Posts Tagged ‘slides’

Scary Presentations

Scary Presentations: 10 Ugly PowerPoint Slides


10 of the world’s scariest slides and pathetically bad PowerPoint presentations…and a few PowerPoint makeovers and redesigns just in time for Halloween.

Scary Presentations

Bullets kill. And so do bullet points…sucking the life out of audiences, who stare like zombies into the abyss of the grey and heartless projection screen while a mummy-like speaker recites mind-numbing paragraphs of text. So as the cool autumn winds blow, let’s open the crypt of ten of the world’s scariest presentations…and share a few magical potions to bring them back to life.

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#1. Is it a car?  Or is it an essay?

lamborghini-ugly-powerpoint-before

This full-screen muted photo of a Lamborghini is cluttered by five sentences of text explaining the definition of a car.  The audience doesn’t know whether to look at the car, the text, or the speaker,  Or simply look away in fright.

lamborghini-ugly-powerpoint-after

A fundamental fix is to eliminate the text completely- let the speaker talk about it- and create two slides.  Slide 1 features a simpler image of the car (a Lamborghini) while the speaker shares a basic definition, as explained in paragraph one.  Slide 2 features an illustration of the basic components of the car, as explained in paragraph two.

If the speaker didn’t want to eliminate the text entirely, the photos could be offset to the left, with the text offset on the right. 

 


 

#2. Strong Brand…Scary Slide! 

horrible-powerpoint-bullseye-before

Hopefully, this company’s business strategy is a lot better than their presentations.  In the early days of PowerPoint, someone created this curdling mix of arrows, text and a target to explain how 10 elements could target 6 key audiences.

horrible-powerpoint-bullsye-after

Granted, this image is nearly 15 years old, created long before the ease of Smart-Art graphics.  This was one of my very first slide redesigns…and I saw the immediate need to simplify and minimize.  I started by creating a simple template using the company’s brand colors of red and black. In the center, I placed a photo of an actual bullseye.  And around the bullseye- instead of angry arrows- I worked in Photoshop to create iconic ovals with superimposed text. The slide’s text and message remained the same. 

 


 

#3. A Potpourri of Praise

busy-powerpoint-slide-2-letters

This potpourri of praise may turn a few heads…away!  Letters of reference can be helpful in winning a project…but cramming them all one slide is hardly helpful when showcasing success.  This construction company’s slide features a mauve/purple gradient background blended with a faded group of schoolgirls.  Two recommendation letters in opposite corners are impossible to read…so they’re transcribed in text.  But the Times New Roman font is hard to read, even with key words emphasized in yellow.  The skinny arrows are meaningless in connecting the letters to the text.

testimonial-letters

In the redesign of this reference slide, we scanned the actual letters and placed them on two separate pages, angled for depth and improved positioning.  A magnified section of the letter showcased the key phrase or message, eliminating the need for manually-entered text.

 


 

#4. Bombs bursting in air

4-walls-before

This speaker was hell-bent on grabbing his audience’s attention.  His stark black background was juxtaposed against a fireworks explosion and an outdated restaurant.  The blood red text with yellow shadows made the audience feel as if they were in a McDonald’s war-zone.  

4-walls-after-a

Taming this terror is relatively simple.  A quick fix is applying a light beige gradient and inserting a photo of a restaurant with an angled picture style effect.  The text becomes black and moves to the top of the slide, with keywords emphasized in green. 

4-walls-after-b

Another approach to subdue the shriek of the slide is to deviate from the template and filling the background with a full page image of a restaurant interior.  Image blur and desaturation effects applied.  The message is prominent and dominant, with the critical “Inside the Four Walls” message showcased with a 3D text effect to illustrate depth and dimension.  

 


 

#5. Toxic Snake. Toxic Slide.

viper-presentation-before

Like the venomous Viper snake, this slide the Veterans In Pursuit of Educational Readiness (VIPER) program for Warren County Community College is also toxic.  Teeming with text and pouring over with patriotism, the three key bullets on this slide are little more than a script for the speaker or a handout for the audience.   

viper-presentation-after

A refreshing redesign of the slide splits the three bullets into three separate pages.  The patriotic flair is conveyed in a subdued, red and blue bottom arc created in Photoshop and set against a sandy-white textured gradient background.  The VIPER logo is integrated in the top right, and three square academic images carry the iconic military-academic theme.  The three slides each feature a prominent image of a student or service member, providing an ardent amount of breathing space.

 


 

#6. As boring as the subject

bad-ifc-slide-before

This insurance company’s gloomy slide might as well feature a decrepit homeless person.  The ominous navy background with its heavy black text against a fuzzy pie-chart does little to inspire someone to purchase their plan.  The red title sends a subconscious message of warning! 

ifc-slide-after

The presentation’s redesign is a breath of fresh air.  A light and flowing light green and white background features a green subtle element from the company’s logo.  All four major bullets have been converted to iconic graphics featuring bold white text with a black border and shadow.

 


 

#7. Scary surgery…and slides

quest-powerpoint-slide-bad

Blood tests and surgery can be frightening…and so is the uninspired layout of this slide.  Five unequally-sized rectangles all linked by anemic arrows to an oval in the middle showcase the role of diagnostic testing.  The images are busy and hard to see, as are the tiny Arial subheadlines.  The flat blue background may put the audience into a trance. 

quest-powerpoint-slide-good

The redesigned PowerPoint slide features five equally sized rounded-rectangles with clear dominant images, defined by Larger-sized subheadlines in Calibri.  A transparent clipped PNG graphic of a scientist on the bottom left sends a message for the entire slide of science and medicine.  The background is a textured blue angled-line image from Crystal Graphics and edited in Photoshop.  A White rectangle block at the top adds contrast and provides space for a concise title and logo.

