Presentations: Slide Deck Design for Non-Designers | Scott Schwertly | Skillshare

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Presentations: Slide Deck Design for Non-Designers

teacher avatar Scott Schwertly, CEO of Ethos3 | Presentation Design & Training

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.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Why Design Matters


    • 4.

      4 Styles and Approaches for the Non-Designer


    • 5.

      Typography, Photography, and Color


    • 6.

      Charts and Diagrams (The Basics)


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Before/After Material


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About This Class

Design amazing slides. Your audience will remember.

Once your content is in place, a great presentation is all about amazing slide design. In this 50-minute class, presentation expert Scott Schwertly provides empowering design advice for non-designers, encouraging us to go beyond the built-in templates to create truly powerful visuals. Covering 4 major styles, basic principles of color and type, advice for tricky charts, and more, it's the class you have to take before your next presentation. Make your next slide deck amazing.

Learn by doing.

You can choose to re-design slides from a previous presentation, start brand new, or design slides on a subject that's important to your work, interests, or creative pursuits. After this class, you'll have a presentation you can present in any situation.

Watch 7 video lessons.

  1. Simplicity (7 minutes)
  2. Why Design Matters (2 minutes)
  3. 4 Design Styles for Non-Designers (7 minutes)
  4. Typography, Photography, and Color (9 minutes)
  5. Charts and Diagrams (4 minutes)
  6. Resources for Everyone (10 minutes)
  7. Before & After Samples (10 minutes)

Be sure to check out Scott's other 2 classes: Presentation Content and Storytelling and Nailing Presentation Delivery Every Time.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Scott Schwertly

CEO of Ethos3 | Presentation Design & Training


Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.

If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University. 

