Posts Tagged ‘makeover’

Weller Pools - Before and After Slide

Winning a Big Contract with PowerPoint: Weller Pools


The inside story of how Weller Pools won a giant contract by transforming their basic PowerPoint presentation into a dynamic visual masterpiece.

Weller Pools - Before and After SlideLogo-Weller-PoolsWeller Pools has been in the aquatic construction industry for over 35 years, creating some of the country’s best known and loved swimming pools and water parks. However, their PowerPoint presentations didn’t match up to the standards of their pools!

So in February, 2010 the Orlando-based aquatic developer turned to The Presentation Team to help them improve their PowerPoint presentation to win the business of a Florida-based preparatory school. The key objective of the presentation was to effectively communicate the advantages of the Myrtha Pool Technology, a cutting-edge material that is being used in many new swimming pools.

Weller Pool’s existing 38-page PowerPoint was heavy on text/bullet points and lacked a consistent look-and-feel. Weller had a limited budget and short time-frame, so they enaged The Presentation Team using the “Enhanced Presentation Package”, a quick and easy approach to transform a basic PowerPoint into a get-noticed masterpiece.

Weller was presenting to a small audience of five people. The visual design needed to be bold, graphical, yet easy-to-read.Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Weller Pool’s brand and identity, while involving elements of aquatics and technology. The six hour project involved…

  1. Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), that reflected Weller’s company brand, while integrating their existing PowerPoint content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (colors, fonts, layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.).
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
  7. Consulting and collaboration to help Weller Pools to further develop and present new ideas.
Before1 PowerPoint-Presentation-Concept-Weller-Pools-After1

Before:
The original title page featured a flat white background with navy blue titles in Arial Narrow font…functional but ordinary! Logos of partner companies crowded the page, competing for prominence and viewing.This presentation design was good for printouts… but not for projection!

After:
Our makeover included development of a new high-tech blue water-drop image background template image (developed in Photoshop) in 16×9 aspect ratio. This widescreen format has become increasingly popular on monitors and laptops and conference room projectors. The body master template featured a flowing bottom arc image integrating colorful and dynamic photos of two of Weller Pool’s projects. Their partner company logo were offset to the right of the page, and the project was prominently featured in left-justified vertically centered on the page in 40-point Gil Sans Font.
Before2 After2
Before:
This original showcased the four-step process of Backfilling. The rectangular images were inconsistently sized and did not integrate any elements (typeface, logo or graphics) from the master template. “Backfilling Process” placed on the bottom conveyed the concept of an afterthought rather than a bold title.
After:
The revised slide maintained the four graphics, with a rounded diagonal corner picture style, to add depth and professionalism. By simply shrinking the photos 10%, the slide gained a level of breathing space, allowing the title to be repositioned at the top in a bold bright orange Gil Sans font, and the logo in a consistent bottom right placement.
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After3

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Before:
The presenter spoke for nearly two minutes on thissingle slide, which featured two images and three separate blocks of text competing for space. Additionally, the details of the water activity park photo were small and difficult to see.

After:
To help the speaker express his message more graphically, we “spanned” the single slide across three slides, expanding the image size to fill the page, and giving the audience a more immersive and visual experience…all within the same two minutes. The three graphics were all the same size, perfectly positioned so they did not jump as the speaker flipped pages.

Before6 After6
Before:
The cost savings of Myrtha is clear and well-documented. But presenting the information in a green and red bar chart incurred images of Christmas! And all too often, red is information. The textwas overwhelming and small, and the costkey message was diffused.
After:
To more effectively communicate the cost savings of Myrtha, we reduced the scale of the bar chart, allowing more space on the top and bottom. The colors were revised to two shades of blue, and the cost savings were posted above the bars as separate text elements (not within the bar chart) more prominently at 28 points.

After just four days and three rounds of edits, the presentation looked great! Weller Pools executives rehearsed and refined their delivery with presentation skills coach David Greenberg….then presented to their audience…and won the job! Weller Pools now has a winning presentation and great presentation skills presentation thanks in part to the experts at The Presentation Team!

After2

Great Customer Service through a Great Presentation!

