PowerPoint Transformation

A case study in turning up the volume of a presentation so that the content sings

Keith Hawk

Executive, Sales Leader, and Speaker

Keith came to me looking for a refresh of a presentation deck that he regularly uses to speak to sales professionals across the globe. The content is meant to bring to life the concepts and methods he wrote about in his book, Get Real Selling. Beyond simply applying a cleaner set of graphics and full-screen imagery, the real fun of this project was in employing some eye-catching visual metaphors that help make the message easier to grasp and understand ... which is the whole point of visual aids!

Below are just a few examples of the before and after slides, with notes explaining the design choices.

BEFORE

Image

With most PowerPoint themes, what your eye notices first is the theme and not the content. Regardless of how nice the theme is to look at, this is always a problem!

This diagram is an important representation of the Get Real Selling framework at the heart of the presentation's content. Because the original image file is flat and crowded, this was the only slide in which it appeared. Worse, it did so in this visually cramped manner.

AFTER

Gone is the dated, space-wasting theme border. In its place is the image used on the title slide to capture the essence of the presentation: overcoming obstacles.

With a little bit of graphic cleanup work, the framework diagram becomes useful in subsequent slides as a mile-marker image to orient the audience to the different sections of Keith's presentation. Icons substitute for the details until each section's content is revealed.

BEFORE

Image

I love using both humor and memes, but there is too much visual noise going on here for it to work.

The biggest problem, though, isn't graphical. While consulting with Keith, it became clear that the message of this slide really wasn't aligned with the message of this section of his content, which is specifically about facing objections.

AFTER

By clarifying the section's message, the words and images could then be better focused for maximum effect.

The background image of the obstacle course athlete pulling herself over a muddy wall and the images of the sand bunkers provide immediately understandable visual metaphors for the approach to objections Keith is delivering to his audience.

BEFORE

Image

As with all too many powerpoint slides, the biggest element that grabs visual attention here is the least important words on the slide: the headline. The visual image of the football play diagram is communicative but confined to the corner. Down there it loses much of its metaphorical power, while simultaneously creating a giant area of unintentional white space.

AFTER

By breaking up this list into several slides, each separate point is given its own time on center stage. Visually, the potent metaphor of the play diagram is now used to full effect, with each point represented as a key member of the offensive play. This then sets up Keith's personal closing story -- that of his son's experience winning Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers.

Lance has an incredible ability to bring presentations alive with vibrant visuals and creative methods to make a point. He can take boring-looking, text-based documents and turn them into high-impact speeches.
Keith Hawk

Let me do the same for you!

When it comes to helping others deliver the best presentation possible, no project is too small (yes, I'll design a single slide!) or too big (is your entire deck a fixer-upper? No problem!). In fact, you don't even need to have an existing slide -- if you have an idea you want to convey in a visually compelling way but no idea how, rest assured: I can help you!