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1. Trailer: It's so easy for business presentations to fall into a rut. You had some data, threw into a template, and you were done. But then you wondered, did the audience fall asleep? Did they leave knowing what you were talking about? Did your call to action count? Wait, you're smarter than that. You're here and you know that there is no reason for a bad presentation because there are presentation secrets that work every single time for every presentation, for every topic. I'm here to coach you in building, designing, and delivering a presentation that works and wows your audience. My name is Scott Schwertly and I'm the founder and CEO Ethos3. At Ethos3, we really have one core objective: to empower presenters, and it's the whole reason for why we come into work every single day. We've been doing it for eight years working with companies like Google, Oracle, and, LinkendIn, the Pepsi and Coke, the Fox and HGTV. We've seen it all, and now we're sharing our tips and tricks here in three Skillshare classes that will revolutionize the way you present at work. Every lesson presents best practices; and as a company, by practical project steps, articles, and exercises to get you reworking and rethinking your slide deck into presentations that will wow your audience. So, what will we talk about? Our first class is all about content. You'll learn how to develop your information in a way that's memorable, organized, and hooks your audience with a story. Our second class is all about design. You'll learn four key styles that non-designers can implement right away. Best practices for typography, photography, and color and see some before and after transformations that will inspire smart ways to redesign your own slides. Our third class is all about delivery, and that's all about your best first impression. Learn six ways to open and close a talk, six essential questions to always ask yourself about your audience, and the ultimate presentation commandments. My name is Scott Schwertly, and I've been revolutionizing business and boardroom presentations for over a decade. I'm thrilled to bring this experience to Skillshare, so join me in learning how to structure, design, and deliver an incredible business presentation. 2. Simplicity: All right. I want to kick start this lesson with a quote by John Maeda. It's really about how simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. So, when you think about presentation design moving forward, the lens that I want you to have is that less is really truly more in relation to presentation design. All right. So, to help set the tone for this conversation, what I want to do now is actually have us go through an exercise called "Love It or Hate It". So, what I'm going to do is I'm actually share with you real slides from real presentations and I want you to simply tell me whether you love it or if you hate it and then why. So, we're obviously in a virtual setting so just pretend that I'm sitting there at your desk or in your office as you're going through this exercise, and just maybe talk out loud. What do you like about the slide that you're seeing, and what do you dislike about it? Again, do you love, do you hate it, and then why? All right. So, let's jump right into it. This is slide number one. Do you love it or do you hate it? Then why? All right. So if you're struggling with this slide, I can understand why. In fact, if I had to pick a category, and hopefully, you're in the same category with me, I am in the "hate it" camp, and the reason why is this. Well, for starters, it's using clip art which is obviously a no-no but they're also using clip art in conjunction with stock photography, with the skyscraper in the upper right, not really going well together. As far as eye placement and where your eye needs to go, it's hard to follow with the different sort of text placement all over the place. The sports metaphor, is that working with the imagery? That's kind of a subjective thing. Personally, I'm not necessarily a big fan of it. The thing that most people don't tend to pick up on is they're actually utilizing a PowerPoint template, and you can see that with the blue dotted lines going into the background. So, definitely, more negative here than positive. So, hopefully, we're tracking together here and we hopefully both hate this one. All right. Let's talk about slide number two. Do you love it or do you hate it? All right. Well, hopefully you're also in the "hate it" category on this one. This one here what really bothers me about it is you sort of have a useless URL up at the top. You've got all that text to the left. It's way too much, it's hard to read, and then you have this acronym to the right which sounds great in theory but it's sort of getting lost in the shuffle, obviously, battling for attention with the text on the left and then the URL up at the top. In this case, they're not using a PowerPoint template. It looks like they're actually using a Keynote template, and you can see that with the black-to-gray gradient background in the background there. So, in this case, it's not really adding a lot of value, and in some cases, you can actually argue that it's detracting value from the slide. So, hopefully, you also hate this one as well. All right. Here's another one. Do you love it or do you hate it? All right. So, you're getting the general idea here. This is way too much text. One thing that really bothers me about this slide is not only does it have a lot of text but the body font size is actually larger than the header font size, which really makes for an awkward sort of ugly looking slide, and if you haven't picked up on it, they're also utilizing a PowerPoint template, and you can see that with the blue squiggly lines going into the background. Now, if this slide had one positive thing going on with it, it would be the yellow and the blue. In fact, on a color wheel, these two colors actually complement each other but other than that, that's really the only positive thing that's going on with this slide. So, if you're tracking with me, hopefully, we're all on the same page here and we actually hate this one. All right. What about this one? Love or hate it? All right. So, this one's probably a little bit different than the others. It's got a little bit of a different vibe, and I actually love this slide, and the reason why is it actually accents the presenter rather than dictates the presenter. So, in this case, do we know what the presenter is talking about? No, but I could probably imagine, he or she is maybe talking about an upcoming problem that's on the horizon, and this slide will give them the flexibility to talk around that concept or that problem, where again it's not dictating the pace or the conversation by forcing them to read or operate off some given text. That's what I love about this slide. It's giving them the freedom to speak freely but it's visually compelling. It's using the power of imagery which is awesome. So, on this one, I actually love it and I hope you do as well. All right. Here's my personal favorite. Love it or hate it. All right. So, you're getting the general vibe here. Obviously, way too much clutter, way too complex. They're utilizing clip art. This is also no place to showcase your WordArt skills, as you can see that with "Rangers Lead the Way", and if you have absolutely no skills whatsoever in Photoshop or Illustrator, please do not try to crop things as you can see with the the soldier off to the far right there, obviously detracting value from this slide. So, this is everything opposite of simplicity. You want to avoid these sort of pitfalls and traps and really avoid this sort of structure and format. So, hopefully, you're tracking with me and we can all agree that we hate this one. All right. What about this one? Bill Gates, love it or hate it? This is the last example. All right. So, obviously, way too much clutter. It's way too busy. Are you going to remember any of this information as Bill moves on to his next slide? Probably not, and particularly if you're not comfortable with the cloud or cloud computing or cloud networking. This isn't going to be memorable. It's not going to be easy to retain. So, again, definitely everything opposite of really where I want you to go. So, I think we can probably agree here that we both hate that slide as well. All right. So, what's the exercise? Well, the exercise in this is I want you to go back right now and examine previous decks that you've worked on. