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Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
PRESENTATION HORRORS: DON’T DO THESE THINGS
NEW BOLD COLOR!Hi. I’m Ian Lurie. CEO of an
overflowing-with-awesome internet
marketing agency called Portent.
@portentint...
NEW BOLD COLOR!
This presentation is every bad
thing I’ve ever done when
creating a presentation. Read,
learn, and avoid m...
NEW BOLD COLOR!It’s actually TWO presentations:
First, the bad presentation. Then
the same presentation, annotated.
@porte...
CATCHY
TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU NEED A SUBTITLE
SIMPL...
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
WITTY ANECDOTE!
@portentint	
  
NEW BOLD COLOR!
@portentint	
  
SUMMARY OF WHAT
YOU’LL HEAR
@portentint	
  
LIST
@portentint	
  
OF
@portentint	
  
POINTS
@portentint	
  
BUT NO BULLETS
@portentint	
  
•  Now I’m going to use bullets
•  So I can string stuff together
•  And because I got really tired
•  And because I didn’t...
•  OK but now
•  I’m using bullets because
•  I know people will
•  want to read this later and remember
•  what I talked ...
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
@portentint	
  
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
@portentint	
  
F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING!
AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO
I’LL DO IT MORE!!!
@portentint	
  
OOOOH, AAAH,
ANIMATED TEXT
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
ACCIDENTAL
@portentint	
  
ANIMATION
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
Look! Drop shadows!!!
@portentint	
  
JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER
LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT
@portentint	
  
OBLIGTORY TYPO
@portentint	
  
HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!!
@portentint	
  
LAST YEAR’S SLIDE
@portentint	
  
ANOTHER LAYOUT
AT RANDOM
@portentint	
  
STOCK PHOTO TO
‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION
BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS
BETCHA CAN’T READ THISI PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS IMAGE
SO I’M GOING TO USE IT DAMMIT.
@portentint	
  
I FORGOT
YOU USE 4:
@portentint	
  
0	
  
10	
  
20	
  
30	
  
40	
  
50	
  
60	
  
1	
   2	
   3	
   4	
   5	
  
Foobly	
  stuff	
  
Foobly	
  stuff	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
@portentint	
  
OHGODI’MOUTOFTIME
SOIWILLRUSHTHROUGH
THELASTPARTSSOFAST
YOULEARNNOTHING
@portentint	
  
TANGENT RANT THING
@portentint	
  
@portentint	
  
LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S
ARTISTIC AND STUFF.
@portentint	
  
DIFFERENT FONTS
BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC
TOO
@portentint	
  
WTF??! THIS ISN’T
KNOCKOUT BOLD!!!	

@portentint	
  
LOOK! I GOT ALL
DESIGNY AND STUFF.
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
logo here
phone
address
first-born male child’s name
CONTACT ME!
PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEA...
@portentint	
  
Let’s analyze this
presentation, shall we?
CATCHY
TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS
I’m guilty of this.
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU N...
SELF-PROMOTION
OK, no problem
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
OK, no problem
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
Wait…
@portentint	
  
SELF-PROMOTION
K now it’s becoming a
problem. 5 minutes of self-
promotion in a 30-minute
presentation? Not OK.
@portentin...
WITTY ANECDOTE!
Please, make it relevant
And not offensive
I once cracked a joke making fun of
economists and their fashio...
NEW BOLD COLOR!
GAAAH My eyes!!!!
Try a natural color palette
for starters
SUMMARY OF WHAT
YOU’LL HEAR
I actually don’t suggest a
summary
Try going naturally from
one point to the next,
instead
@po...
LIST
@portentint	
  
OF
You’re avoiding bullets.
That’s great!!!!
But there is a place for
bullets in presentations
@portentint	
  
POINTS
Bullets are meant for lists
If you have a real list
@portentint	
  
BUT NO BULLETS
So use bullets for lists
@portentint	
  
Oy. This is bloody awful.
Don’t use bullets as
punctuation, or to string
thoughts together
•  Now I’m going to use bullets...
Still no.
Consider doing a separate
annotated version (like
what you’re reading now)
instead.
•  OK but now
•  I’m using b...
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
@portentint	
  
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
@portentint	
  
COLORS USED
RANDOMLY
Why? Use colors to
delineate sections or
different ideas
@portentint	
  
F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING!
AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO
I’LL DO IT MORE!!!
Not recommended,unless you
can really pull it off and
have the...
OOOOH, AAAH,
ANIMATED TEXT
Please, no. Ask: Does it
serve a communications
purpose? No? Forget it.
SELF-PROMOTION
…
@portentint	
  
