Visual Literacy Basics.Key


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Visual literacy basics for my masterclass in presentation skills.
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  • Visual artists -- photographers and painters and graphic designers, will tell you that a focus point should fall where the lines cross. Try it, and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Here I explain what the audience will see next:
  • This is the picture I had
  • An obvious way to use the picture is like this -- blow it up a bit and try to centre it.
    But the person's face is looking out of the picture. And the rule of thirds isn't being applied
  • Instead I took the slide background and made it black.
    I blew up the pic as much as I could without it pixellating.
    I then placed the man on the left hand side, looking into the slide.
    The message: sometimes you don't need powerpoint or any visual aids.
    This man obviously didn't see the need for them.
  • Voila -- rule of thirds.
  • Just for comparison.
    Another way to use the shot is like the next slide
  • Not as dramatic, perhaps, but it depends on the rest of the slide presentation.
  • Rule of thirds, again.
  • Sometimes the subject cries out to be in the centre, rather than on a "third"
  • This is a landscape I have.
    The sun is not in the centre.
    Why did the photographer choose this composition?
    He wanted the horizon to bisect the photo, giving equal prominence to water and sky.
    And s/he liked the sun's reflection on the water coming towards him/her.
  • Bad composition. Not in thirds or centred.
  • Better: the horizon is now about a third of the way up from the bottom. the sun is in the middle.
  • The original picture for comparison
  • Try with the rule of thirds. Doesnt' really work. The sun really should be dominating the centre of this picture.
  • The original, for comparison
  • Here, the sun is in the middle of the slide.
    The horizon bisects the slide.
    But the photo was badly composed to begin with. We will have to crop the photo
  • There's the rule of thirds for guidance
  • Here's the final photo. We've cropped a bit off the bottom and the side, and the photo is now centred. A much more dramatci photo than the original.
  • Read this excellent book, and apply its lessons.
    You will be amazed at how quicky and how radically your designs change for the better.
  • This is the French word for "without". In this case, without serifs.
    (pronounced SAIR riff.)
  • And avoid Lucida Grand as well.
    I like Optima -- its the default font used by Scrivener for the Mac, an unbelievably good application for writers. . No, I don't get any royalties from them.
  • These are the standard fonts that everybody sees.
    They give your presentation the impression of Sameness.
    Mac users should avoid Gill Sans for the same reason.
    I often watch a TED talk and there's a slide with one word on it.
    I know immediately it's a Mac and the speaker is using Keynote because the word is instantly recognisable as being in the Gill Sans font.
  • Says it all, doesn't it.
    Except the 0% Arial looks a bit like 0% anal, doesn't it?
  • How many fonts can you spot?
  • There's practically no information on this slide, and it's still really crowded
  • I've moved the logo off the bottom and given everything else space to breathe.

    The words should be a LOT bigger for a presentation, but you get the idea.
  • Know the colour wheel.
    Blue and Yellow go well together.
    The best is Black on a kind of Post-It Note Yellow or on white.
    Avoid red for backgrounds or for type.
    Avoid orange and blue, or red and green -- they are opposites on the colour wheel.
    Use purple (move the blue reddinh towards purple) and yellow, or green and pink (move the red over towards pink and you can keep the green).
    You can't beat black and white for my money, though.
  • This is because TVs in particular struggle with very very high contrasting colours like white white and black black. I've used the lightest of greys here for the background and the darkest of greys for the text and there's no discernible difference.
    The word "black" is actually in black here.

    Another advantage of using very dark grey for a background is that the pictures stand out more, especially if they have white in them.
    See slide Three (3) where the person's shirt stands out from the background because the shirt is white and the background isn't.
  • This is the key to the content of a presentation.
    But it goes for the look / feel of a presentation as well.