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Are there opportunities now for you to actually simplify the look and feel of your slides moving forward. Really, comb carefully through how you've tackled things from a design perspective on all the decks and even the current deck that you're working on, and how can you seize opportunities to actually be more simplistic with how you're really laying out your data in your material and getting rid of that clutter and focusing a little bit more on the simplicity of things where again your slides will accent you rather than dictate you moving forward? So, collaborate, evaluate, examine the stuff that you've got and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the next lesson. 3. Why Design Matters: So, we're done with content, and now we're going to move into design. This is probably one of my favorite umbrellas out of the three that we're going to be covering again content/storytelling, design, and delivery. So, I really loved this section. Looking forward to covering this content with you. So, the big question you're asking right now, is why? Why should I care about presentation design I've done? So, well, over the last five, ten years, using PowerPoint, it served me well. Well, I beg to differ, do you really think it's served you well? Do you think it's really served your peers, and colleagues well? Probably, not so much, because again, we live in this business culture, this business climate right now, where people are abusing PowerPoint every single day. You've seen your fair share of horrible presentations where the presenter often relies on a header, in bullet points, and a logo on the corner of every slide, these are just absolutely hideous representations of PowerPoint. We can do so much better. It's my goal over the next series of lessons, to get you out of that rut, and empower you to actually design better presentations moving forward. Because at the end of the day, great presentation design really designed for that matter, it matters. It's important to the success of your presentation. In fact, you can take a slide like this, that is, a basic white background with text, with no design, but what happens when you put design treatment on it? Well, you end up getting something like this. Alright? So, just by adding color and topography, and other little design element, you can do marvelous things. In fact, you can take this same slide, the same information, with a call out in with some information to support it, some data, some facts, some stats and again, you get something like this. Again, design matters, or you get something like this, and again, basic text basic, information, all testament that design matters. I'll give you one more, you get something like this, and then you end up getting something like this. Alright. So, really all I'm trying to do here is, set the tone, set the mood, excited about what we're going to be covering as we get into the heart of great presentation design. So, get ready. This is going to be fun, as we get into some tips and tricks. Hopefully, by the end of it, you're going to feel empowered as you move ahead. All right. Good luck. Have fun, enjoy these upcoming lessons, and looking forward to talking with you further. Alright. See you in the next lesson. 4. 4 Styles and Approaches for the Non-Designer: We're going to be talking about styles and approaches. I'm really excited about this one because what I'm going to offer up today are really four specific styles and approaches that any non-designer can utilize moving forward. So let me repeat that. We're going to be covering four styles that any non designer can utilize moving forward. So that's exciting stuff. So, if you're not an expert at Photoshop or Illustrator, no worries. What we're going to cover today are styles that should empower you moving forward to actually start designing really compelling slides without having that formal design education. So let's get right into it all. You're seeing in front of you Seth Godin. If you're not familiar with Seth, he's a famous marketer, brander, author, you can check him out at but eight, nine years ago, Seth Godin introduced to the world specifically the world of presentations, the idea of using the power of imagery. And it really builds off the Chinese proverb that, "A picture is worth a thousand words." So when you're thinking about that next talk, that next presentation that you're working on, if you're tempted to have three bullet points, then why not make them three separate visually engaging slides, or three slides that are based off of imagery. And that's really what the Godin method is all about. That again you want harness the power that again a picture is worth a thousand words because it communicates volumes. Now if you're familiar with something like the cognitive load theory which talks about how the human brain sort of learns and retains information, studies have done that essentially if you have an image with text, it's going to increase information retention by up to about 44 percent. So if you can take this Godin method which is just one half of the equation, just the image portion, you're going to have a slide that's going to be far easier to remember and retain from your audience or by your audience. So now if you can couple that with the Takahashi method, this is where you're really going to set yourself up to succeed. If you're not familiar with Masayoshi Takahashi, he's basically the creator of the Takahashi method or approach. So what is it? Well, Masayoshi Takahashi he's a computer programmer and he lives and Japan in about five years ago, he was given the task of having to give a presentation. Now shockingly, he did not have PowerPoint installed on his machine. So he quickly assembled a program that would allow him to have visual accompaniment when giving a presentation. So if I was Takahashi and if I was to be giving a talk, I would have something like this where it's using big text and that's the style that he created. And so if I was giving a presentation, I would say something like point number one, I love the color red, or point number two, I love the color blue, that's the Takahashi method. It's using a big text approach to presenting. So again, going back to the cognitive load theory, if you can take the big image approach like the golden method with the big text approach like the Takahashi method, you're going to have a presentation that really stands apart from your peers and your competition. Let's talk about the third approach. This is the Lessig Method. If you're not