Hai5s All Around!

April 18th, 2014 by

It has come to our attention that yesterday was National High-Five Day, but in our view, one day is simply not enough. We believe every single day should be packed with high-five moments — or, as we like to call them around here, Hai5s.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

We hope you know that everything we do, we do for you!

Our Hai5s to You, Today and Every Day

1. We make it ridiculously easy and fast to create beautiful slides that make you want to Hai5 yourself — and you’ll get Hai5 from your audience, too, for breaking free from the same old, same old. Hai5!

2. If you have a question, an issue, or feedback, we are here to help you out! You can tweet us, search our amazing support forum, or open a support ticket for fast, friendly, personal service from Erin, Lisa, and even Adam. Hai5!

3.  We celebrate your awesome creations by showcasing them in our Featured Gallery, our Popular Gallery, and on the blog. Have a Hai5-worthy deck to share? Hai5! Send us a link at gallery@haikudeck.com.

4. We build real community across social channels with the explicit goal of making helpful resources and examples available for you.

5. We provide all these amazing tools, resources, and support for free, because we believe EVERYBODY, from 1st graders to the CTO of Australia, has amazing ideas and stories to share. Hai5!

5 Quick Ways to Hai5 Us Back

If you love being part of our creative community as much as we love having you in it…..if you love creating jaw-droppingly beautiful slides quickly, for free….if you love supporting a tiny team with big dreams…..

1. Help us win our first Webby Award for Productivity! We’re up against some pretty stiff competition, and this would be a very exciting win for us. Click to vote before April 24 — you can sign in easily with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email — then click again to confirm your vote. Hai5!

BONUS: Tweet your #Webbys vote between now and April 24 to unlock a secret premium iPad theme or score a coveted Haiku Deck sticker! (And if you already voted, that’s awesome — just tweet your vote again to earn your Hai5!)

DOUBLE BONUS: If we win the #Webbys People’s Voice vote, we’ll make all of our premium themes available for free for a week!

2. While you’re in the groove, you can also vote for Haiku Deck as Startup of the Year in the GeekWire Awards, which honors tech innovation in the Pacific Northwest. No sign-in required for this one — just click and vote before April 27. Hai5!

3. Create a Haiku Deck — for work or for fun. If you haven’t tried making one on the Web App, or if it’s been a while since you used it, give it a try to see how hard our Dev team has been workingHai5!

4. Share your Haiku Decks! The more people see how beautiful slides can be, the less we’ll all have to look at awful ones. And when you see a great Haiku Deck, click the Hai5 hand below it for a feel-good animation that gives a little love back to the deck’s creator. (Fair warning: It’s a little addicting once you start.) Hai5!

Hai5 All Around

If you see a great deck, give it a Hai5!

5. Tell your friends, colleagues, bosses, and neighbors about Haiku Deck. Share it with educators, non-profits, entrepreneurs, trainers, bloggers, and marketers. Let’s work together to fill the world with beautiful stories and ideas. Hai5!

Hai5s all around, today and every day!


Six Simple Suggestions for Poetic Presentations

April 17th, 2014 by

Poetic Presentations

Presentations are pervasive, perhaps unavoidable, in modern business culture. We depend upon them to document details and dictate discussion. We use them to inform and to teach.

But shouldn’t presentations also inspire? Can they be evocative as well as informational?

I believe they can, and I think a lot about the qualities that make presentations feel poetic rather than pedestrian.

Poetic Building Blocks

I’ll spare you the cliche of starting with the dictionary definition (see #2 below), but most descriptions touch on these essential components of poetry: the expression of feelings and ideas, distinctive style, rhythm, beauty, intensity of emotion, and brevity.

1. Expression

To me, the most important element of a poetic presentation is a single, powerful idea to build around, to expand upon, to infuse every aspect of your creation. Think of this as your creative hook or your angle. Without a strong underlying inspiration or theme, presentations can end up feeling rambling, jumbled, or disjointed — just a sequence of slides.

The Dragonfly Effect, an inspiring book and blog about how social media can drive social change, is a great example of how powerful a cohesive creative hook can be. I incorporated beautiful dragonfly imagery into this presentation I made to share the team’s unique approach.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Poetry in Practice: When you’re crafting a presentation, give yourself some time up front to identify a theme you can carry through. This could be a metaphorical idea, a powerful phrase, or some other unifying creative thread. I often get my ideas from exploring in the Haiku Deck image search.

