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December 2015


Presentation Tips from a Designer

December 23, 2015

By Gazala Vahanvati

Not so long ago, I was fortunate to meet and work with a very special designer. She is perhaps the most opinionated of designers I have worked with. Of course, we shared a volatile work relationship filled with debate. However, when we did come to an agreement, that’s when we produced our best work. I learnt that the designer-strategist relationship at a branding firm like ours is a critical one–not just for generating our most creative work–but also presenting it beautifully. Here are a few tips I received from this designer to better my presentations. Everyone could use them–be it blogs, social media or presentations.

“Don’t put me to sleep.” The best presentations that I have been part of are engaging because they have substance (both factual and entertaining), they demonstrate the impact and they provoke action. Think of it as an opportunity to tell a story.

“Models fly over my head like rockets.” Being in the field of branding and marketing, we do tend to get a bit ‘jargon-y’ in our language. How can we make a point, simply, without relying on models and frameworks? Skype and Dropbox are successful examples of brands who could have swayed to the technical, but kept simply colloquial.

“Design your words.” Presentations require simplicity and crispness. It’s hard to read long sentences, let alone paragraphs, when you are at the extreme end of a 20-seater boardroom table. Pick every word carefully for its meaning and message. Keep it minimal.

“Make it look beautiful.” Creating an ugly presentation is disrespectful to our audience. Information we give should be presented in a manner that is pleasing to the eye, allows a natural flow and highlights the important points. We want the viewer to leave with a one crisp takeaway that they can action.

Thanks Designer. You know who you are! 

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