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First-Rate Presentation Formats

Presentation Inspiration #5: First-Rate Presentation Formats

Using most presentation apps can be like planning a wedding or an international getaway: all the choices can easily become overwhelming and gobble up your time. That’s why we give you just enough options to make your slides look great — effortlessly and quickly.

Here are some quick pointers on presentation formats — and a fun two-minute challenge:

Presentation Inspiration #5 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Hint: When using Haiku Deck, remember that there are a range of slide types shown under the red Tt button. This lets you switch from header/sub-header, multi-line, split slide, and logo slide types. Using the green Layouts button on the left, try different layouts on for size. You’ll get different options depending on which slide type you choose. All-in-all, there are dozens of options to get exactly what you’re looking for.

Set Your Story Free

We’d love to see what you create! You can share a link in the comments, tweet your deck with the hashtag #hdinspired, or drop us a line at gallery@haikudeck.com! To see decks inspired by this series, check out our #hdinspired Pinterest board here.

More in the Presentation Inspiration Series

Presentation Inspiration #1: The Power of Visual Communication

Presentation Inspiration #2: Simplifying Communication

Presentation Inspiration #3: Presenting Data

Presentation Inspiration #4: Beyond Presentation Templates – How To Make It Yours

 

Presenting Data

Presentation Inspiration 3: Dealing with Data

You might remember from last time that packing slides full of text is a no-go. Guess what? This applies to data, too. Thankfully, Haiku Deck makes showing the story behind your numbers way easier than those pesky word problems in math class.

Here are some quick pointers for presenting data effectively, plus a fun two-minute challenge:


Presentation Inspiration #3 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Hints: Head to the photography image icon on the left to choose a background for your slide, and then select the chart tab. Pick which chart you’d like to use, give your chart a title (or, even better, an attention-grabbing headline), and simply enter your data points. (That’s right — no spreadsheets or funky business!)

Set Your Story Free

We’d love to see what you create! You can share a link in the comments, tweet your deck with the hashtag #hdinspired, or drop us a line at gallery@haikudeck.com! To see decks inspired by this series, check out our #hdinspired Pinterest board here.

More in the Presentation Inspiration Series

Presentation Inspiration #1: The Power of Visual Communication

Presentation Inspiration #2: Simplifying Communication

Presentation Inspiration #4: Beyond Presentation Templates – How To Make It Yours

Presentation Inspiration #5: First-Rate Presentation Formats

Simplifying Communication

Presentation Inspiration 2: One Idea Per Slide

Ever suffered through a presentation packed with tiny text, read aloud word by word? Experts agree: content narrowed down to one idea per slide is way better for an audience’s comprehension (and sanity). While this can be a challenging exercise for some, Haiku Deck makes it easy.

Here are some quick pointers on simplifying communication — and a fun two-minute challenge:


Presentation Inspiration #2 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Set Your Story Free

We’d love to see what you create! You can share a link in the comments, tweet your deck with the hashtag #hdinspired, or drop us a line at gallery@haikudeck.com! To see decks inspired by this series, check out our #hdinspired Pinterest board here.

More in the Presentation Inspiration Series

Presentation Inspiration #1: The Power of Visual Communication

Presentation Inspiration #3: Presenting Data

Presentation Inspiration #4: Beyond Presentation Templates – How To Make It Yours

Presentation Inspiration #5: First-Rate Presentation Formats

The New Corporate Template

Corporate Templates: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

To me, a corporate template is kind of like a pinstripe suit — professional and conservative, but (usually) not particularly exciting.

Most corporate templates are like a pinstripe suit: professional, but not exciting

Templates are like pinstripes: professional, but not particularly exciting

And let’s face it — the corporate template is as pervasive as bad PowerPoint in today’s business culture.

Nearly every company and brand has one, and in my role as Haiku Deck’s Chief Inspiration Officer, I’ve seen plenty of them — beautiful, bland, and downright hideous.

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This would fall into the latter category….

Now as a bona fide brand geek, I appreciate that there are plenty of great intentions behind most corporate templates — they keep brand expression consistent, they give presentations a cohesive, polished look, and (in most cases) they give presentation creators a leg up in terms of design, structure, and layout.