familiar with Larry Lessig, he's a professor. He's got a pretty solid platform so he gets invited to give a lot of keynote talks but he also gives a lot of webinars for his students. And so the style or approach that he's created over the years is this. It's having a slide for every key concept or statement that you talk about. So again, a slide for every key concept or statement that you talk about. Personally, I'm a huge fan and if I was to maybe give an introduction using the Lessig Method, my slides will looks something like this. Well, good afternoon everybody. You're probably wondering well who in the world is this guy. Well for starters, my name's Scott Schwertly and I was actually born on October 20th, 1978. If you guys want to figure out how old I am I'll leave it up to you to do the math on this one. So that is the Lessig Method. It's again using a slide for every key concept that you talk about. Let's talk about the fourth and final approach. This is the Kawasaki method. If you're not familiar with Guy Kawasaki, he's a venture capitalist, he lives in the Silicon Valley, and he also is pretty popular on the web just like Lessig. So, he gets invited to give a lot of keynote speeches, but here's his recommendation, in fact he has two recommendations. So number one, is if you're going to be invited to be a keynote speaker somewhere, he recommends the Top Ten format. If you're a fan of David Letterman, Letterman typically has every night his top ten layout and Guy Kawasaki recommends the same thing. So if you're on point number eight, your audience knows you have nine and 10 before you're done with your presentation but it allows him to easily track and follow with you wherever you are within your talk. Now if you're going go pitch something, if you're going to sell something, he recommends the 10, 20, 30 rule. So what is this? It's 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font. So 10 slides, it's going to be short, 20 minutes, it's going to be short, and in 30 point font very similar to the Takahashi method, nothing is going to make it on your slide unless it's 30 point font or larger. So, definitely critical to the success of your presentation. In fact when you think about people like Takahashi, he typically is not afraid to go up to that 350 point font or 500 point font when working on his presentations. But, in this case Guy's recommending at least starting at that 30 point font as your general rule of thumb. Now, personally do I use this formula? Well you can tell from my pacing and my style, I'm not necessarily a fan of just sticking to 10 slides, I tend to like a lot more than that, but if you are new to public speaking, if you are speaking in front of people makes you nervous or fearful, and you need a formula to operate from, this is a great place to start. So I highly recommend it in that regard. So obviously I'm recommending things that you can pick and choose from. Choose what works best for you and in all the power to you. So as we wrap up, what I want you to do is just as a practical application thing, I really want you to look at your existing content and is there an opportunity to apply one of these approaches? All of these approaches? And play around with it. In fact, if you've got a key stat for instance, can you blow up that stat? If you had a 42 percent increase in sales, can that 42 percent now become 500 font and utilize the Takahashi method? If you've got a slide that has five bullet points, can you use the Godin method and make those five separate slides? Can you utilize these approaches? If you have a really great intro, can you use the Lessig Method to quickly run through 100 slides or 50 slides or 150 slides to start with a bang? So, I'll leave it up to you obviously this is SkillShare so collaborate where you need to collaborate and examine where you need to examine but I really want you to take a careful look at your content as you now start to enter into this design phase and figure out, can you utilize these approaches, one of them, two of them, all of them? To start adding value to your next presentation. Thanks so much and I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Typography, Photography, and Color: Are you excited? I am. This is going to be some fun stuff. All right. So, we're actually going to get into the core of really what presentation design, great presentation design is really all about. So, we've talked a lot about simplicity and we've talked a lot about styles and approaches. Now, let's actually get into some practical lessons for you as you start thinking critically about your next presentation. All right. So, let's jump right into it. All right. So, let's talk about text. All right. So, we saw these slides earlier when we went through the love it and hate it exercise, and we came to this agreement hopefully, if we were in both in the hate it category I know I was, about what we liked and disliked about this slide. So, obviously, there's a pointless url, there's all this static text to the left and then you have this acronym that's also vying for your attention. So, in this case, if I had to redesign this slide, to me the acronym about smart and smart goals is the most important thing, and if it is, then why not center everything around that main concept and really let this come to the surface. So, we talked a lot about John Maeda, about simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Well, to me, this is the meaningful thing, and this is where all the focus needs to be in. So, let everything else fade away and let this rise to the occasion. All right. We also saw this slide earlier, again as we went through the love and hate it exercise about the Bush administration. Well, in this case, well, how can you actually approach this differently? Well, we don't want to have all this text on one slide, and we don't want to be utilizing the PowerPoint templates. So, what's the golden nugget? Well, it's probably something to do with the 1.5 billion in the low income married couples, but you also have a very compelling header. In fact, Did you know? It probably deserve to be its own separate slide. So, with my lens I would actually take this slide here and break it out into two separate slides. So, what you end up getting is something like this, Did you know? Then you can obviously pause for effect and so forth, that 1.5 billion is given to low income married couples. So, you're still sharing the same content but you're doing it in a much more visually engaging way, and that's really what I want you to be striving for when thinking about your next presentation. All right. Let's talk about font. Right. So, here's just the sad reality. If use Times New Roman, you are boring and lazy. There are a plethora of other font options that exist out there that you can utilize, that you can tap into and start adding value to your next presentation. In fact, if you just jump on Google and you do a search for free fonts or fonts or whatever it may be, you'll find font site after font site, after font site or you can start getting better fonts that aren't so predictable and so ordinary when it relates to presentation design. Now, something to keep in mind. If you are going to get a new font, I want you to go the Sans Serif route or the Sans route. So, what do I mean by this? Well, if you think about newspapers maybe even if you've got a Kindle, anything that's more on traditional hardcopy form, those are typically going to be Serif font based. So, those things with a protruding edges as you can see the s off to the