2. Distinctive Style

There are a wide variety of unique poetic forms, each with its own mood, character, and general format. The same is true for presentations. Whether you are sharing a lighthearted list or making an impassioned case for a cause you care about, select a style that fits and carry it through cohesively. Each presentation you create should feel distinct, in a way that suits its unique purpose.

The other important point here is to be distinctive — which means taking special care to avoid cliche in subject matter, wording, and image choice.

I love how Mel Carson uses black & white portraits in this presentation promoting his book, Pioneers of Digital. The overall effect feels unified and perfectly tailored to its subject.

Poetic Presentations: Haiku Deck by Mel Carson

Poetry in Practice: Instead of templatizing your presentations, select fonts and images to reinforce your mood and theme. As you develop each presentation, keep formatting and even image palettes as cohesive as possible to sustain the mood.

3. Rhythm

Poetry is strongly associated with rhythm, with cadence, with well-chosen words. You can play with alliteration (the repetition of consonants), assonance (the repetition of vowel sounds), or even rhyme as you title your talk and script your slides.

Zooming out, try to give your presentation as a whole a sense of rhythm, structure, and flow. You can do this by repeating visual or text elements at regular intervals — for example, solid-color slides to introduce new sections, or a short, simple string of text repeated throughout for poetic emphasis.

“Sculpting an Elephant,” by Barry Casey, is a wonderful example of poetic language and rhythmic flow in practice:

Poetic Presentations: Haiku Deck by Barry Casey

Poetry in Practice: Allow yourself time, and a few edit passes, to explore possibilities for word choice — you might even use an online dictionary, thesaurus, or rhyming dictionary for ideas. If you land on a poetic, powerful phrase, try repeating it at intervals throughout your presentation to underscore its rhythmic resonance.

4. Beauty

Beauty alone can’t carry an unsubstantial idea, but a beautifully presented idea can blossom into something bigger, more powerful. In a presentation, beauty may take the form of evocative, well-chosen images that deepen your meaning, or it could be an elegant metaphorical idea that intrigues and illuminates.

Take a look at how Brandon George uses clever images with a playful spin in this information-sharing presentation, “How to Get Ideas.” It’s a very creative take on beauty!

Poetic Presentations: Haiku Deck by Brandon George

Poetry in Practice: Use high-quality imagery, and don’t rush the selection of your images — they should be more than just decoration. Be sure each image you choose deepens and extends your meaning or tells a story.

5. Emotion

In the age of big data, it’s common to value information over emotion, and to structure presentations accordingly. Yet in the words of Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, “Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.”

“Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.” — Jonathan Gottschall

When we celebrated our company’s one-year anniversary last summer, I wanted to acknowledge the milestone with a mix of compelling stats and stories. Here’s how I wove the two together:

Poetic Presentations: Haiku Deck by Catherine Carr

For another example, check out how a creative teacher infuses a basic scientific formula with storytelling in this educational presentation:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Poetry in Practice: No matter how data-heavy your presentation is, your message will be more memorable if you can turn your stats in stories. Emotion and information can work together to elevate your key points.

6. Brevity

Certainly there are grand, epic forms of poetry, but most poetic forms favor brevity. Keeping your presentation concise and focused will nearly always make it feel more poetic.

This personality-packed presentation, created to cap off what was surely an epic Startup Weekend event, is an excellent example of how little text you actually need to get the point across.

Poetry in Practice: Instead of trying to pack in more — more words, more ideas, more thoughts, more data points — see what you can remove. Give your ideas some breathing room, so they can bloom.

In Closing

Here’s one last example I’d like to share, in which I tried to incorporate all of these poetic building blocks to some extent. I created it for presentation expert Nolan Haims, based on a blog post he wrote that inspired me. (Sending this to him felt a bit like cooking dinner for a famous chef, and I offered to make any changes he requested, but he liked it!)

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

There’s no foolproof formula to creating poetic presentations — like poetry itself, there are plenty of forms to explore and ways to experiment. But I hope these poetic building blocks can plant some seeds for future presentation inspiration.

Do you have favorite examples or poetic presentations, or ideas to share? Let me know in the comments!

And if you appreciate what we’re doing, please cast your vote for poetic presentations in the Webby Awards — every vote makes a big difference!


We Dream of Webby

April 10th, 2014 by

A Webby Win?

Haiku Deck fans, we hope you know we’re here for you to help you feel more inspired, celebrate your accomplishments, Hai-5 your killer decks, connect you to creative and amazing people, and do everything we possibly can to make at least the presentation part of your life simpler, more beautiful, and more fun.

