A business vision, as most everyone knows, rarely becomes reality. That’s fine. Western culture enjoys making guesses about the future and we know not to hold visionaries accountable for shortcomings. We aim, we shoot, we don’t always score. (Yes, even Steve Jobs had his string of flops.)

Still, every so often, companies such as Microsoft and General Motors and produce a statement such as this video which hints at what they think the future will look like. It looks nice. We will probably get some bits and pieces of this in the near term. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy the ride.

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You Are Not So Smart

September 21, 2011

And I will readily admit that I am not either. This website, and soon book, remind us of this in just the right words and images.

This video is yet another good example of “kinetic typography” (more about it here at Garr Reynolds’ blog). Enjoy!

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Bad Blogger: No Posts

June 21, 2011

Someone online rhetorically asked “How many blogs had to die so that Twitter may live?” I cringe at the truth of that statement. I failed to update my blog for a full year. Not exactly living the blogger’s ideal.

I do not feel a lot of remorse, though. My blog has a small column on the right that displays my most recent tweets. And if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know I have not lost very much momentum with regard to finding and sharing things related to PowerPoint, presentation, and design. My tweets are a mixture of things about Cleveland, stuff I do, and bits that are funny.

If you’re arriving here via #CLE20, welcome! If not, you’re still welcome! If you’re not arriving here, then you would not be reading this now, wouldn’t you? Silly git.

More of the usual “About Me” sort of information is on a page cleverly titled “About Me.” Like what you see? Friend me on Facebook here.

Oh, and I have a new fulltime job as of June 6, 2011. A nine-year stint of self-employment ended with a headhunter’s phone call and an offer. Life is good.

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It can be. Here’s how:

My friend Rick Altman hosts the only conference which I consider a must-go. It’s called The Presentation Summit. You might know it by its former name, PowerPoint Live. It’s happening again in San Diego, CA on October 17-20.

Rick holds a contest each year for you to both show off your design skills and compete for a free full registration, a value of $995. As Rick writes, “The Summit’s Template Design Contest is open to anyone and everyone: your mission is to create the slide design for the conference template. If chosen, your design would be used in all of our seminar tracks by just about all of our presenting team.”

As a five-time attendee, I’ve seen some excellent ones put to good use. I’ve also met some of the previous winners. Seriously, you need not be a top-tier Madison Avenue creative wizard. This content is held for (and won by) unsung, in-the-trenches PPT workhorses who know what they’re doing but want to get better at it. People like you.

So, stretch your creative muscles and maybe win what you and/or your company would have shelled out big bucks for. You can do this.

One more thing … a video promoting the conference. I’m in there. Many friends are too. Enjoy!

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Creating stronger visuals is getting easier. You have even fewer excuses now.

More info here. (Hat tip to Nancy Duarte.)

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I often discuss font issues with clients. The font/clothing analogy resonates for many of them. Like clothes, fonts serve a basic function — present text that is clear and readable. Beyond that, however, are many other factors that make selection difficult. Consider this:

  • In what style do you wish to present text? What do you want to communicate through your style choice? That you are solid, safe, and predictable? Or that you are edgy, creative, and contemporary? Fonts, like clothes, send signals.
  • Fonts are like clothing in that time and taste influence what is hot and what is not. (As with clothing, many hip designers are British.)
  • Dress codes reflect a community’s values. Design guidelines do too. Just as organizations may require uniforms, they may also require branding rules to be followed, so fonts/colors/styles are already chosen for you.
  • If you are collaborating with others, make sure your files are carrying their “clothes” with them. (How to embed fonts in a PowerPoint file.)

The following video runs through several genres of film, punctuated with text of lyrics in the appropriate font of that genre. Seeing this video prompted this blog post. Enjoy!

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For your amusement.

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The ongoing revolution in presentation visuals — fewer/shorter bullet points, strong images, uncrowded slides — is clearly evident here. Good on ya, Bill and Mel!

(via Garr Reynolds)

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All The Cool Kids (and me)

January 11, 2010

AlltopThis blog is now among  those listed at Alltop.

Alltop, you might know, aggregates the best of the best blogs in many popular categories, like politics or humor or cooking. Started by Guy Kawasaki, the company aims to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in all the topics that interest you. Read more about Alltop here.

“The Presentationist” may be found at http://speaking.alltop.com/ (way at the bottom). I am honored to share the same page with many whom I hold in high regard.

Of course, I realize this means that regular, high-quality blogging must continue in order for this recognition to continue. We know where the downfalls are in that regard.

Here’s a deal: if you don’t follow me on Twitter, at least come back here and peek at my tweets on the right edge of this screen. So much good stuff regarding PowerPoint, presentations, and design flows through the web. I try my best to capture the good stuff for you via Twitter. Longer pieces warrant a blog post.

All the top ideas, opinions, and articles, however, can be found at Alltop. Glad to be aboard.

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Yet another multimedia presentation that I really like.

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

Why does this work for me? It has a single, strong, simple message. The look and feel is upbeat and artful while the content is emotional and engaging. And on top of all that, it is short, clocking in at just over two minutes.

For your next presentation, think about these elements. Strive toward communicating as well as this video does. You can do it.

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