right here. That's for news items. Again like a newspaper, a book, something traditional. Now, anything that's in a digital environment, you want to probably 90 percent of the time opt for a Sans font. So, as you start exploring for new font options, go the Sans route. It just works best in digital platform. So, if you're working in PowerPoint, Keynote, if you're working on building a website, you want to make sure you're going to Sans route. Now, as far as fonts, to me personally I love staying within one to two font styles per presentation. Can you get away with three? Three is fine. No, three is a crowd. It's okay, but anything beyond that three amount is probably a little bit too much. So, one, a little boring, two, to me is sort of Goldilocks. It's just right and again, usually want to opt for a Sans font. In fact, these slides here more options more reality more drama, we want better television, what does it take? This as a Sans font, but it's also using the power of typography. So, do you see a photo here? No. Do you see a PowerPoint template? No. It's just harnessing the power of type to add value to your presentation. So, look for those opportunities within your own presentations. All right. Bullets. This may sound a little overambitious, but it is my sincere hope that when you guys or when you specifically are done with this lesson, that you will never utilize bullets ever again. In fact it is the fastest way to nap time. There's so many other different things. You're learning so many different options in these lessons that you can get away from those bullets, and I recommend that you get away from those bullets and please don't rely on them moving forward. All right. Color. Huge pet peeve of mine, but if I was to give this entire Skillshare lesson using this as my background, you'd want to kill me by the end of these lessons. This is a poor color choice. So, what are your options? Well, opt for something dark like black or even go the opposite direction, offer something like a white background. It's going to be far more engaging than a typical PowerPoint template. But beyond that really where I really want to see you go is harnessing the power of both photography with typography. So, if I was to be talking about our changing climate, our changing habits, our changing world, are you seeing a PowerPoint template? No, but are you seeing a consistency in look and feel? Yes. So, these slides here as I backup, it's a photo with text. Could you accomplish this quote box particularly if you maybe are a non designer? I wouldn't expect that of you, but you can easily grab this photo and put changing text on top of it, photo with text, photo with text. Any non-designer can pull this off and you can still have a beautiful nice-looking presentation. So, look for those opportunities again to use photography with topography with your own presentation. Then, a really great principle here is the rule of thirds, and this is a principle that's going to easily separate the professional from the amateur. So, what is it? Well, I want you to imagine the next time you actually work within PowerPoint or something similar to essentially have these imaginary lines running across your screen as you can see here, and this is one aspect of the rule of thirds, and I'll talk about the second one in just a bit. But when thinking about eye placement, so, if you're going to have maybe a deck that's built around a client testimonial and yet want to have an image of your client or maybe you're wanting to show an image of a dog or a cat or whatever it may be, make sure that eye placement always runs in the top third. In fact the same thing works if you're an amateur photographer when you're thinking about your viewfinder. Make sure again eye placement runs in the top third. Now, white space. This actually is sort of rule number two but it relates back to the idea of the rule of thirds. All right. We saw this image earlier in the love it and hate it exercise, and why does this slide resonate with you. Well, to utilizing the rule of thirds, the second element of it in white space. The white space is what you're seeing to the right. Then the second element of the rule of thirds is you're placing the image off to the left. So, what I mean by that is this. Just like we cut the slide earlier for the image of the person with the eye placement, you can also cut your slide in thirds by doing what you're seeing here. So, if I was to be giving a presentation on coffee, I would place the coffee cup to the right. Now, it's a natural tendency as a non designer to place that coffee cup in the middle, but don't do that. Opt for the left opt for the right. If you opt for the left let's say you're doing a presentation on apples, you can obviously place the apple on the left-hand side. All right. So, here's the exercise for you. We've covered a lot of great lessons within this lesson, and so what I want you to do is think about where can you actually apply this to the design of your next presentation. So, can you utilize the rule of thirds? Are you placing your stuff in the middle of your screen when you shouldn't? Are you being tempted to put too much text on a screen? Are you using maybe more fun in a variety of fonts? Are you opting for photography and typography over a PowerPoint template? Are you doing these things? I need you to I want you to. That's how you're going to add value to your next presentation. So, again, the exercise is, go back, evaluate the look and feel of your presentation and really think critically about what you're doing, and can you apply some of these techniques to take it up to that next level. All right. Thanks so much and I will see you in the next lesson. 6. Charts and Diagrams (The Basics): Done done done. Charts and diagrams, this tends to be the pitfall of most presenters. So, what I want to do with you this lesson is give you a few tips and tricks to make sure that you aren't falling into those same traps. So, let's talk about charts and diagram. So, let's look at this one as we kick start this lesson. So, we're given this by a client not too long ago and it's talking about Intel and it's talking about these things coming in from the left and these other things coming in from the right. So, should you repackage this and all of its beautiful glory? Yes, you should. Now, should it make its way into your presentation? Absolutely not. So, save this for a leave behind piece, save it for a handout, it's screams and shouts logos, again remember we talked about logos and content, Aristotle. You want to make sure you have those things, the facts, that's things that are going to validate you as an expert. You want to have that but it doesn't necessarily belong within the real state of your presentation. Now, with that said, I'm going to kind of complicate your life really quick. You really kind of need to create two versions of this. So, version one, again is what you leave for your handout, it's the more complex version, but version two is the simplified version, it's where you get a little bit more to the bottom line of what you want your audience to remember. So, what does that look like? Well a strip down version of this, would look like this, where you talk about Intel and these things coming in from the left and these things coming in from the right, and that's what you want your audience to remember. So, that's the critical eye that you need to have when thinking about your charts and diagrams. Let's take it one step further. So, let's say you're dealing with this information here. We