Speaker and business consultant Margie Seyfer transforms her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

Margie SeyferMargie Seyfer is an acclaimed speaker and business consultant living in Colorado. For over two decades she has helped professionals to improve customer service and improve their bottom line. Her “Winning Women Customers” is a dynamic and informative program with compelling content about the differences of men and women…and what can be done to more effectively earn the business of women.. But the graphical design of the presentation was not as bold as Margie herself So Margie turned to The Presentation Team in March 2010 to transform her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

The Enhanced Presentation Package provided an efficient and economical approach to transform Margie’s 40-page basic PowerPoint into a powerful presentation that matched the professionalism of her delivery.

After2

Because Margie frequently speaks to large groups at conventions, conferences and meetings, the visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Margie’s professionalism and her company brand and identity, while involving elements of people, speaking, a light-hearted approach to the differences of men and women. The 6 hour project involved…

  1. Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), that reflects Margie’s professionalism and his company brand, while integrating her existing content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (light grey and white colors, Tahoma fonts, clean layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.).
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
  7. Consulting and collaboration to help Margie to refine and present new ideas.

Before:
Before1

After:
After1

Statistics simply stated: Margie’s original PowerPoint slide featured a bland and boring blue background. The two statistical percentages were presented top-to-bottom, and interfered with the template’s sweeping arc. Although the yellow title supported the blue background, yellow is not a strong bold color.

The new template (inserted on the master slide as a background image) featured a light grey textured background, conveying a subtle and flowing theme of openness and modernism. The bottom arc at the bottom (inserted on the master slide as an image) was created in Photoshop to convey the message of women in business. The two percentages were moved left to right. The title color was converted to a more bold blue, and the font was converted to the more unique Calibri.
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After:
After2
Times New Roman is one of the most common fonts…but not the best for presentations. The “serifs” or edges of the letters often run together, creating a hard-to-read image. Margie’s original presentation lacked a consistent typeface throughout, and frequenly used this common but hard to read serif font. This slide featured an image at the bottom left of the page…separated from the core message of the slide. Our re-worked slide relocated integrated the title into the master slide, placed in the upper left in bold blue Calibri font. The photo was repositioned in the center left, and amplified with a rounded rectangle white border picture style. To help drive the key point of the differences of men and women, we changed the color of key words to 32-point in blue and red…and made the core point of the fact “not in all circumstances” in a 36-point green Calibri font.
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After:
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Statisics by bullet. These four statistics were simply presented in a line-by-line bulleted list. Again, the slide simply comes to life through integration into the template. But by taking the statistical information and integrating it into a table separated by varying shades of grey (rather than border lines), the information is cleanly presented. The percentages are amplified by larger font.
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After:
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The full-screen graphic was placed on the page as an imported graphic. Edges ran off the page, and a lack of a title left the slide without a comment or grounding. By adding a title with a transparent rectangular title block, Stan’s Automotive suddenly took on a new meaning. Additionally, the graphic was cropped, resaved as a JPG, and imported as a background image (rather than inserted as a standard image). This reduced file space and allowed for more flexibility.

After just three days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Margie speaks frequently at conventions and business groups. Her style, delivery, eloquence- and now her great-looking PowerPoint slides help to captivate her audiences…while helping them to improve their customer service and bottom line!

* Margie Seyfer is a Presentation Team keynote partner.

PowerPoint-Example-After2-TDWaterhouse

Financial Risk and Reward: PowerPoint Visuals that Make a Point

 

TD-Waterhouse-Logo-150w

The story of how Trevor Franklin of TD Waterhouse created a focused but impactful presentation to support his 20-minute “Building Trust in Financial Services” keynote speech for a local business group.

To help communicate the risks and rewards of investing in today’s uncertain financial market, Trevor Franklin of TD Waterhouse turned to The Presentation Team to create a focused but impactful presentation to support his 20-minute “Building Trust in Financial Services” keynote speech for a local business group.

Our mission: enhance his short PowerPoint with a limited budget and short time-frame. Our “Speedy Presentation Package”, was the perfect solution: a quick and easy approach to transform a basic PowerPoint into a get-noticed masterpiece.