    Everything should communicate the same message.
  • Fonts much bigger.
    Helvetica for the headline
    Garamond for the text.
  • Different background
  • Different background
  • Different background
  • Different background.
    Can we use the rope as a metaphor -- you are currently "tied" to your desktop?
  • Don't be obvious. This is the first slide. of COURSE it's the introduction!
  • Much better!
    Unexpected. Witty. Makes the audience want to give the speaker a chance.
  • By contrast, even this slide -- which looked so revolutionary a few slides ago -- looks tame.
  • On twitter
    @erichv erich viedge or Pepper Press
    Linked In: Erich Viedge

    Notice how the photo "pops out" of the frame.
    Experiment with breaking the rules, now that you know some of them.
    And read Robin Williams' Book -- it's excellent!
  • Visual Literacy Basics.Key

    1. 1. What is a PowerPoint good for?
    2. 2. If it's not adding value, it's subtracting value.
    3. 3. Bold pictures
    4. 4. Pictures tell stories
    5. 5. Rules
    6. 6. 1. Don't pixellate
    7. 7. Leadership
    8. 8. It just looks cheap.
    9. 9. 2. Don't distort
    10. 10. It just looks silly.
    11. 11. 3. Rule of thirds
    12. 12. A true artist doesn't need the props
    13. 13. A true artist doesn't need the props
    14. 14. Or symmetrical
    15. 15. 1. Don't pixellate 2. Don't distort 3. Rule of thirds
    16. 16. Fonts
    17. 17. Serif, sans serif, slab serif, humanist, script, fancy
    18. 18. Serif
    19. 19. Times Book Antiqua Palatino Garamond Bookman Souvenir
    20. 20. Sans
    21. 21. Gill Sans Helvetica Abadi Condensed Futura
    22. 22. Rockwell American Typewriter HVD Comic serif Wellrock Slab
    23. 23. Optima Candara Lucida Grande
    24. 24. Lucida Handwriting, Bradley's hand, Saginaw Snell Roundhand
    25. 25. Ahnberg, African, Braggadocio, Fakerfriends, Das reicht gut.
    26. 26. Font families
    27. 27. Gill Sans Regular, Gill Sans Light, Gill Sans Bold, Gill Sans Italic, Gill Sans Light Italic, Gill Sans Bold Italic
    28. 28. Gill Sans MT Condensed, Gill Sans Ultra Bold Gill Sans Ultra Bold Condensed
    29. 29. Please avoid Arial, Calibri and Segoe
    30. 30. Contrast
    31. 31. Contrast Sans Serif and Serif fonts
    32. 32. Contrast Bold and regular (of the same font)
    33. 33. This doesn't look too bad because of the contrast
    34. 34. But this looks like a dog's breakfast
    35. 35. 1. Don't pixellate 2. Don't distort 3. Rule of thirds 4. Contrast
    36. 36. Sans for Headlines And use serif for text. And use serif for text. And use serif for text. And use serif for text. And use serif for text.
    37. 37. Give your slides boundaries • A slide with edges makes it easier to align elements on the slide Acme Widgets
    38. 38. Give your slides boundaries • A slide with edges makes it easier to align elements on the slide Acme Widgets
    39. 39. Leave space to breathe
    40. 40. Leave space to breathe Slides that don't have space to breathe start to look crowded Acme Widgets
    41. 41. Leave space to breathe Slides that don't have space to breathe start to look crowded Acme Widgets
    42. 42. Repetition
    43. 43. Use the same elements
    44. 44. Use the same fonts
    45. 45. Use the same sizes
    46. 46. Use the same style of photos
    47. 47. Use the same palette of colours
    48. 48. Use colour well
    49. 49. Use dark grey instead of black
    50. 50. Use off-white instead of white
    51. 51. Line elements up
    52. 52. Be unexpected!
    53. 53. What have we learned?
    54. 54. 1. Don't pixellate 2. Don't distort 3. Rule of thirds 4. Contrast 5. Repeat 6. Line things up
    55. 55. Be unexpected!
    56. 56. How can we improve the way this slide looks?
    57. 57. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    58. 58. Desktop Virtualisation Good use of colour Introduction
    59. 59. Desktop Virtualisation Good use of colour Introduction Default background
    60. 60. Desktop Good use of colour Introduction Segoe font Default background
    61. 61. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    62. 62. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    63. 63. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    64. 64. Desktop Virtualisation Introducti
    65. 65. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    66. 66. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    67. 67. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    68. 68. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    69. 69. Sunny with a chance of clouds IT in the next five
    70. 70. Desktop Virtualisation Introduction
    71. 71. 1. Don't pixellate 2. Don't distort 3. Rule of thirds 4. Contrast 5. Repeat 6. Line things up
    72. 72. Culture Change Presentation skills training Spokesperson training TV training (with cameras) Radio Readiness Crisis management Crisis communication plans +27 74-1-VIEDGE +27 74-1-843343