were also given this by a client they're talking about the classic City Hall shuffle, and for whatever reason they were relying on the visual metaphor of a web of mess. Now, why were they latching onto that? I have no idea but for whatever reason it was working for them and maybe that message, that metaphor was working for their clients or prospects or audience and so forth. So, if the visual metaphor of a web of mess is something that they felt was resonating, then why not build this same content around that visual metaphor. So, a web of mess as you're seeing in here. So, the challenge I have for you here is this, when thinking about your data moving forward, is there an opportunity for a visual metaphor? So, can you represent your information in a different much more compelling way moving forward? And I guarantee you can find something, there's opportunities for visual metaphors in everything. So, think critically, think hard and see if you can find the visual metaphor opportunity within your own content. Then when you get to the point where you actually want to design your charts and diagrams, this tends to be sort of the the bare-bones approach where you maybe drop in a simple PowerPoint illustration, you have a screenshot or two and you have sort of the key information the key text whether it's 100,000 unique views or X amount of customers or contacts et cetera when you can actually punch that stuff up with some basic topography, iconography and even some basic color. By doing that, it makes a dramatic difference from going from something like this to go to something like this. So, again, I want you to think critically about your own opportunities within your own material. So, what is the exercise? The exercise is this, look at your data and see if you can find opportunities to heighten and advance the visual layout of those materials. Specifically, I really want you to get in the mindset of focusing on the core item that needs to come to the surface, find the visual metaphor, and then clean it up and present it well by using our chronography great color and even some nice large font options. So, that's the exercise, have fun with it, collaborate where you need to collaborate and I will see you in the next lesson. 7. Resources: Presentation resources. All right. I want to take this lesson as an opportunity to really share with you some of the best places you can go to start building, designing, and putting together some of the best presentations you possibly can moving forward. So, we're going to get right into it, and let's talk about software. So, for starters, right now I am using Apple's Keynote program. In fact, I'm doing this entire Skillshare lesson using Keynote. When I give live presentations or webinars, Keynote is really my program of choice. Why? For many different reasons. One, I love the Apple user interface. If you happen to love your iPad or your iPhone, if you have one, you probably most likely will love Keynote more so than PowerPoint. But the thing I also love about Keynote is it embeds everything in one comprehensive file. So, if you'd like to use a lot of audio or video, Keynote saves everything as one file, where PowerPoint, this sort of notorious for saving things in separate media files, where you have to zip things and unzip them. I believe the latest version of PowerPoint has remedied that problem, but if you're running on PowerPoint '03, or '07, or 2010, that's still very problematic, so part of the big reasons why I love Keynote. So, if you're tired of PowerPoint, definitely check out Keynote if you want to utilize that. It's available as a desktop app, but you can also get it on your iPad, your iPhone, so you can run it on various different platforms and devices. If you're not an Apple user, you're probably right now are using something like PowerPoint. Really, at the end of the day, PowerPoint is actually a more robust program than Keynote. In fact, it's got way more bells and whistles. But if you're not necessarily a big fan of that user interface, then it's probably not the program for you. But really, at the end of the day, those were probably your two best options if you're looking for reliable and powerful software as it relates to presentations. So, definitely recommend checking them out. If you want to improve your presentation design skills moving forward, you probably do you want to maybe check out Adobe Creative Suite 6. In fact, a lot of the presentation design work we do at Ethos3 is generally done outside of PowerPoint and done outside of Keynote, so Photoshop Illustrator, InDesign, they're probably our best friends as it relates to actually designing things. Is it absolutely necessary to build a great presentation? Do you need it? No. You can use a lot of the styles and approaches that we've discussed already, but if you're really wanting to take up your presentation design up a notch or two, you probably do want to invest some time and energy in actually learning about these programs, maybe even taking a Skillshare class on Photoshop or Illustrator, so you can enhance your presentation design skill sets moving forward. Online software, if you happen to be tired of Keynote, if you happen to be tired of PowerPoint, there are some really great options for you out there. Prezi is probably the most popular at the moment. I kind of look at Prezi as the non-linear option. So, if you look at something like PowerPoint or Keynote, it's very linear. So, it's like slide, slide, slide, slide, where Prezi is very non-linear. You can float from idea to idea and highlight, here's a key concept, here is a key concept, and so forth. If you're not familiar with Prezi, what does that actually look like? What is this non-linear style all about? Well, if I was to give you an introduction about myself, I could start with maybe 'Hello, my name is Scott Schwertly," and maybe I happened to be a big fan of Bruce Lee. In fact, he's one of my personal favorites.' So, within Prezi, I have the opportunity to not only float around from idea to idea, but I can actually zoom in, where I can zoom in on a key word or text or actually zoom out, where you can see the entire canvas. That's really what Prezi is all about. It's again, a nonlinear approach presenting. If I asked my team right now, their thoughts on this, half my team loves it. They think it's the best thing ever, where the other half of my team really struggles with it. So, it's sort of a personal preference thing. If you like to stand out, if you want to be different, Prezi is absolutely awesome in that regard. If you really like to customize things and have full control over the look and feel of your presentation, Prezi may not be the best fit for you. In that case, I would recommend something like PowerPoint or Keynote. So again, all personal preference, choose what's best for you moving forward. Let's talk about photos. I've mentioned a lot about like the golden method and other techniques and approaches that you can use. So, where should you go to get some of these photos? For starters, I have no affiliation to any of these companies. We'll just take that up front, but iStockPhoto is a great place to start. In fact, if you did a search for a key term like dog, you would get is a web page very similar to this, where you can find any dog image that you're looking for. Be prepared to spend a few bucks, I'm thinking anywhere from probably eight to $10 per photo. It gets a little costly obviously, if you start getting into that higher slide count range. What I would recommend if you're going