Trevor was speaking to over 30 executives and potential clients at a local business seminar. The visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the convention room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Trevor’s professionalism and TD’s brand and identity, while involving graphical elements of finance, and customer service. The 2 hour project involved…

  1. Integration of a stock template (title and body masters), that reflects Trevor’s professionalism and TD Waterhouse’s company brand, while integrating his existing content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (colors, fonts, layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
PowerPoint-Example-Before1-TDWaterhouse PowerPoint-Example-After2-TDWaterhouse
Before:
The original slide featured a flat white paper template. The graphical elements were weak, complicated, and busy. The title was integrated into the body of the page
After:
A clean and modern template helped add dimension and flow to the presentation. New bolder and more prominent graphics for the Japanese symbols for Crisis were implemented using Photoshop to add shadow and outlines. The title was moved to the upper left of the page.
PowerPoint-Example-Before3-TDWaterhouse PowerPoint-Slide-Example-After5-TDWaterhouse
Before:
Prior to our makeover, Trevor spent over 15 minutes on this single text-heavy slide, which focused on Five Explicit Needs of Risk and Reward.
After:
The Five Explicit Needs of Risk and Reward were presented in an overview list, and then each topic was presented in depth, one-by-one (below).
PowerPoint-Slide-Example-After6-TDWaterhousePowerPoint-Slide-Example-After7-TDWaterhousePowerPoint-Slide-Example-After8-TDWaterhouse

Rather than taking 2 minutes each for each of the Risk and Reward bullet points (as Trevor did in his original presentation), we created a separate slide for each of the give points. Now, the presentation graphics moved at a faster pace, and the audience had graphics to remember each of the key messages more effectively.

A quick fix and perfect presentation! After just two days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Trevor presented to his business audience to applause and praise, and has generated several new business leads…in part thanks to a smooth delivery and great graphics from The Presentation Team!

 

oracle-presentation-after-2

Bland and Boring PowerPoint transformed with technology template


The quick and simple solution that an executive at a large software company took to transform his PowerPoint presentation from boring to brilliant.

OracleCommunicating job responsibilities to new employees is a little easier thanks to Microsoft PowerPoint.  But for David Brooks of software giant Oracle Corp., the simplistic and amateurish look and feel of his 15-minute “Regional Manager Plan” PowerPoint presentation detracted from his effectiveness in explaining the company’s new strategic role for regional managers.  Brooks called on The Presentation Team for a quick and affordable transformation of his eight-page presentation into a more legible, powerful slideshow that would maintain Oracle’s brand identity and stand up well to projection as well as printout. 

The project was contracted as a rapid fixed-price/fixed time offering from The Presentation Team that allocates 95 minutes for development. 

In most slideshows, a quality template can go a long way in fortifying the look of a graphically weak presentation, especially those of a technical nature that lack an obvious image treatment. 

We began our makeover by working in Adobe Photoshop to create a compelling 1024 x 768 replacement template.  The template was designed to be modern-looking and clean with an element of flow of motion.  A light background was offset by a lighter white titl block at the top of the screen, where the title text appeared in red.  A 1024 x 50 pixel black bar spanned with the full width of the page, to hold the Oracle logo, which we moved from the bottom. 

Appearing large on the title page, and repeated smaller on the bottom right of the master template, we used a graphic of three square stock images – a handshake, a clock, and a chess piece – to signify partnership, time, and strategy, respectively. 

Four of the eight slides featured basic lines of text set in 16-point Arial.  We pulked up the text by revising it on the master template to the non-nonsense Franklin Gothic Medium Condensed (28-point).  Similarly, we changed the title font to the heavier Franklin Gothic Heavy Italic (32-point, all caps).

Originally, several slides featured flowcharts and text groupings that were conveyed weakly with lightweight arrows and black-bordered rectangles.  To add impact, we increased the width of the arrows.  For improved readability, square edges were rounded and drop shadows were added.  in the text blocks, we reversed the subheads over the black bars.  Next came the basic animation effects and transitions.  Finally, we reviewed the entire slideshow for textual consistency.

Invest the time to create a captivating title slide

BEFORE  AFTER
 oracle-presentation-before-1

 

 oracle-presentation-after-1

A flat white background with basic black text is all that would have greeted the audience as they assembled for this meeting.  Another thrilling corporate meeting.

The title slide typically remains on screen for longer than any other slide.  Investing the time to create a graphically exciting front-page helps set the stage for the talk to come.  This graphic – repeated smaller on the body pages – conveys a message of teamwork, timeliness, and strategy.

