We Are Presentation Experts Check Us Out


Tips and Tricks about Presentations

Want an awesome presentation? WE CAN HELP. CONTACT US HERE


This post was written by
Scott Schwertly

Scott is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3.


The most important takeaway from our 2010 “5 Stages of Grief” SlideShare deck is how much of an impression storytelling makes on a presentation. The message is infinitely more powerful and impactful because it’s told through a particular character– Mitch. We easily relate to and emphasize with his journey through the 5 stages of presentation grief because he’s an individual rather than an abstraction.

Also, notice how thoroughly fleshed out the story is, despite the relatively few words we use throughout. The presentation could function as a children’s book in that it’s so poignant, simple and brief. Work to come up with the most compelling story you can tell with your content, and then pare it down and down some more until you have a concise, succinct story.

Lastly, another important takeaway from “5 Stages of Grief” is that it contains a level of unexpectedness. Simply eyeing the title of the SlideShare deck doesn’t give you a full idea of what’s inside, and surely the content surprised more than a few viewers. Moreover, rather than stop with 5 stages, we take it one step further by proposing a thought-provoking question: “But how do we know there isn’t a sixth stage of grief?” And follow it up with a humorous, tongue-in-cheek slide showing our hero Mitch about to hit the presenter with a fire extinguisher for revenge. Fun, amusing and unexpected extras like these are a nice addition to keep the audience intrigued from start to finish.


“5 Stages of Grief” is an excellent example of how to design a presentation using a reoccurring character throughout. The trick is to use simple iconography. Our designer represented Mitch as a yellow stick person, and then he was easily carried throughout the deck. It’s nearly impossible to use stock photography for a character that appears on nearly every slide, so use simple people icons instead.

Also, notice how minimal and high contrast the backgrounds are that are used throughout. These backgrounds allow information to pop out at the viewer, while at the same time, help to keep the viewer’s attention exactly where it should be.

Finally, take a moment to notice the juxtaposition inherent in the typography used throughout this deck. The designer used a conservative font with a tall font to emphasizes importance, and the mixture of the two different types keeps the slides visually interesting and dynamic.

Want an awesome presentation?

Contact Us


  • http://publicspeakingguy.com Alex Cequea

    It's surprising how little importance many speakers place on rehearsing. Speaking is still seen as a mysterious skill that you either have or you don't, so it doesn't occur to most people to work on it and improve their craft. Nice list, thanks!

  • http://greatbritishpresenters.co.uk/ Antony

    I think these useful steps relate to many different professions, especially waking up early, eating well and positive thinking. But for presenters, I feel rehearing is an absolute necessity. As Alex says, it's surprising how little importance many speakers place on rehearsing. Great article! Thank you

    • leslie

      Antony, you are right – rehearsing is an absolute necessity. Thanks for you comment! We are glad you enjoyed the blog post.

  • Adeyinka temitope

    Rehearsing is very important in other to improve in ones skill in every situation we find ourselves as presenters we should always learn to be cheerful and think positive no matter the situation it may be cheer up! choice not by chance determines ones destiny

    • Adeyinka temitope

      our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure we ask ourselves who am i to be brilliant ,gorgeous,talented and fabulous actually who are you not to be? we are born to make a manifest, the glory of God that is within us and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same, as presenters what can stop you from being a light to others is you yourself.