to find yourself mainly working within PowerPoint or Keynote, medium res images are probably going to be your best bet. If you spend money on the high res, you're probably spending too much money. If you spend money on the low res, there's a probability that your slides are going to start to look pixelated once you put them into PowerPoint or Keynote. So, medium res, as of right now, is probably your best bet. Again, we're in place right now where some people are still doing four by three presentations, others are still doing 16 by nine. If you're thinking well, what is that? Well, four by three is best if you're going to be presenting with a projector. But, if you're going to be connecting to something like an HD monitor or something similar, 16 by nine is going to be your best bet. So, medium res, make sure you just look at the specs on the photo that you purchase, and if you're going to find yourself presenting mainly on HD monitors and that 16 by nine format, make sure that there's enough resolution on those medium res images to fit that requirement. It may require that you go up a notch for that high res option. So, just be mindful of that. Are you mainly presenting on a projector or an HD monitor, and choose wisely when downloading your photo. If you like having options fotolia is another great one. Again, if I did a search for something like a dog, I would get a results page very much like this. So, on fotolia, you're not going to spend quite as much as you would on iStockPhoto, which is great, but also you're going to be spending a little bit more time trying to find that right image. Library, there isn't quite as robust. It's definitely improved a lot over the years, but you may spend a few more minutes looking for that perfect photo. So, just something to keep in mind when examining and evaluating whether you want to use either one of these options. Some other quick ones, I don't have slides for these, but you can check out That's also great. Photo Exchange is great. There's There's obviously Getty and Jupiter images, but fotolia, iStockPhoto, these tend to be the two that myself and my team tap on a regular basis. Video, need to be mindful about video. You don't want to ignore it as a resource, but you also need to be careful about how you utilize it. Obviously, the reason I'm bringing that up is copyright issues. So, if you work in an academic setting, if you want to educate somebody, if your presentation is going to stay internal, then utilize video. In fact, you can utilize YouTube, you can use Vimeo, Viddler, all great options. In fact, if you find yourself living and breathing off of the web, maybe you work in Chrome or Firefox all day. There are Firefox extensions or Chrome extensions, particularly, there's one called YouTube Downloader, which allow you to download anything from YouTube. So, if you see a great movie quote, if there's a commercial, if there's something that's going to allow you to accent a key concept or topic, you can jump on YouTube, grab the video that you need, and then add it to your presentation. Again, be mindful about what you're adding, and make sure you're not necessarily trying to sell or promote something. Because again, you're going to get yourself into copyright issues, and you don't want that. Sharing, we're going to be investing all this time building and designing this great presentation, then you need to make sure that you're sharing it with the rest of the world. In fact, if you're not familiar with Slideshare, I would recommend that you get on it, create an account. SlideShare is really the YouTube of PowerPoint. So, if again, if you're going to build this great deck, put it online. Put it on a site like Slideshare. In fact, here's an example of a SlideShare page. If I was to click on this Lego presentation to the right, I would get a page very similar to this wrecking, then click through the presentation. I believe this is slide one of 48. You can see that in the lower left there. But, put your presentations on SlideShare. It's a great resource. There is an audience that lives there. Just like if you're familiar with Google, pay-per-click campaigns, you can throw a little bit of money at Slideshare, and you can increase the visibility of your decks that you choose to showcase there. So, excellent resource, great way to again share your presentations with the rest of the world, and get marketing eyeballs on it that you wouldn't have had previously. So, definitely maximize it if you can. So, practical application exercise for you. Well, I want you to check out these resources. Again, these are just recommendations, by no means, it's concrete. You can take this advice and shove it, or you can take it and utilize it, and try to add value to your next talk. These are just some of the resources that I use on a day to day basis. Pick and choose the ones that you like, and add those to your personal toolbox. If you have any questions like this, obviously, feel free to reach out to me via Skillshare here. But yes, wishing you all the best as you start to dive into these new resources, and good luck with that next presentation. 8. Before/After Material: In this lesson, I want to plant some seeds. So, my core purpose objective with this session is really to just make sure that as you start thinking about your next presentation, remember these slides and remember the slides that we're about to walk through because, again, I want to plant seeds so you'll think different and you'll approach things differently the next time you start thinking about design and your presentations. All right. So, let's jump right into it. All right. So, we're going to start with a frog and this frog will become something. So, here's the project. We were working with one of our clients PhoCusWright and they're asking a question and then they're answering that question on the same slide, it sort of continues where you keep the same look and feel and then they're talking about Canada versus the US and you have all these different bullet points and all these different facts and stats. I don't need to recite these to you, I'm not going to read them to you but your typical death by PowerPoint, and then they want to get into their agenda. All right. So, plenty of opportunity for improvement. So, what happens to the frog? Well, it becomes a prince. So, what you get here is something a little bit different. So, we end up getting is the question asked or proposed on one slide and then you answer it on a separate slide. So, again going back to this idea that you want to stretch things out into multiple slides. Then, if the whole conversation is now going to orient towards the whole idea of comparing Canada versus the US, well, why not set the tone for that conversation? Well today, I want to talk about Canada versus the US. Then, instead of taking, we've talked a lot about the golden method of taking three bullets and making them three separate slides. Well, what we could do as an alternative, sort of like an option number two, is you can find a visual metaphor, in this case a maple leaf, and then build your bullets in this fashion around it. So, if multiple slides intimidates you, look at this as another option. So again, my core purpose today through this lesson is again just to plant seeds to make you start thinking differently about how you approach your presentation design, and then building off that metaphor, it gets into the idea that okay let's talk about our agenda. So, that's sort before and after number one. I've got three of these so let's get into