Increase contrast with bolder shapes and text

BEFORE AFTER
 Oracle Presentation - Before 2  Oracle Presentation - After

This basic flowchart lacks contrast, readability, and conceptual focus.

Creating a uniform size and shape of the text blocks helps to improve legibility.  The arrows have been converted to red with the line color removed.

Through thoughtful planning, file management and communication, this speedy overhaul helped to more effectively communicate company concepts while reinforcing the stability of Oracle’s brand.

Yes! A 700 Page PowerPoint Redesigned in 3 Days


The Inside Story of how a 700 Page PowerPoint Presentation was completely redesigned in 3 marathon days for a large healthcare company meeting.

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”

Leonard Bernstein

I have a hard time saying “No”.

Always the optimist. Always the affirmative attitude. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” is my mantra.

So when the phone call came in on Wednesday morning from a harried physician in New York needing a PowerPoint redesign for a medical conference he was organizing in partnership with a large pharmaceutical company, “Yes!” was my automatic reply. “Of course we can do it!”

AN EASY PROJECT…UNTIL THE DETAILS EMERGED

At first it seemed like a slam-dunk project. Simply insert the client’s logo on each of the 10 separate PowerPoint presentations submitted by the doctors and health care experts speaking at the conference. In my mind, it would only take a few hours to get the presentations cleaned up, and integrate the logos onto each presentation’s slide master.

“When do you need this?” I casually asked.

“Our conference starts Monday; and we need to have it to the printer by Saturday,” was Dr. Paul’s blunt reply. “And we need all the slides to have the same look and feel with a new template,” he added.

“Oh.” After several seconds of awkward silence I replied, “That changes things a bit.”

As Doctor Paul apologized to me for waiting to the last moment- thinking his team could handle the design- I opened three of the presentations he had emailed. They were hideous. Crazy graphics. Animations from hell. And each presentation had its own tragic look and feel. Was it too late to say no? Yes!

ONE PRESENTATION WAS BIG ENOUGH….BUT TEN?!

Transforming just one of these presentations would be a big task. But Ten?!

With the clock ticking down to their deadline, there was little time for negotiation. I needed the work, and wanted their business. And, most importantly, I knew I could do it. “Yes!”

With only 30 hours of available development time for one person (me!), I estimated the price at $3,000. They agreed, and we had a deal. Yes!

I made a few conciliatory phone calls to my other clients, asking for their blessing for me to change my deliverable date for their presentations. And then I took a deep breath, and enjoyed my last full hearty meal for the next three days.

A VERY LATE NIGHT

The presentation transformation began at 9pm ET on Wednesday evening, as I politely locked myself in my home office and warned my partner, “It’s going to be a late night. Sleep well.”

I initiated a GoToMeeting.com web conference with the client to discuss the three presentation template options I had drafted earlier in the day.

“Let’s go with Option 3. It’s the cleanest and most corporate-looking,” he decreed. I agreed. Yes!

PRE-DESIGNED TEMPLATES MODIFIED IN PHOTOSHOP FOR A CUSTOMIZED LOOK

The template was based on a background image from the late great Digital Juice’s Presenter’s Toolkit and some elements from Presentation Pro’s collection of 20,000 templates and presentation images. Pre-designed templates are an efficient and professional source for great presentation images.

In Adobe Photoshop, I worked to modify the background into a light grey-scale theme with blue horizontal bars for title text. Many of the original presentations featured light text against a dark background. HCN’s new unified presentation template/theme featured dark text set against a light grey background. Studies show that many presenters prefer a lighter background, promoting their connection with the audience, and aiding the audience to take notes or see their PDAs.

WORKING TOGETHER ONLINE LATE INTO THE NIGHT

Dr. Paul and I worked online collaboratively for nearly 90 minutes to refine the templates and discuss the presentations. I set up a Dropbox and we reviewed the other seven speakers’ presentations. And when we hung up at 11pm, I was just getting started.

I set a “hard stop” time for 2am, and over the next three hours I worked with focused precision to refine the template and transfer the old presentations into the new template. My new template included several page layouts, as I created an”intelligent design” featuring pre-defined line spacing, placement for graphics and standard dissolve transitions.

By saving the template as “HCS-Template.potx” allowed me to start a brand new PowerPoint file with same template. I worked to import my slides from the existing presentation into the brand new file (New Slide..Reuse Slide…Insert Slide From…(with Keep Source Formatting un-checked)).

