MonthNovember 2013

TEDx and Haiku Deck: Kent Gustavson’s Creative Win

A TEDx Talk We’ll Never Forget

We always love getting mail from our creative community. Recently we heard from speaker, publisher, and thought leader Kent Gustavson, who wrote: “I thought I would tell you about my amazing experience with Haiku Deck. I used it to prepare the slides for my TEDx talk. I didn’t use the Haiku Deck slides directly – but found the Flickr images, and created a presentation in high-def that was highly informed by the incredible service you provide.”

First off, Kent’s story –and TEDxSBU talk–is incredibly powerful and definitely worth a watch.

Bringing the TEDx Story to Life

We were especially intrigued by Kent’s process. Even though he didn’t use Haiku Deck to present his final talk, he used it as the starting point. (This is a great technique to keep in mind if you are presenting at a venue that requires PowerPoint, for example.) In Kent’s words, “In preparing for my TEDx, I used the web app, and exported the presentation as a PDF, which allowed me to find the original images on Flickr, and insert them into a presentation that was at a higher resolution to the TED specifications.”

Here’s a Haiku Deck he made outlining his step-by-step process.

Using Haiku Deck for My TEDx Talk – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Q&A with TEDx Speaker Kent Gustavson

Haiku Deck: What inspired you to try Haiku Deck?

Kent: I first found out about Haiku Deck through a friend who is a thought leader and creates “decks” all the time with various programs. One of his contacts downloaded the app and experimented with it. I really liked the images and the aesthetic of the stark, simple statements over the top of the images.

Haiku Deck: What role did Haiku Deck play in helping your talk take shape?

Kent: The images and slides that I was able to build using Haiku Deck were actually extremely formative in creating the narrative and structure of my TEDx Talk. I knew what I wanted to speak about, but the images really pulled together the themes and stories that I was speaking about in a way that anchors those concepts for visual people. I also was careful to create thematic slides that were closely related to the talk, but created a tiny bit of harmony and dissonance with what I was saying at times.

“The images really pulled together the themes and stories that I was speaking about in a way that anchors those concepts for visual people.”

Most importantly, the slides during TED Talks create an environment within which the presenter actually resides. So, when I put a landscape behind me on the screen, I was actually within that landscape in my mind, and in the mind of the audience members. Long story short, Haiku Deck was the tool I used to pull the many strands of my talk together into one cohesive 18-minute speech.

Haiku Deck: Who do you think would benefit from using Haiku Deck?

Kent: I taught for nearly a decade at the college level, and would have loved to have a tool like this in my classroom — it’s so simple to use, and encourages presenters to simplify and solidify their concepts. So, it’s certainly great for students and teachers.

It would also be very refreshing in the business world. There is still the ability to include complex images and so forth, but the format encourages the presenter to entertain through images, and to simplify text and concepts. Traditional PowerPoint presentations feel like they were designed in 1985 at the dawning of the PC era, and Haiku Deck feels fresh and exciting. There are a million possible applications of this software, and I can’t wait to see how it grows and expands!

“Traditional PowerPoint presentations feel like they were designed in 1985 at the dawning of the PC era, and Haiku Deck feels fresh and exciting.”

One last important point: Haiku Deck encourages fair use of photographs. That is very important to me, and in working with professionals every day, I see way too many images simply harvested from Google Images, and not credited to the original photographer or artist. This tool gives the presenter countless options for images, and allows them to credit the artist, and even be in touch with that artist.

“I see way too many images simply harvested from Google Images, and not credit to the original photographer or artist.”

Haiku Deck: What tips do you have for someone trying out the app for the first time?

Kent: Don’t try to make it do what PowerPoint does. If PowerPoint is a bulldog, Haiku Deck is a leopard. It’s beautiful, and a totally different kind of creature. Experiment, search for images, try to fit text into the presentation in new ways.

In the same way a guitarist uses different instruments to get different sounds, Haiku Deck will bring a different (and more vibrant and succinct) aspect to presentations. To be honest, Haiku Deck is also the simplest presentation creator on the market, and makes slides look as if they have been designed by a professional marketing team.

“To be honest, Haiku Deck is…the simplest presentation creator on the market, and makes slides look as if they have been designed by a professional marketing team.”

I really was inspired by Haiku Deck, and the incredible photos I found through the app. I believe it added another dimension to my talk, both in the room and on the live stream (or on the YouTube video). Simple, succinct statements, combined with images that were bold, beautiful and expansive, helped me to tell disparate stories and still feel anchored to the core message of the speech.

