sub-headline, I would use a brown which is bright if they blew it up, it would be definitely like a brighter brown. But on a white background, it's sits secondary to the dark color of the headline. Now if i inverse that and have a dark slide, I would pick the white color here and then the brown color here. Now all of a sudden feels more muted in his secondary because now it's sitting, it's sitting on a darker background because it doesn't have that pure white brightness there. And that's how you're able to have them read team culture first. Now if you look at this on a title slide, if I wanted them to read these words like believe customers and just a brand or whatever that is, I would create this one is dark and this one is dark, and then these ones are BY a brighter brown, but you can see they kind of sit, they kinda sit back. So if you squint your eyes. You could see believing customers just a brand. Now I probably even use a brighter brown than this, where like something that's a little bit closer to the white to even make it more exaggerated. But even if you inverse that you can see, believe really stands out now. And customers really stand out in just a brand too. And that's just by using bright or dark colors. Now, the next concept within colors is the idea of contrast. So if I want them to read this part first, this energy services, then I'm going to use a very high contrast color to the white. So in this case it's a dark blue versus the white, which gives you that contrast. So that my eye goes here. First. When I come down to here, it's going to be, this is where my eye is going to be. So as you see, as you'd go between these two, just using contrast, I'm able to draw attention to a specific part of the page just using that. Now imagine if I had a picture like this and I wanted to talk about the photo functionality. And I could use a pop-up with a really bright high contrast orange that would draw my eye to that specific part of the image all through using a high contrast orange. If I would have used the ICC, a white or even like a grey, like it just wouldn't have stood out that much. So if I really want to overpower this image to get them to look right here, orchestrate their attention to this, I'm going to use a high contrast call out. Now, in the case of like a rule of three were I had three separate bullets here, three separate concepts right now that's not my eye isn't drawn towards any of these things. They're kinda all drawn at the same time. But I wanted to pull out one of them. I would just use a high contrast green. And now I have to look at this 1 first. It's literally you're telling me like, oh wow, this must be important some way because you're using contrasts and do it. Now that's contrasts. We talk about bright and dark. Now the next thing we're gonna talk about this opacity. So I can simply take the opacity to 50% on these. And now this is sticking on first simply by using opacity. Now here's an example and accompany timeline where I've wanted them to pay attention to this particular data, this particular part of the page. So I'm going to make all of these at 50% opacity and this one is at a 100%. And that's why I'm able to see this 1 first. Now, that is color. Now we're gonna move on to the second way to create visual hierarchy in that is through size. So if you look at the sizes of these texts, these pieces of tax, now going back to when we created these modular type size and this is why we did it to create that priority to say, I want you to read this first because it's the largest, then this secondary, then this third, just by the size of the font, you can see that it creates that 123 priority. Now the key is contrast. And the thing, font sizes are too close, it's confusing as to what to read first. And since they are almost all equally trying to compete for your attention, you're not sure what to do. So if like, how we marketed in marketing data where like two pixels off as far as like their font size, it wouldn't be enough contrast. So you can see here the, the, the largest fine here marketing data that had headlines number one. And then we've got a subline on which a number two and then number three, which is the smallest, the body copy one. That's the one we go to last. Now here's one thing I see over and over again as icons or nice or good to use in slides. But sometimes they take up too much priority. Usually icons are very minimal. They don't tell you a whole lot. Now, in previous chapters we talked about making the illustrations visually, picturing them in their head like what the horse illustration icons tend to be very minimal, so they don't tell you a whole lot there best uses like spices, right? Like they just kinda sprinkle on and just give you that peripheral feeling of like, oh ok, money icon data. But they shouldn't be the star of the show. Now if this was some like fancy illustration, then yeah, I would make that the star of the show because it helps you visualize it. But in this case they're just very minimal icons. So I say don't make them the highest priority because right now they're number one. You see those right away, but they don't tell you much. So I always make those smaller so that they sit in a compliment, the largest thing on the screen, but they don't overwhelm it and they're just peripherally irrelevant. Now, the other thing about size is the, is using diagrams. So diagram should be big and bold because they show rather than tell, Remember the illustrated example, they really show a lot and makes it easier for the viewer to understand a concept. If you just said like machine eight was the highest selling in the first quarter of literally just said that you wouldn't be able to get the same point across versus having a graphic like this. But the problem is this is very underwhelming and these kind of compete for attention. You're not sure which one because they're similar in size. But if I make that really big, now that's the star of the show. Now I can see it's very obvious. Going back to making it obvious. This is very obvious that machine aid is the winner here, and it's very obvious that this is the star of the show and this just helps support this giant diagram here. Now here's another example of using illustration, but it's more of a diagram here because it actually uses size like this one, is meant to show like more than 20 employees and kind of off the screen. And then this one is you show smaller ones which is one to 20 employee. So it's using an illustration as a diagram, which I think is really unique. Now we get to the last, the third way to create visual hierarchy. And that is using space. So using grids, we can play within the boundaries by using more columns to adjust the port, the importance of each LED. So if you look at this, I can adjust the importance of this. I write now the image that, you know, if I want the, this a beautiful picture of