 


 

#8. NSA Security Breach reveals holes in PowerPoint design

prism-powerpoint-slide-bad

There were many harrowing things about the National Security Association PRISM leak – but to Paris-based designer Emiland De Cubber, the most horrible revelation was how awful their PowerPoint design was. Breaking nearly every fundamental rule of presentation design blended pastel colors, tiny type, and overwhelming amounts of information on its plain white background.  

prism-powerpoint-slide-good

DeCubber stepped up and redesigned several PRISM slides.  His philanthropic feat was showcased in Fast Company, as well at http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/whats-with-prisms-awful-powerpoint/#ixzz2hA3kvrsl

 


 

#9. Simply complex

worst-powerpoint-slide

This PowerPoint slide is the winner of the InFocus 2011 Worst Slide Contest.  It features a mix of text, headlines, arrows, schematics, and directions.  Normally, a viewer can grasp the core message of a slide, but this complex and convoluted message spooks the audience. 

Even if we could even understand what this slide’s core message was about, the slide could be split into at least 3 or 4 separate pages.  A textured background, a clean and simple headline and plenty of white space would help simplify the core message and make this presentation more pleasing.

 


 

#10. The enemy is…PowerPoint

afghan-stability-ugly-powerpoint

Featured in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html?_r=0) in October 2010, this PowerPoint slide became a catalyst for change in the presentation industry.  Designed to portray the complexity of the American military strategy in Kabul, Afghanistan, this scary PowerPoint slide prompted General Stanley McChrystal to wryly remark to laughter and applause, “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.”

The slide demonstrated the mind-numbing strategy of PowerPoint, encouraging many to think outside the box and create more dynamic and compelling messages.

So the next time you see an ugly presentation, consider these opportunities to rise it from the dead.

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!

 

Before-3

Building Academic Excellence: Persuading with PowerPoint


College president uses dynamic PowerPoint to persuade Board of Directors to build a new college campus.

Warren County Community College is a small local college in rural upstate western New Jersey, approximately 90 minutes west of New York City. In February 2010 the college president, Dr. Will Austin, was called on to speak to its Board of Directors about the importance of expansion and growth through a new campus in Phillipsberg.

The Board was skeptical and critical about the costs and necessity of a new campus. So Dr. Austin called on The Presentation Team to collaborate with him to develop a focused and compelling PowerPoint presentation to get the 8-Member Board to see the value of the new campus. We worked on an open-ended hourly rate to create a 61-page PowerPoint presentation to support Dr. Austin’s 2-hour talk.

Contemporary Light and Open Presentation Design 

The visual design of the presentation needed to be professional, clean/light/open, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the meeting room. The presentation redesign involved…

  1. Our design strategy focused on using a professional template (title and body masters), that we created several months earlier for a previous project. That light grey template reflected Warren County Community College’s professionalism and brand/identity, while integrating elements of education and community. The template also used a maroon title font, the same color as the school’s logo.
  2. Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.), eliminating white backgrounds on scanned art and charts to create a transparent and open look.
  3. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  4. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  5. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
  6. Consulting and collaboration to help Dr. Austin to further develop and present new ideas.
Before After
Before-3 PowerPoint-Slide-Example3-Warren-County-CC
The original slide featured a line graph showcasing the projected increase in enrollment. The line was red (reflecting negativity/loss) and set against an orange background. The font was small and difficult to read, and the horizontal lines added minimal value. Our revised slide featured an area graph. But rather than a flat color, we integrated a JPG stock photo of students, so there was no doubt what the topic was about!. The numbers were enlarged to 24-point and the horizontal lines were eliminated.
PowerPoint-Slides-Example1-Warren-County-CC To help communicate the dilemma of college growth, we integrated a stock photo of a business professional holding a Question Mark sign.This light and humorous approach helped to relax the skeptical audience while connecting them to a common issue and Dr. Austin’s proposed solution. The layout of the graphic to the right of the slide gave the bullet points a left column layout which flowed easy on the eyes.
Slide2 Quotes by great leaders are a great way to motivate audiences to take action,while adding a human level of vision and inspiration.Dr. Austin’s presentation was segmented by visionary quotes, in between sections.
Slide4 It’s a matter of black and white. For a pure and dramatic final slide, we eliminated the template, making the case with white text set against a pure black background. This striking example helped the college president to most effectively make his point. Each line of text zoomed in on a mouse click and “It just makes sense.” set in 48-point Gil Sans font helped seal the deal.

Thanks to the technology of PowerPoint supported by well-communicated examples, quotes, and statistics, the Board of Directors and administration saw the light and signed-off on the project, allotting the money to the Phillipsberg campus…helping to drive the economy of Warren County while helping advance the education of America for years to come. Another presentation success story thanks to great graphics from The Presentation Team!

* The Presentation Team has been creating great PowerPoint visuals for Warren County Community College since 2007

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    Senior Director, Software AG

  • “Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile.”

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    Motorola

  • “Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service.”

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    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications

  • “Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level.”

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    Project Coordinator, Nissin International

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I’ve already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin’s services.”

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