ACCIDENTAL
@portentint	
  
Whereever possible, keep
text in the same position…
ANIMATION
@portentint	
  
…from slide to slide. Don’t
disrupt chain of thought.
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Don’t ‘plow through’
material. Mix it up! Tell
stories that support your
point. Reinforce stuff.
@porten...
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
I have a habit of putting
the cool stuff at the start
and end, and then filling
the midd...
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
…and on…
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
…and on.
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
Your stretched, blurred
screen capture is not
helpful. Be sure to get the
original right.
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
Point out one thing per
slide, not 5.
DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE
@portentint	
  
Use drop shadows when they
help, not because you can.
Look! Drop shadows!!!
@portentint	
  
Here, the drop shadow blurs
the text. Ew.
JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER
LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT
Yeah, none of us have EVER
heard that one before...
OBLIGTORY TYPO
Can’t avoid ‘em all.
But at least proofread.
HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!!
BE CAREFUL. Especially in
the US. I’m a lefty pinko
liberal
I only make political jokes
afte...
LAST YEAR’S SLIDE
Don’t do 100% exact
repetition. Always bring
something new to a repeat
presentation.
@portentint	
  
ANOTHER LAYOUT
Use alternate layouts to
delineate or emphasize
ideas. Not to ‘make it
interesting.’
AT RANDOM
You make it ...
STOCK PHOTO TO
‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION
Were all these people grown
in vats?
Your audience will not
connect with this image...
BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS
You’ve already blinded your
audience with the optic
yellow background.
Keep some contrast w/ a
tran...
BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS
Images must serve a purpose:
Elicit an emotional response,
or illustrate a specific
idea. Don’t use...
I FORGOT
YOU USE 4:
Check your slide dimensions
against your A/V setup.
Otherwise, hilarity may
ensue.
@portentint	
  
I have no words. Just go
read this presentation,
instead.
0	
  
10	
  
20	
  
30	
  
40	
  
50	
  
60	
  
1	
   2	
   3	
 ...
SELF-PROMOTION
…
@portentint	
  
OHGODI’MOUTOFTIMES
OIWILLRUSHTHROUGHT
HELASTPARTSSOFASTY
OULEARNNOTHING
For Heaven’s sake: Rehearse.
Get your timing right...
TANGENT RANT THING
Sometimes, this is OK. I
don’t suggest riffing on
health care at a marketing
conference, though.
@porte...
Seriously?
@portentint	
  
LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S
ARTISTIC AND STUFF.
This might be invisible on a
projector.
@portentint	
  
DIFFERENT FONTS
BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC
TOO
Don’t make your slide look
like a ransom note. Unless
that’s what you want.
@por...
WTF??! THIS ISN’T
KNOCKOUT BOLD!!!	

You used a special font,
didn’t you? Now you get to
read your presentation in
poorly ...
LOOK! I GOT ALL
DESIGNY AND STUFF.	

If you know how to do a good
gradient, cool! Go for it.
But it’s important to
recogni...
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
logo here
phone
address
first-born male child’s name
CONTACT ME!
PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEA...
NEW BOLD COLOR!
Here’s my point: Your presentation has
a purpose. Everything you put in it
should work towards that purpos...
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
HAVE I COMMITTED OTHER
PRESENTATION HORRORS?
YES. PAY ME, AND I MIGHT TELL
YOU. I AC...
Ian Lurie
@portentint
www.portent.com
OTHER PRESENTATIONS I’VE DONE
(PRETTY MUCH HORROR-FREE)
Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things
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Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things

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I've done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I've pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying 'ultimate' slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same presentation again, with annotations explaining where I goofed and how to avoid it.

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Transcript of "Presentation Horrors: Don't do these things"