food, if I want this to be the star of the show, I'm gonna make this take up two columns. And this is only going to take up one column, again using our sixth column grid divided into three. I want this to be the most important things on giving it the most space in the grid. Now here, I've given this two columns in the grid and this one column in the grids. So now, because I've given this more space on the grid, I've adjusted the importance and now this is the most important thing and it still looks good. I mean, it's still supports it, but this is way more important than this is simply by changing the grid, simply by moving it over different columns, gives me that importance, gives me that priority. I orchestrate the experience of that. This is the most important thing on the screen. Now if you look at this, the amount of elements inside of a column does not necessarily equate with the importance. So what we're talking about, we talked about grids. We're going to talk about empty space. And breathing room within the columns helps draw attention to because they are surrounded by em. She's empty space which draws your eye toward There's, toward it. There's not much empty space here. It's on, the slide is really filled it up into little bit crowd and there's not much breathing room or space and is quickly scanned and usually ignored like they just don't like it just feels cramped. Now, if I take this and I want this to be the most important thing, I give it more breathing room, I give it more space, uh, give it more size as far as the, the whitespace around it. And now this becomes the most important thing. And then this becomes secondary. Now in this case, and I've given this way more space, I've flipped it. So now this has way more space and this is secondary to, and this is how I use, this is how I use whitespace to draw attention to what I want them to look at first simply by giving it more breathing room. Now, the other thing is, and the last way to do that within space, using space for visual hierarchy is proximity. So proximity is to items that are close together are viewed as related. So it looks like all these things are related in the technically army and they're all on the same slide. But watch how just using space. All of a sudden now it gives it a little bit. Now they operate as separate individual things, which is okay, right, so I have the headline here, sub-headline and that had like these three things are probably the experts that are going to be talking here. But watch when I move this up here now, because of the proximity to this, it feels like these are related and therefore makes more sense to say, okay, well, I want to read this and I want to read this. These are, these are grouped together and creates a priority for those. But then these ones down here are kind of separate. But watch when I move this down here. Now, these are read in priority together, and this one is separate. So I read this and then I read these as a separate group of things. They're going back here. I started here, that priority. I use size here, font sizes, okay, that's, that's OK. And then I took it up a little bit my priority and said, okay, well, you know, these aren't all One thing. I still have the sizes the same, but then this becomes a separate concept. This is EPR concept and this is upper concept. But when I start playing with space and priority, I realize, oh, these must be connected as an idea and these are separate. But then when I move here, these are now connected and these makes sense. So this begins the second priority, the first priority, and then these are the second priority. 5. Chapter 5: End : Now that we've gone through simplicity, consistency, and priority, and now you understand, okay, Jack, I have man, I had all these slides and all these things and now I can use a grid, and now I can use a type scale. And now I can use visual, visual hierarchy to put things in order of importance. And I can go apply these things today are a weekend, whatever. And it's going to make my deck more effective. And really let's go through just a recap of the whole course so you can look at and say, okay, what are the takeaways? What are the main points that if you learn nothing else, these are the things that you can walk away with. Number one, keep it simple. I think that was pretty clear throughout the whole thing is like how do we create less overwhelm and more focus and so be ruthless. Edit, edit, edit, edit. If you've ever written a book or you've written a blog post or any of those things and you're working with an editor, it's just like cut this out, cut this out, cut this, cut this out. Anything that doesn't create that white hot focus, get rid of it and write like they know nothing. If you're, if you're creating this medical device startup and you're talking to an investor who isn't in that industry, they are going to know what you're talking about. I mean, I've pitched many investors on things in markets that Dave nano anything about. So I have to explain it to them on very basic terms. And that's okay, that you don't want to sit there and try to impress them with all kind of jargon. It doesn't work. Trust me. I've done it and then they just kinda look at you with this like glassy eyed look and they're like, I have no idea what you just said. And that does not do is not do you any favors as far as raising money. And then the last one is make a conversational. And I hope this course has been more conversational. It's all like my name is Jack and this is how you create designed like I don't like to talk like that. If your slide deck and your copies like so serious. And I mean, unless it's like a cure for cancer or some very serious topic. And there are contexts that, that probably makes sense. But most of the time you're talking to a human being, people don't walk around talking like that. So keep a conversational, not goofy, but just keep it, keep it as if you are talking to them in a conversation. Use words that they understand and you don't have to be super technical and boring. Next is keep it consistent. Make it easy to get oriented. We talk about pattern recognition that on each slide, I mean, even on this slides, three bullets you understand, you get it right away. It's just easy to get oriented. So use those patterns, use, use the color of the background, things that we talked about using hey, use dark, dark slides for the title slide, blue sides for the section slides those things. And make it easy for them to understand each slide right away because they go through so many of these slides just make it easier for them to scan it and get the idea quicker. And don't reinvent the wheel. Don't try some new, new fangled design and structure and pattern. It's like, again, it's okay to break the pattern, but do it in your story, not in the design, not in the structure because that's when it's just that's when the