Kent added, “Thank you to Haiku Deck for creating software worthy of the word haiku. Simple, beautiful, clean, and incredibly expressive and malleable to the goals of the artist or presenter.”

We are incredibly grateful to Kent for sharing his story and his process (and for his inspiring creative message). We hope to see many more TEDx talks incorporating Haiku Deck — if you’ve used it in this way, please let us know!

More Inspiring TEDx Resources

  • Greg Gottesman, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group, also used Haiku Deck for his TEDx talk, “One Trillion Dollars, Student Debt and Higher Education.” See his slides and watch the video of his talk (since it’s all in the delivery).
  • This Haiku Deck captures inspiring quotes and highlights from TEDx Seattle.
  • Ashlyn Bernier created this Haiku Deck for “The Ph.D. Problem,” which she delivered at TEDxEdmonton Education.
  • This Haiku Deck by Rokk3rLabs summarizes Daphne Koller’s “What We’re Learning from Online Education” TED talk.
  • Tara-Nicholle Nelson of  Rethink7 shares 11 favorite transformational TED talks with a Haiku Deck and videos in this blog post.

Haiku Deck for Desktop: Announcing the Haiku Deck Web App Beta

It’s been a whirlwind year for us, culminating this month in a new product development that we are so excited to share with you, our amazing creative community, before anyone else.

Haiku Deck Web App Launch – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Ever since we launched Haiku Deck for iPad, the most common question we hear from you is, “When can I use Haiku Deck on my computer? When will there be Haiku Deck for desktops, PCs, and Macs?

And the answer is: Now! Haiku Deck Web App Beta is available now for all Haiku Deck account holders!

Here’s everything you need to get started:

We’re calling this Haiku Deck Web App “Beta” because we’re still working hard to make it as full-featured as Haiku Deck for iPad. Each week we’ll be adding new functionality to the Web App, and we really appreciate your patience as we continue to improve it. We’ve included a Feedback button in the app so you can help us identify issues and share your thoughts.

As a special thank you for joining us early, we’ve also built a way for you to invite your friends to the Beta before it becomes available to everybody. To earn invites for your friends, simply use the Web App to create and share decks. Each deck you email, post, or embed earns you an exclusive invite code you can share. (New users can also request an invite to the private beta.)

Thanks again for helping us to fill the world with more amazing stories and beautiful ideas. We wouldn’t be here without the amazing support and invaluable feedback of our community. We are grateful for your help in trying out the Web App and sharing with friends, and as always, you can drop us a note with feedback any time.

P.S. A special Hai-5 to those who’ve been helping us test the Web App over the past few weeks!

Haiku Deck Web App – FAQ for iPad Users

Wondering what’s different between the web app and the iPad app? Check out our article about it here.

Gratitude is Our Attitude

Ahh, November. The time of year to reflect on things we’re grateful for, score some fun Haiku Deck goodies (keep reading!), and, for those of us inclined, grow magnificent mustaches for charity. (This “Movember ‘Stache Facts” Haiku Deck from Centurion Signs UK is definitely worth checking out.)

At the moment our team is feeling pretty darn grateful for our new office, where we can stretch out a bit and CRANK without incessant leafblowing, afternoon stuffiness, or the lingering aroma of canned fish. Yes, this stuff comes with the territory when you’re a startup, and we didn’t let it distract us from our mission, but still, the change of scenery is really nice.

Gratitude: Our New Headquarters

We are especially grateful for youour incredible creative community, and for every encouraging word, tweet, post, and mention. We are grateful every time you open Haiku Deck to express an idea, share your vision, or make something you need to communicate visual, magical, and memorable.

This week we’ve been creating fun Haiku Decks to share our moments of gratitude — here’s a lighthearted one from Nicka more heartfelt one from Joe, and a short, sweet slide from CatherineNow we’d like to invite you to add your moments, so we can build an epic, collaborative collage of gratitude.

Thankfully… – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

If everyone who reads this could create just one Haiku Deck slide capturing something you’re grateful for, just think how much positive energy would be unleashed into the world! You can mail your slide (or a whole deck if you feel inspired) to, or you can tweet it, post it, or pin it with the hashtag #hdgratitude. We’ll be collecting your moments of gratitude until the end of November, and we do have some special Haiku Deck goodies up our sleeves for those wow us.

Sowhat are you grateful for? Tell us in a Haiku Deck slide!

Our Community Has Spoken!

We are 100% committed to making Haiku Deck increasingly awesome for you, and our recent user experience survey was a powerful inspiration boost. Most things didn’t surprise us, but a few did! Here’s a quick recap of what we learned, and what we have planned.