  1. 1. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com PRESENTATION HORRORS: DON’T DO THESE THINGS
  2. 2. NEW BOLD COLOR!Hi. I’m Ian Lurie. CEO of an overflowing-with-awesome internet marketing agency called Portent. @portentint  
  3. 3. NEW BOLD COLOR! This presentation is every bad thing I’ve ever done when creating a presentation. Read, learn, and avoid my embarrassing moments. @portentint  
  4. 4. NEW BOLD COLOR!It’s actually TWO presentations: First, the bad presentation. Then the same presentation, annotated. @portentint  
  5. 5. CATCHY TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU NEED A SUBTITLE SIMPLY TO EXPLAIN THE TITLE
  6. 6. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  7. 7. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  8. 8. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  9. 9. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  10. 10. WITTY ANECDOTE! @portentint  
  11. 11. NEW BOLD COLOR! @portentint  
  12. 12. SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU’LL HEAR @portentint  
  13. 13. LIST @portentint  
  14. 14. OF @portentint  
  15. 15. POINTS @portentint  
  16. 16. BUT NO BULLETS @portentint  
  17. 17. •  Now I’m going to use bullets •  So I can string stuff together •  And because I got really tired •  And because I didn’t rehearse, so I’m going to read this to you @portentint  
  18. 18. •  OK but now •  I’m using bullets because •  I know people will •  want to read this later and remember •  what I talked about @portentint  
  19. 19. COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
  20. 20. COLORS USED RANDOMLY
  21. 21. COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
  22. 22. F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING! AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO I’LL DO IT MORE!!! @portentint  
  23. 23. OOOOH, AAAH, ANIMATED TEXT @portentint  
  24. 24. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  25. 25. ACCIDENTAL @portentint  
  26. 26. ANIMATION @portentint  
  27. 27. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  28. 28. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  29. 29. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  30. 30. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  31. 31. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  32. 32. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  33. 33. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint  
  34. 34. Look! Drop shadows!!! @portentint  
  35. 35. JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT @portentint  
  36. 36. OBLIGTORY TYPO @portentint  
  37. 37. HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!! @portentint  
  38. 38. LAST YEAR’S SLIDE @portentint  
  39. 39. ANOTHER LAYOUT AT RANDOM @portentint  
  40. 40. STOCK PHOTO TO ‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION
  41. 41. BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS
  42. 42. BETCHA CAN’T READ THISI PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS IMAGE SO I’M GOING TO USE IT DAMMIT. @portentint  
  43. 43. I FORGOT YOU USE 4: @portentint  
  44. 44. 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   1   2   3   4   5   Foobly  stuff   Foobly  stuff  
  45. 45. SELF-PROMOTION @portentint  
  46. 46. OHGODI’MOUTOFTIME SOIWILLRUSHTHROUGH THELASTPARTSSOFAST YOULEARNNOTHING @portentint  
  47. 47. TANGENT RANT THING @portentint  
  48. 48. @portentint  
  49. 49. LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S ARTISTIC AND STUFF. @portentint  
  50. 50. DIFFERENT FONTS BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC TOO @portentint  
  51. 51. WTF??! THIS ISN’T KNOCKOUT BOLD!!! @portentint  
  52. 52. LOOK! I GOT ALL DESIGNY AND STUFF.
  53. 53. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com logo here phone address first-born male child’s name CONTACT ME! PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE
  54. 54. @portentint   Let’s analyze this presentation, shall we?
  55. 55. CATCHY TITLEWITH SQUARED FONTS I’m guilty of this. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com WHICH IS WONDERFUL, BUT NOW YOU NEED A SUBTITLE SIMPLY TO EXPLAIN THE TITLE
  56. 56. SELF-PROMOTION OK, no problem @portentint  
  57. 57. SELF-PROMOTION OK, no problem @portentint  
  58. 58. SELF-PROMOTION Wait… @portentint  
  59. 59. SELF-PROMOTION K now it’s becoming a problem. 5 minutes of self- promotion in a 30-minute presentation? Not OK. @portentint  
  60. 60. WITTY ANECDOTE! Please, make it relevant And not offensive I once cracked a joke making fun of economists and their fashion choices. At an economics conference. Guess what? They didn’t laugh. I felt like an idiot for the rest of my talk. Oh, see that? That was an anecdote. @portentint  
  61. 61. NEW BOLD COLOR! GAAAH My eyes!!!! Try a natural color palette for starters
  62. 62. SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU’LL HEAR I actually don’t suggest a summary Try going naturally from one point to the next, instead @portentint  
  63. 63. LIST @portentint  
  64. 64. OF You’re avoiding bullets. That’s great!!!! But there is a place for bullets in presentations @portentint  
  65. 65. POINTS Bullets are meant for lists If you have a real list @portentint  
  66. 66. BUT NO BULLETS So use bullets for lists @portentint  
  67. 67. Oy. This is bloody awful. Don’t use bullets as punctuation, or to string thoughts together •  Now I’m going to use bullets •  So I can string stuff together •  And because I got really tired •  And because I didn’t rehearse, so I’m going to read this to you @portentint  