Now we’re asking a favor of you.

We just learned that we’ve been selected–from thousands and thousands of applications–as a finalist for a coveted Webby Award, in the productivity category.

This huge accomplishment alone inspired Adam to break out into spontaneous karaoke song, but a WIN would be a dream come true for our tiny team.

We created this special Haiku Deck poem to share our Webby Dream and to showcase the stunningly beautiful Creative Commons images you can find every day with the Haiku Deck image search, all free to use, perfectly sized, and automagically attributed.

We Dream of Webby – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Make Our Webby Dream Come True!

Webby or bust, Haiku Deck fans!

If we have helped you look like a rock star, saved you time, or even made you smile, please take a quick minute to VOTE for Haiku Deck in the Webbys People’s Choice competition:

1. Click this badge

Webby Awards: Please vote for Haiku Deck at bit.ly/hdwebby!

Click to vote!

2. Sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or with an email and password (it only takes a second).

3. Click Haiku Deck, then click it again to confirm your vote.

4. Webbylicious Bonus Ideas: Tweet the love….Share this blog post…Share We Dream of Webby (it is National Poetry Month, after all)…Share our 10 Commandments of Presentations on Haiku Deck or on Slideshare, also inspired by the Webby Awards. Dedicate a karaoke song to us. Cover your iPad in Haiku Deck stickers. Go crazy.

5. Bask in our eternal gratitude for your awesomeness.

Love and Hai-5s,

Team Haiku Deck


6. Be thankful we didn’t include this image in We Dream of Webby.


12 Awesome Poetry Project Ideas for All Ages

April 3rd, 2014 by

Poetry Everywhere!

It’s National Poetry Month, the perfect time to fill the world with beautiful ideas and poetic power!

For a little inspiration, we’re showcasing twelve terrific poetry projects from our incredibly creative community of educators. You’ll find projects for first graders and high schoolers, and everything from sensory poems to color explorations to poems about polliwogs. (We also think any of these would be just as fun for adults to try — a little creative expression is always good for the soul!)

Educators, share your poetry project ideas here for a chance to win fun Haiku Deck prizes.

And if any of these ideas inspire you to create poetry-themed Haiku Decks (and we certainly hope they will), be sure to send us a link to gallery@haikudeck.com, or tweet them with the hashtag #poeticpower!

1. Illustrate Figurative Language

In San Antonio, Texas, Terri Eichholz uses Haiku Deck with her 4th graders to explore and illustrate figurative language:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Terri’s take: “In 5 minutes, I was able to show the students how to create a slide, add text, select an image, and share the product.  Once all of the products were in, we played a quick game to identify the type of figurative language as I showed each example on the big screen. While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”

While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”

“I love that they were engaged and learning, and all it cost me was about 10 minutes more than the previous times I’ve taught that lesson. Now, they have a new digital tool in their belt that they can choose from when they write their own examples of figurative language.”

Read more about Terri’s project (inspired by Natalie Babbitt’s “Tuck Everlasting”) and see examples of her students’ work on Engage Their Minds.

2. Create, Illustrate, and Share Original Poetry

Christy Novack and Julie Janc’s 3rd grade class at Roosevelt Elementary School used Haiku Deck and QR codes to spread poetry throughout their community.


Haiku Deck Announces Support for Windows XP

April 1st, 2014 by


Seattle Startup Responds Boldly to Office for iOS Launch, Making PowerPoint Alternative Available to Millions of Windows XP Users WorldWide

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 12.12.17 PM.png

Click to view a version of this press release created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful, and fun

Seattle, WA — April 1, 2014Haiku Deck today announced that its popular presentation app will now offer support for Windows XP. The free software brings Haiku Deck’s innovative approach to presentation creation and sharing to more than 300 million Windows XP users worldwide.

Haiku Deck’s streamlined design templates, dynamic HTML 5 output, and vast image library–with access to more than 35 million Creative Commons images–will now be available to diehard Windows XP users, offering an attractive alternative to traditional presentation software.

“Even if you have resisted updating your operating system for the past decade, there’s no longer a need to use presentation software from 24 years ago,” said Adam Tratt, co-founder and CEO of Haiku Deck. “In less time than it takes you to boot your Windows XP machine, you’ll be able to create an amazing Haiku Deck for sharing your new idea, closing a deal, or telling an awesome story. You’ll also have time to make a grilled cheese sandwich and watch two episodes of Matlock.”