But I believe corporate templates also have a few drawbacks that are worth noting:

1. They take valuable space (and attention) away from the content being presented.

2. In the rush of presentation prep, slides from different templates are often combined into a single presentation, resulting in a mishmash instead of a polished whole.

3. Just like a presentation using endless header-and-bullet slides, corporate templates can set a tone of uniformity and, well, corporateness that subtly signals “This is going to be boring.” Especially in longer presentations, it gets monotonous.

Zooming out a bit, corporate templates do not exactly encourage creativity or inspiration on the part of the presenter, and I can’t help but feel that at some level they disrespect the intelligence of the audience. Putting a logo or a company name on every single slide seems to suggest that the audience is going to forget where they are, or who they’re talking to. It’s just overkill.

Putting a logo on every single slide seems to suggest that the audience is going to forget who they’re talking to.

Bottom line: It’s really only your company who cares about your company template.

A New Take on the Template

I love working with companies, large and small, to help them create beautifully branded Haiku Decks that loosen the tie, so to speak, on the typically stuffy corporate template.

Here’s one we created for our friends at OfficeNinjas:


The OfficeNinjas Story – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Here’s another example of a Haiku Deck that’s branded with a lighter touch:


Ideas that Stick – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

7 Strategies for a More Creative Corporate Template

You might not be able to abandon your corporate template wholesale, but perhaps you can experiment a bit. Here are my top tips to help you try out this new approach.

1. Try putting your logo on the first and last slides, not on every slide. (Tip: The new Haiku Deck logo layout is ideal for this.)


Haiku Deck: Startup Story – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
The new Haiku Deck logo slide layout makes this a snap[/caption]

2. Include boilerplate or legalese on one slide, not every slide.

3. Include your hashtag or Twitter handle at the beginning of your presentation (or sprinkle throughout), not on every slide.


Visual Storytelling with Haiku Deck – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Include your hashtag at the beginning of your presentation, not on every slide[/caption]

4. Include your contact info at the end of your presentation, not (you guessed it) on every slide.

New corporate template: Sample contact info slide

Sample contact info slide to close a presentation

5. Instead of repeating slide headings, try using solid-color, standalone slides to introduce new topics or sections. (Tip: In Haiku Deck, you can now create solid-color backgrounds to match your brand colors using the new color picker.)

New corporate template: Sample section break slide

Try a solid-color section break slide instead of repeating slide headers

6. Use creative imagery to evoke or illustrate your brand — you don’t have to resort to logos alone. You can include images of actual products, people, places, or symbolic objects that relate to your brand or company.

For example, when I give talks about Haiku Deck, I prefer to represent our brand with beautiful images of colorful origami instead of showing our logo over and over again.


10 Tips to Transform Your Presentations – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Try using evocative imagery to express your brand in place of logos[/caption]

7. Experiment with choosing photographs and colorful backgrounds that showcase your brand colors in a more stimulating way.  If your company colors are, say, blue and green, try doing an image search for “blue green,” “blue green abstract,” or “blue green pattern.” (Tip: You can now match your brand’s colors exactly using custom color slide backgrounds.)

New Corporate Template: Using abstract colors

Try using abstract patterns in your brand colors for a creative twist

New corporate template: Using abstract patterns in brand colors

Your Turn

What ideas do you have for loosening the tie on the corporate template? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your examples — feel free to share your creations at gallery@haikudeck.com.

More Helpful Resources

If you found this article helpful, you might enjoy these as well:

A Field Guide to Haiku Deck Slide Types

Bar graph or pie chart? Text block or headline? If you’re looking for the perfect way to communicate your message — simply, beautifully, and effectively — be sure to take a spin through our field guide to the seven Haiku Deck slide types. You’ll see examples and get expert tips for making the most of each type.

Haiku Deck slide types

Click to view the full Haiku Deck with Notes

I love the flexibility of these simple, yet versatile, slide types. You can also get creative — stat charts can be a fun way to showcase words as well as numbers, for example. The multiline text layout is super useful for quotes, short paragraphs, or even haikus.