  68. 68. Still no. Consider doing a separate annotated version (like what you’re reading now) instead. •  OK but now •  I’m using bullets because •  I know people will •  want to read this later and remember •  what I talked about @portentint  
  69. 69. COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
  70. 70. COLORS USED RANDOMLY @portentint  
  71. 71. COLORS USED RANDOMLY Why? Use colors to delineate sections or different ideas @portentint  
  72. 72. F-BOMB!!!! SWEARING! AUDIENCE LAUGHS, SO I’LL DO IT MORE!!! Not recommended,unless you can really pull it off and have the right audience. The audience often laughs because they’re uncomfortable with you swearing like a sailor.
  73. 73. OOOOH, AAAH, ANIMATED TEXT Please, no. Ask: Does it serve a communications purpose? No? Forget it.
  74. 74. SELF-PROMOTION … @portentint  
  75. 75. ACCIDENTAL @portentint   Whereever possible, keep text in the same position…
  76. 76. ANIMATION @portentint   …from slide to slide. Don’t disrupt chain of thought.
  77. 77. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE Don’t ‘plow through’ material. Mix it up! Tell stories that support your point. Reinforce stuff. @portentint  
  78. 78. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   I have a habit of putting the cool stuff at the start and end, and then filling the middle with endless stuff. Don’t do that. Otherwise it goes on…
  79. 79. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   …and on…
  80. 80. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   …and on.
  81. 81. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Your stretched, blurred screen capture is not helpful. Be sure to get the original right.
  82. 82. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Point out one thing per slide, not 5.
  83. 83. DRONEEEEEEEEEEEEE @portentint   Use drop shadows when they help, not because you can.
  84. 84. Look! Drop shadows!!! @portentint   Here, the drop shadow blurs the text. Ew.
  85. 85. JOKE ABOUT HOW IT’S JUST BEFORE/AFTER LUNCH/COFFEE/A BIG PARTY LAST NIGHT Yeah, none of us have EVER heard that one before. Avoid it if you can. Again, I’m guilty of this one far too often.
  86. 86. OBLIGTORY TYPO Can’t avoid ‘em all. But at least proofread.
  87. 87. HEY, LET’S GET POLITICAL!!!!! BE CAREFUL. Especially in the US. I’m a lefty pinko liberal I only make political jokes after that disclaimer. And I poke fun at everyone.
  88. 88. LAST YEAR’S SLIDE Don’t do 100% exact repetition. Always bring something new to a repeat presentation. @portentint  
  89. 89. ANOTHER LAYOUT Use alternate layouts to delineate or emphasize ideas. Not to ‘make it interesting.’ AT RANDOM You make it interesting. Not your slides. @portentint  
  90. 90. STOCK PHOTO TO ‘HUMANIZE’ PRESENTATION Were all these people grown in vats? Your audience will not connect with this image unless they’re clones. Don’t use stock images unless they’re truly relevant and approachable.
  91. 91. BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS You’ve already blinded your audience with the optic yellow background. Keep some contrast w/ a transparent fill, or something. Anything.
  92. 92. BETCHA CAN’T READ THIS Images must serve a purpose: Elicit an emotional response, or illustrate a specific idea. Don’t use them just because. I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS IMAGE SO I’M GOING TO USE IT DAMMIT.
  93. 93. I FORGOT YOU USE 4: Check your slide dimensions against your A/V setup. Otherwise, hilarity may ensue. @portentint  
  94. 94. I have no words. Just go read this presentation, instead. 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   1   2   3   4   5   Foobly  stuff   Foobly  stuff  
  95. 95. SELF-PROMOTION … @portentint  
  96. 96. OHGODI’MOUTOFTIMES OIWILLRUSHTHROUGHT HELASTPARTSSOFASTY OULEARNNOTHING For Heaven’s sake: Rehearse. Get your timing right. @portentint  
  97. 97. TANGENT RANT THING Sometimes, this is OK. I don’t suggest riffing on health care at a marketing conference, though. @portentint  
  98. 98. Seriously? @portentint  
  99. 99. LOW-CONTRAST. IT’S ARTISTIC AND STUFF. This might be invisible on a projector. @portentint  
  100. 100. DIFFERENT FONTS BECAUSE IT’S ARTISTIC TOO Don’t make your slide look like a ransom note. Unless that’s what you want. @portentint  
  101. 101. WTF??! THIS ISN’T KNOCKOUT BOLD!!! You used a special font, didn’t you? Now you get to read your presentation in poorly formatted Times. Bring copies of your fonts, or use a ‘safe’ font. A nice list here.
  102. 102. LOOK! I GOT ALL DESIGNY AND STUFF. If you know how to do a good gradient, cool! Go for it. But it’s important to recognize your design limitations and stay within them. If you want, I’ll show you my presentation stick figures sometime…
  103. 103. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com logo here phone address first-born male child’s name CONTACT ME! PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE When you list 12 different ways for folks to contact you, it just confuses them, and maybe sounds a little desperate…? Keep it simple: E-mail, Twitter, maybe website.
  104. 104. NEW BOLD COLOR! Here’s my point: Your presentation has a purpose. Everything you put in it should work towards that purpose. So be clear. Only use what you need. And create for your audience, not for you. @portentint  
  105. 105. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com HAVE I COMMITTED OTHER PRESENTATION HORRORS? YES. PAY ME, AND I MIGHT TELL YOU. I ACCEPT PAYMENTS IN CHOCOLATE AND CASH. Oh, also: Don’t try to extort your audience.
  106. 106. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com OTHER PRESENTATIONS I’VE DONE (PRETTY MUCH HORROR-FREE)
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