number two. All right. So, you've got a truck or a van, this will become something. All right. So, in this case, we're working with our client goFLUENT, and here they're relying on a PowerPoint template. They're using some 1990's sort of stock photography. Is this absolutely terrible? I've seen a lot worse, but it is very templatized and you want to avoid this. Then they talk about their four key offerings. For the sake of the after, I'll just focus on efficiency and speed, but they're talking about efficiency speed, cost-savings, measurements, still all very goFLUENT branded, and then they're talking about how they're a solution and they have a screenshot and they have this globe off to the right. They're really talking about they're a solution but it's getting buried and convoluted with the whole idea of a screenshot. They have a standard PowerPoint chart or diagram that they put together and then, this kind of makes me laugh but they talked about how they're a trusted partner, but it's buried in the upper left and it's complemented with, again, 1990s early 2000s stock photo, which isn't really adding a lot of value to this slide. So, well, what happens? Well, the truck becomes a transformer and so what you get here is a cleaned up title slide all still staying within the goFLUENT brand, not relying on their template anymore but doing something a little bit different but still keeping, again, in alignment with what their color scheme is all about. Focusing on two of the four efficiency and speed by simply adding bigger type, a little bit more iconography, adds a little bit more life to the slide. Before they talked about how they're a solution and they had the screenshot, that simply went away, and now what you get is just more of a topography-driven slide. Their chart, that square that we saw before, that rectangular approach now becomes circular, which anything circular is obviously going to be more inviting and it shouts community and that whole idea. So, that definitely got cleaned up. Then we had the whole idea of a trusted partner. Well, we talked briefly, just a few lessons ago, about the Takahashi method, about using big text. This is the Takahashi method. It's taking something like a trusted partner, that idea, that concept and really punching up the font size to make sure it makes that dramatic impact on your audience. All right. Let's talk about before and after number three, the last one. You've got a caterpillar. You can probably guess where this one's going to go. In this case, it was ESPN and they have your typical title slide. They have an ugly pie chart complemented with an ugly bar graph and then you have an ugly US map one and an ugly US map number two. Not really that great, not really that powerful. So, what happens? Well, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. So, what you get here is a cleaned up title slide. In fact, ESPN didn't want us to really change anything other than, can you just make this a little bit more cool, a little bit more hip for a younger demographic. So, simply by changing font style and color, it makes a radical difference and accomplishes that goal. So here you get a cleanup title slide, the bar chart gets cleaned up, the pie chart actually goes away and becomes something a little bit different in the upper right. You get a cleaned up US map one and then a cleaned up US map number two. So again, just by changing font and color makes a huge difference on the quality of the slides. Walked you through the before and afters, let's go through a few samples. Again, wanting to keep in line with the whole idea of just planting some seeds. All right. So, what I want to show you now are just a few sample slides, these are just excerpts from random presentations but I want to show you how doable this is if you are a non-designer. So, this slide here, really what's going on here is you have two font styles on a green background. Somebody probably went to an iStockphoto or a Fotolia and got a green background and put text on top of it. Pretty simple to pull off. The only design element are probably the clouds. This slide here, same idea, kind of a static background with just some basic typography on top of it. This one here, you've got a photo-based slide of money, probably with some filter kind of an Instagram type of look, which you can do in PowerPoint by the way, with big typography on top of it. Again, the Takahashi method in conjunction here with the golden method of big imagery. You have a big image with text on top of it. The only difference here is you've got this little red banner up in the upper left. You can do this in PowerPoint, it's very easy to pull off. But big image with text. In this case, big image, but what did we talk about before? We talked about the rule of thirds and how you want to move things to the left. So, I guarantee this calendar effect is actually a bigger image that was simply moved to the left. So, now you're starting to see some of these things at play. This one here, a little bit design-centric. Would I expect you to pull this off? Probably not, but it's a good idea, again planting seeds here. It's a good idea of how you can maybe reimagine your data moving forward. So, in this case, the global impact of these different things and you can see that through the globe and through, obviously, the call outs for the different items. So, just a way to rethink how you approach your charts and diagrams. This one here is a photo with text, the only design element are the splash on the bottom and the little plugs protruding out from the Gs and the N but other than that these are standard fonts combined with a standard photo. Again, big image with big text, a little bit of effect on the image itself but most of you or you yourself could probably pull this off and it'll still look great even without that filter effect that's on that slide or that person. Again, photo with text, some design element with the circle on the lines but could you put since 1970 on top of this photo? Absolutely, and it should be fairly easy to pull off. A little bit of an illustrated look, a little bit more complicated, but you can also get illustrations on iStockphoto, Fotolia and other photo resources. So, just again, planting some seeds here. Also illustrated base, again you can do these same searches, you could probably do a search for an iPhone, iPad, Android illustration and get something similar to what you're seeing here in the background and then putting, again, big typography on top of it. Same thing here, big photo with text. In fact, notepad, that whole idea or a posted note was probably searched on a site like iStockphoto. The only design element is the little cloud effect under the O in you. Then last one here, again, photo with text, a little bit of a design element with the white box on the lower right but other than that, as a non-designer anyone should be able to pull this off. Again, it's just a photo with white and red text on top of it. So, exercise. Really, I just want you to reimagine and rethink how you approach your presentations. Keep this lesson nearby. I'll see if I can upload a PDF of this as well, so you can add this to your personal toolbox. But again, I just wanted to plant seeds, I just want you to rethink how you approach your slides moving forward and really take the lessons that we've covered and you can see them at play here, and see if you can do the same thing with your next talk. All right. Thanks so much. I will see you in the delivery section. Hope this has been beneficial for you.