design overpowers and distracts them rather than supports the story, that the story is the real thing that you're trying to get across to get their attention. And then just simple. Double-check alignments just go in there. And if you want that professional look and like I said, professionals subtle, but if you go in there, just check that your headlines on jumping all over the place and just check that your font sizes are consistent across all the slides. Like those little things go a long way to just be a little pedantic about that. But it gives you that professional look that you're going for. And last, keep it prioritize what do you want them to see first, second, third, so orchestrate the flow even in your outline is your building your slides. Label it like i want them to see this 1 first, then two, then three. If you're working with a designer or you're designing it that way, then you'll be able to use things color like size, like space, like how do I use a bright color on a dark background to bring it forward? How do I use a bigger font size to bring the attention up to that thing first, and how do I give it whitespace to breathe and make that the star of the show, if I give it enough space and breathing room, there are going to look at that thing first. And then the last one is group similar elements like if you want them to read this group of concept thing first, then put them close together in proximity. And then the second group of items, but those in close proximity. So they, they read the groups in the elements in which, in the order in which you want them to do it and start small, you don't have to do all these things. Don't be overwhelmed by thinking. You have to do all these things right away. Just start with a few small tweaks like just a gesture font sizes it just the colors. Go through, cut out your slides, use some of those slide templates we talked about in the first chapter doesn't have to be overwhelming. And then as you get the hang of it, you're going to start using more and more of these things as you go along. So you may be thinking, Jack, the time you all these things are great. I mean, these things I know I can implement and I know I can get the result that I want, but I'm so busy dealing with customer service and busy building the product like all these things, I just don't have the time now, you have two options. If you want to get that high-quality and you're busy doing other things and you want to get that high-quality slide presentation so that you can raise more money. These are the two options, one higher pro designer. So what you're gonna do is go to a marketplace like top towel. I loved opt-out because they've, you know, they have the top 1% of designers and developers there. They're great. You're going to have to review anywhere from two to five to ten portfolios if you're really picky and then you're gonna have to select the one that you feel is the right one. Now if you're not a designer, you may not know. Was this person good? I don't know if this person's good. Go ask a designer friend and be like, hey, could you just look at these two or three portfolios and just tell me what the best one is. They're gonna know right away. If I look at a portfolio, I can say pretty quickly like yep, they're legit note they're not legit. Don't pay them or don't hire them. Now, as far as costs, you don't want a cheap out on this. Like if you hire a $30 designer, you're gonna get a $30 design and it's not going to look very good. You want to make sure that you pay for the quality. So if you look at that, a 150 to 175, my ranges up in the 200, but I've been doing this for a long time. You're gonna get that senior level designer that you need to get the quality that you want if you're sitting down in front of a very reputable VC, you don't want to come in with some crappy deck that you paid. You know, fiber, ten bucks and it just looks like crap. You wanna go and you wanna make sure you spend the money. Now if you look at a 30 slide deck, No, when I say 30, I mean, let's say 15 to 20 of those are like the presentation slides, the ones that you're going to be talking to the investor with. And then there's going to be appendix slides. If you want to design those appendix slides and know a lot of people do where they want to send the whole deck so that they have the reference notes at the end. It's always helpful to have, you know, for 30 slides you look at anywhere from four to five of done a lot of these hourly In the early days and that's usually what I ended up with was the 45 K cost or option two, which happens to be the service that I provided. And I knew you were going and knew knew that I was going to try to sell you at the end. And I am it's called down for you decks. As far as you don't have to go in and review 105 to ten portfolios I've already gone through and are super picky about who I work with. I've reviewed so many portfolios and I am like No yes. Like I'm going through and I'm picking the best ones. I'm very picky and I have them do tests and understand that they're going to deliver the quality because I'm putting my name behind it. And I also care a lot about the quality because word travels fast. The other thing is about the pricing I used to do hourly and there were a lot of surprises. I tried to keep them up to date, but a lot of times it's like they went set out to spend, you know, 2 thousand. He ended up spending 5 thousand and they got the quality. But it's just like a kinda eight into their budget that they could use for other things. So I'm like, how can I create a simple pricing pricing approach, 2500 bucks. So, you know that, you know up front how much it's gonna cost. There's no surprises. You get three rounds of changes. And most times it doesn't go beyond three anyway. And so everybody's, everybody wins. And I'm able to pay, pay my designers. And you're able to get something great at half the cost of what you had over here. So if you're interested in hiring upper designer, I'd be happy to give you some some thoughts around there. Just shoot me an email. Or if you'd like to explore how we could how we could work together and don't for you decks just go to done for you to and you can either buy it right there and we can get started asap. We have a very specific process that we follow us, uh, you will know and have visibility into every single thing that we do. And you'll, you'll never be lost as to where you are in the process. Or you can book a call and just jump on the phone with me. We can talk through your deck and give you some feedback. And if you decide to buy great, if not, no big deal, I'm not gonna go in and try to hard sell you on this. We'd just have a conversation about what you are looking to do. So again, just go to done for you And it was awesome, you know, teaching you about slide decks. And hopefully you can use a lot of these things to raise more money.