ONE SLIDE EVERY 30 SECONDS

By 1am- just one hour later- all ten presentations were in the new template, each saved its own folder with a logical file naming standard. But a new template can only go far in making ugly slides look better. The hard work was just beginning. Aiming to transform one slide one slide every 30 seconds, I was moving like a courtroom stenographer. Control-C. Control-V (Copy / Paste). Drag and Drop. Right-click…Reset Slide. Zoom Zoom!

When 2am arrived, I was on fire. Unstopable. I could have continued designing until dawn! The presentations were on their way to a magical transformation. But they were hardly in any organized style.

But I needed to settle down and get to bed. So I started wrapping up for the night by uploading two of the presentations for Dr. Paul to review in the morning. I took a Melatonin (herbal relaxer) pill and prepared for dreamland.

DELERIOUS DREAMS OF BULLET POINTS

Just as the ten medical presentations were in a state of organized chaos, so was my mind. I tossed and turned in my bed throughout the night, my mantra of “Yes!” overwhelming my mind, supplemented by abstract dreams of bullet points, templates and text blocks. Madness. Another melatonin at 4am. And then sunrise.

My Thursday workday started at 7am with a quickly consumed breakfast of waffles and a banana, followed by a rapid walk around the block. I called my client at 7:30am, and again at 8. I needed Dr. Paul’s feedback!! Were we on the right track? Is everything okay?

I showered, said a quick “Hi! Bye!” to my partner, and locked myself in the home office for another day of heavy lifting. Dr. Paul finally re-emerged at 10am, pleased with my overnight progress.

After a few edits to some of the presentations (Dr. Paul was also a speaker with an updated presentation), Day Two of the 700-page presentation renaissance officially began. We agreed to not revise any content or radically change any of the speakers’ slides…the new look and feel was shocking enough.

REPETITIOUS AND RAPID. CLEAN BUT HARDLY CREATIVE.

The tasks were repetitive and minimally creative. I moved quickly but with a focused precision to ensure accuracy and quality. Among the ugliest slides were the photos of the nuclear-colored bar graphs. I opted to recreate the charts with a simplicity and cleanliness. Where possible, and when time permitted, I updated or recreated many of the graphics. And for the text heavy slides, PowerPoint’s Smart-Art feature provided an organized look. The text layout was aided by PowerPoint’s “Autofit…shrink text on overflow” which prevented the text from overflowing (at the expense of consistency in size)

Like a drone, I was frenzied and focused, forgetting lunch, and swallowing a slice of pizza for dinner as I continued the ritual. Edit, Review, Email, Text, Talk, Design, Revise.

By 11pm, I felt we were close to the finish line. Dr. Paul and I connected and shared a final review for the day, and I uploaded all ten presentations for him to review overnight. My sleep that evening was easier and relaxed. 15 hours of relentless but satisfying work.

DAYBREAK BRINGS CALMNESS AND CLOSURE

At daybreak, I awoke and enjoyed a more leisurely neighborhood walk, and fulfilling breakfast. Around 10am, Dr. Paul called. You could sense the stress in his voice, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the convention.

“These look great, Kevin,” he said. “But we still have more work to do.”

And so I spent Friday tweaking and refining the presentations and collaborating with Dr. Paul to add more sizzle and shine to his keynote talk.

By Friday evening, the total project time stood at 27 hours, and we were nearly complete. I enjoyed a fine meal at a restaurant with my partner and enjoyed a satisfied sleep.

COASTING TO THE FINISH LINE…ON TIME AND WITHIN BUDGET

Saturday morning, a frantic call from Dr. Paul at Staples, where he was printing the presentations- but a design issues was conflicting with the printing of the handouts. A quick-fix and the problem was solved. Several additional tweaks and edits, and by noon, everyone was happy and the ten HCS presentations were on the press.

As the speakers assembled for Monday’s presentation, they all praised Paul for the facelift and enhancement he provided to all the presentations. The two day conference was a success, with speakers empowering health care providers with valuable information supported by world class visuals. And this last-minute presentation makeover will have long-lasting major impact locally…and around the world. Yes we can!

Kevin Lerner is a presentation consultant and expert on presentation design and delivery. His firm, The Presentation Team, has helped hundreds of companies and individuals to create world-class presentations.

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