Formatting is also a snap —  I no longer get frustrated with having to manually resize each text box I create, and I no longer resort to the “trial and error” method for finding the perfect font size, since Haiku Deck takes care of that automatically.

Additional resources

Let us know your thoughts!

Do you have a favorite slide type or have a slide type that you’d like to see in Haiku Deck? Let us know in the comments! And as usual, if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.

Rethinking the Case Study Format

Irene Yam had an “aha” moment recently — case studies are the most important B2B marketing tool, yet in their traditional text-heavy format, it’s challenging to get them approved (let alone read). Why not make them visual?

The Visual Case Study Approach

Irene has been using Haiku Deck to transform the typical case study format, making her project write-ups more visual, more engaging, and ultimately more effective (examples below).

“Haiku Deck has really changed the way I think about engaging customers for case studies. Traditional case studies don’t really get read. Case studies are more like “proof” to show to potential customers.”

She has distilled her best tips into this awesome visual case study template — click to view Irene’s template with her step-by-step suggestions.

Template for a Visual Case Study Format
Irene’s Template for a Visual Case Study Format

Visual Case Study Examples

Why do visual case studies work? In Irene’s words,

“Today, most people lack the time or willingness to read case studies or white papers. Many readers prefer to click and snack on catchy titles, bullet points and summaries — the sticky stuff.”

Another benefit is a streamlined approval process — she has found that with the visual case study format, the turnaround time for getting her case studies approved dropped from two months or more to under a week.

Here are a couple of Irene’s case studies in Haiku Deck format.

Visual Case Study Format Example: Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company

SFBCIC Visual Case Study Example

Visual Case Study Format Example: City of Milpitas, California

City of Milpitas Visual Case Study Example

Irene has gotten positive feedback from her sales team as well because the new format makes the case studies easier to share.

Be sure to read her full write-up on LinkedIn, where she details strategies for structuring case studies and getting them turned around quickly.

The Case for Visual Case Studies

Visual case studies are an all-around win:

  • Faster approval time
  • More likely to be read and understood
  • Easier to share
  • Flexible, valuable brand asset
  • Make your work stand out

Share Your Story

Have a killer Haiku Deck visual case study? You can easily embed it in your LinkedIn profile to demonstrate your work in a standout way — and be sure to share it with us, too, at gallery@haikudeck.com.

 

 

 

3 Ways to Amplify Your Presentation’s Impact with Photographs

“Pics, or it didn’t happen.”

In our digital world we are increasingly immersed in photos, and we can’t get enough of them. Photo sharing is the most popular activity on Facebook and Google+, and an average of 350 million photos are added to Facebook and 60 million to Instagram each day. Through photographs we communicate our experiences and observations, capture treasured memories, and and evoke powerful emotions.

Of course, photos can mean business, too — many presentations incorporate photographs of some kind, though there’s an art to choosing and using them well.

Method 1: Deepen Meaning

The most satisfying presentations have a powerful central idea, and photographs can be an ideal way to bring that unifying theme to life visually, and vividly.

Thematic Imagery

For example, when we launched our Web App, the central idea was that we were bringing Haiku Deck to the cloud. In our Haiku Deck press release, I used images of clouds and water in various forms throughout to reinforce the message.

Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery

Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery

Contrasting Imagery


THE HAIKU DECK WAY – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
for a talk I gave on innovation, I used pairs of contrasting photos throughout to express visually how we break free from the confines of convention — for example, tiny, closed windows followed by open, colorful windows to illustrate different attitudes toward customer feedback.

Amplify your presentation's impact with photographs: closed, tiny windows to express a closed attitudeAmplify your presentation's impact with photographs: bright, colorful windows express an open attitude

Similarly, to illuminate our unique approach to brand ambassadors, I contrasted a photograph of uniform, monochrome lights with an artful image of one-of-a-kind lanterns.

Continue reading

Six Simple Suggestions for Poetic Presentations

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.


Pioneers Of Digital – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

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:


Sculpting An Elephant – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

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!


How to Get Ideas – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

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:


Celebrating One Year of Haiku Deck – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

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!

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Death by PowerPoint, Deconstructed

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.

Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading

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