Hidden Haiku Deck Features

We read every single comment (really!), and there are some features you were wishing for that we actually already offer! {Poof, your wish is our command!}

  • Change slide order: Just press on a slide for a second, and then drag it to its new spot.
  • Turn off paid images: From the iPad App main screen, tap the Settings gear (bottom right), then adjust the Show Premium Images? setting.
  • Adjust capitalization: From the iPad App main screen, tap the Settings gear (bottom right), then adjust the Use Auto-Capitalization? setting. {Coming soon to Web App!}
  • Copy and modify a Haiku Deck: From the iPad App Main Screen, press and hold any deck to copy it. {Coming soon to Web App!}

Working Across Platforms

Many of you asked for the ability to create and edit on your Mac or PC, and very soon, you’ll be able to do just that. Find out why we’re creating a Haiku Deck Web App, and stay tuned for the official release!

With our next iPad App release, you’ll also be able to edit Haiku Decks you created online or on a different iPad. Trust us – we’re as excited about this as you are!

Coming Soon!

We heard loud and clear that although you love the simplicity of Haiku Deck, sometimes you need to include a bit more information. Our amazing iOS dev team is cooking up more exciting text options while still keeping the experience true to our philosophy of simple, beautiful, and fun. You can let us know which text options are most important to you here.

Other popular requests are more image and media options and faster editing, and we are thinking hard about ways to deliver those things (as well as some exciting new things that will surprise and delight you).

Cool Stuff We Learned

  • More than half of you are extremely likely to recommend Haiku Deck to a friend or colleague (WOW!)
  • 70% of you use Haiku Deck once a month or more
  • A whopping 86% of you use Haiku Deck because you like the way the slides look. The next most popular reasons are that it’s simple and the killer Creative Commons image search.
  • Haiku Deck is particularly popular with entrepreneursconsultants, and educators. We also heard about Haiku Deck being used for creative briefs, sermons, and project management. Hai-5 for all the ways you use Haiku Deck, and please let us know if you have a success story you’d like to share!

Here’s a Haiku Deck summary of the results and a few of our favorite comments. (Also a little inspiration for the next time you need to present data.)

What’s on your Haiku Deck wish list? You can always tell us here.

As always, thank you so much for being part of our amazing creative community. We’re listening!

Hackathon Ideas and the Killer Pitch: Haiku Deck at SIC


Last week Team Haiku Deck was in full effect at the always-amazing Seattle Interactive Conference.

Monday, we helped coach the finalists for the AT&T Wearables Hackathon. The teams, who had worked all weekend to build their projects, had less than 24 hours to create their pitch decks, so we encouraged them to keep things simple, use high-impact visuals, and work storytelling into their presentations to capture and hold attention.

Tuesday, we attended the final presentations of the Hackathon ideas and were psyched to see Team GoalPhysics (Joan Jasak, Arunabh Verma, and Roger Hosto) light up the room with their presentation, created entirely with the Haiku Deck Web App. (Team GoalPhysics went on to take third place!)

Hackathon Ideas: Haiku Deck at Seattle Interactive Conference

Joan Jasak presenting GoalPhysics at the SIC Hackathon Finals

Team lead Joan Jasak commented:

“Haiku Deck is a godsend!  We had 48 hours to develop a functional app from scratch – and just a few hours to put together the presentation before a panel of judges. It took me less than an hour to create a polished multimedia presentation with Haiku Deck. This gave me enough time to develop the verbal presentation. And because I had time to practice presenting the Haiku Deck, I was comfortable on stage. Not only was the presentation a success, it turned what could have been a stressful and terrifying  experience into a fun one. Seriously – thanks Haiku Deck!”

“It took me less than an hour to create a polished multimedia presentation with Haiku Deck.”

We also had a chance to catch up with Maria Dykstra, who helped craft this beautiful Haiku Deck to announce the launch of Parllay. (Special shout-out to Friend of Haiku Deck Evonne Benedict for spotting Haiku Deck in the wild!)—engagementscale

Wednesday, our very own Adam Tratt shared his Secrets of a Killer Pitch to a packed room. We tweeted coffees as prizes for audience participation and even built a Haiku Deck right in the room based on the Uncorked board game, an audience member’s fledgling business. Here’s a great recap from Wunderman’s Dionne Gonzales, as well as Adam’s slides:

It was a memorable, action-packed week, and we loved being part of it! Huge thanks to Brian Rauschenbach and team for organizing such a kick-butt event.

P.S. Looking for help bringing your own hackathon ideas or business concepts to life? The Startup Pitch Template Haiku Deck by Jeremy Caplan is a *great* place to start.


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