In less time than it takes you to boot your Windows XP machine, you’ll be able to create an amazing Haiku Deck for sharing your new idea, closing a deal, or telling an awesome story.

Haiku Deck has demonstrated strong momentum since the launch of its iPad app in August 2012 — the app has millions of users and has ranked #1 in productivity in more than 50 countries worldwide. The Haiku Deck Web App offers full support for syncing from iPad to Windows XP, as well as future bug fixes and security updates for Windows XP users worldwide.

The Haiku Deck Web App is available to all Windows XP for free at www.HaikuDeck.com or on 3.5” floppy disks upon request. To receive a faxed copy of the Haiku Deck Web App User Guide, please contact aprilfday@haikudeck.com.

About Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck makes it simple and fun to create flawlessly beautiful presentations. Headquartered in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, Haiku Deck is a privately held company with the backing of prominent investors, including Trilogy Partnership, Madrona Venture Group, Founder’s Co-op, and Techstars. The Seattle-based startup was founded by Adam Tratt and Kevin Leneway. Haiku Deck has been embraced by creative communicators from a wide range of disciplines worldwide; for examples of how people are using Haiku Deck to pitch ideas, teach lessons, tell stories, and ignite movements, visit the Haiku Deck Featured and Popular Galleries, Blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest boards. For additional information and company images, visit www.haikudeck.com/newsroom.

Media Contact

Adam Tratt


Death by PowerPoint, Deconstructed

March 26th, 2014 by

A Comprehensive Guide to Diagnosing and Fixing the 15 Worst Slide Problems

Last time we checked, there were 13.3 million Google search results for “Death by PowerPoint.

     13.3 MILLION.

And more likely than not you’ve experienced it — that sinking feeling when someone says “Let me just fire up my slides,” you see a hodgepodge of bullets and clip art framed in an overbranded corporate template, and you know instantly you’re not going to get the next hour of your life back.

Death by Powerpoint example

Death by Powerpoint Exhibit A, via Boing Boing

It’s worth noting that we have nothing against PowerPoint itself — in fact, PowerPoint can be used to create some incredibly awesome presentations, if you have strong design skills or you know someone who does.

But let’s face it — as a culture, we’ve developed some pretty bad, and pervasive, habits in the PowerPoint department, and the truly excellent ones feel like the exception rather than the rule.


Missing Vizify? How To Create an Attention-Grabbing Visual Resume

March 20th, 2014 by

Our friends at Vizify announced recently that they have been acquired by Yahoo and will be shutting down the site. They were awesome enough to recommend Haiku Deck as an alternate service for creating standout visual resumes. (Hai-5, Team Vizify!)

Like Vizify, we believe there are many compelling reasons to present your story visually.

  • Images engage your audience’s emotions and make your story more memorable.
  • Presenting content visually helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Visual content is easier to consume on mobile devices.

In an age of information overload, visual content is an increasingly powerful way to communicate, and we’re here to make that part simple and fun. To make your transition from Vizify — or your leap to visual storytelling —  as easy as possible, we’ve created two flexible Haiku Deck presentation templates you can use to whip out a visual resume in no time flat.

Create a Professional Profile

Here’s a template you can use to create a stunning visual resume or professional profile. (more…)

PowerPoint for iPad? Try the Haiku Deck Way

March 19th, 2014 by

PowerPoint for iPad

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about the long-awaited arrival of PowerPoint for iPad, and as you might expect, we have a thought or two on the subject.

Should I Use PowerPoint for iPad?

It depends. We have long believed in the flexibility and power of the iPad as tool for content creation and productivity, not just content consumption. We love being able to work on a presentation whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, whether it’s at a coffee shop, on a plane, or curled up on the couch while half-watching House Hunters International. That’s why we started with Haiku Deck for iPad.

So we are all for creating and sharing presentations on an iPad, but we’ve also worked hard to make that experience uniquely tailored to the tablet — simple, fluid, and even fun. One key difference between Haiku Deck and PowerPoint is that we build the experience around images, not words.

We build the experience around images, not words.

We do this because we believe that people are tired of seeing presentation slides crammed with text (and, even worse, presenters who read that text word for word). Dave Paradi’s Annoying PowerPoint Survey provides more detail on this subject. Here’s our Haiku Deck version of the findings:

PowerPoint for iPad: Annoying PowerPoint Survey Results

Click to view the full Haiku Deck with Notes

Like many presentation design experts, we believe that images speak to our emotions and make what we have to say more engaging and memorable, and we’ve purposefully designed our Creative Commons image search to trigger creative flow.

