Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Slide makeover... of a slide makeover

The presentation below is what people in the know seem to term as a "Slide makeover", whereby you take a slide which was previously hideous and attempt to make it less so. I was shown this video on youtube by a friend of a guy who does this, and some how seems to make a living off it...

So anyway, below is a step by step guide of how I made the slide in question, and while it is by no means perfect, I would be fairly confident it is more effective at conveying the information in question.


Dave Paradi said...


Thanks for taking my work and giving your readers and viewers some more ideas on making it visual. The goal of my work is to help people who struggle with the challenge of figuring out how to make text slides into visuals. In the video that you watched at, the real lessons were on how to present survey data as a visual instead of a list of bullet points. The video shows one attempt using a pie chart, which ends up confusing the audience more than the text annoyed them. I showed the slide I use in my live presentations, which demonstrates the use of the correct visual, a bar chart. My view is that most people are looking for ways to create visuals without having to learn graphic design, so I stick to what designers would find pretty plain visuals. That’s OK, since for most business presenters, it is a huge step up. While you and I may disagree on some aspects of slide design, I think we can both agree that more audiences would benefit from visuals than the “wall of text” that they usually encounter at most presentations. My slide makeover videos help demonstrate different ways of presenting common business topics that hopefully enlighten presenters and will help audiences understand their messages better.

I also find that the slideshare medium is a different medium than a live presentation. Slides for a live presentation work with the presenter and many times also serve as a takeaway in handout form, whereas slides for slideshare must deliver the entire message without a live presenter. So what works well in one medium may not work well in another.

Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

Dave Paradi

Ed said...

Dave I do indeed agree that the first few slides that were shown (like that absurd pie chart) were extremely flawed, and your remake was indeed an improvement.

However I also believe that it is important to teach aspects of data/info presentation such as the % of slide dedicated to the real core info, alocating large areas of the slide to distacting non-relevant logos etc, and colour choice, for intance I would imagine few ppt professionals would advocate yellow material on a purple background.

However, that said I do believe that your videos are a useful assest, and you have obviously put more effort into teaching people on the issue than I have, and I think that any work in this area is a great asset to those who struggle with presentation design.