Images speak to our emotions and make what we have to say more engaging and memorable.


A Case Study in Career Building

February 27th, 2014 by

Creative Career Building

How do you stand out from other candidates when you’re interviewing for a job? One creative way is to use Haiku Deck as a visual resume or to showcase your work, and that’s exactly what our friend Steve Nestor of Staffordshire did.

Steve began his career as a support worker in Bromford Support in 2009 and worked his way up to Marketing Coordinator, with Haiku Deck playing a key role in his promotion. Steve also happens to be one of three winners in our “About Me” contest last year (a fact he mentions on his LinkedIn profile):

Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful and fun.

Guest Q&A

Haiku Deck: Tell us the scoop! How did Haiku Deck play a role in your new job?

Steve: During a team talk we heard about the power of social media. We were encouraged to begin to tell our own stories and also the stories of the vulnerable people that we help in order to raise awareness of what we do and the real difference that we make to their lives every single day.


5 Tips for Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck

February 19th, 2014 by

Note: We’re delighted to feature this guest post by the awesome Lisa Johnson, also known as TechChef4U, who generously offered to share how she’s been using Haiku Deck to create standout professional development resources. Hai-5 for sharing your ideas and insights, Lisa!

Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck

Professional Development Tips from TechChef4U

How do you serve up your professional development on a delectable platter that leaves a lasting and memorable impression?

As a CEO of a Techucation firm, and an educator that delivers professional development to other educators, this was on my mind as I started gathering materials and preparing to deliver multiple sessions and workshops at an upcoming regional technology conference.

Two of my sessions focused on highlighting a tool, and I wanted to create unique resources that would really help the attendees absorb the information quickly and give them everything they needed to implement the tools right away in their classrooms.

1. Make it Visual

When I’m focusing on a tool or app, I often provide a brief live demo, and then share best practices for using the tool. What better way to provide tips and best practices in a visual manner … than to create a Haiku Deck?!

What better way to provide tips and best practices in a visual manner … than to create a Haiku Deck?!

Here’s the Haiku Deck I created of 14+ Tips for PD that Works, featuring iTunes U:

Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful and fun.

And here’s one I put together to showcase Nearpod:

Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful and fun.

2. Use Notes to Extend Learning

Many Haiku Decks include beautiful images help the text resonate, but few take advantage of the Notes section to leave learners with additional, more thorough takeaways.

I wanted to really throw Haiku Deck into overdrive, so I used the Public Notes to offer learners additional support resources to expand and extend the initial ideas presented in the slides. (These Notes are not visible in the full-screen or embedded version of your deck, but are visible when you view a deck on the Haiku Deck website.)

Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck: Using notes to add context

Including a list in the Public Notes field

I found that including additional information, lists, and links in the Notes doesn’t take away from the simple and eye-catching design of Haiku Deck…it adds depth.

3. Make it Collaborative

Notes can include collaborative tools and links if you get creative with it. For example, I added a public Google Doc to the Notes of the “Nearpod in the Classroom” deck, so learners can share and expand their own knowledge on a topic and tool.

Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck: Adding a link to a Google Doc

Linking to a Google Doc from Public Notes

4. Model Best Practices

Too many times, I have witnessed students stoically reading a full paragraph of text on their PPT slide, and incorporating images with little or no citation and attribution.

We’ve already seen how Haiku Deck cures you of text-ridden slides — another bonus is that it includes citations for the Creative Commons images available through its image search.

Here’s a sample Haiku Deck PDF handout that shows how you can minimize the text on your slides, use the Notes to include supplemental info, AND include proper image attribution, all in one tidy package.

Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck: Sample PDF Handout

Sample Haiku Deck PDF handout page

5. Ask for Feedback

Haiku Deck doesn’t have to be one-way communication! Consider planting a Google Form within your deck to request and gather specific and targeted feedback on your topic, as I did in “14+ Tips For Creating PD That Works.”

Powerful Professional Development with Haiku Deck: Including a feedback form

Linking to a feedback form from Public Notes


By choosing Haiku Deck as my go-to for preparing concise, unique professional development resources for educators, I hope to not only inspire the design of future Haiku Decks, but to spread the word that Haiku Deck is a worthy opponent for death by PPT and sloppy citation in the classroom!

Have you used Haiku Deck for professional development? Please share your examples and tips in the comments!