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This post was written by
Scott Schwertly

Scott is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3.

“The Future of Advertising 2020,” a SlideShare deck designed by Mark Earls and John V Willshire, is a wonderful example of thinking outside the box when approaching presentation design. It stands up as a great example of how to approach presentation design if you’re not a graphic designer.
The haphazardly handwritten index cards featured throughout the deck are a great example of how the amateur graphic designer can avoid working in cumbersome, intricate programs like InDesign or PhotoShop. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by those design programs, and it’s easily to fall into the trap of thinking you can’t create a great presentation because you lack design skills. To that we say: take inspiration from this presentation and think outside the box to come up with new, innovative and unorthodox methods to get your main points across. 
We also applaud the high level of accessibility of Earls and Willshire’s design in “The Future of Advertising 2020.” The handwritten index cards bring the content down to an approachable, manageable level; they work well to eliminate any barrier between the expert presenter and potentially novice audience. The designers avoid any instances of the dreaded Curse of Knowledge in this deck, which is notable in itself.
Another element we like about this SlideShare deck is how the backgrounds incorporate seamlessly with the content on the index cards, and we commend the designers for using only one point per slide. Take slide 13 for example: there’s just one main point on the slide (“or has it worked between people”) and that point is visualized nicely with the Lego people holding the index card between each other.
One thing we’re not too sure about, though, is the format of this deck. The white borders around the photos make it look like a rough draft. It would have been more effective, and less distracting, had the photos been full screen. 
Lastly, the designers did well to use a lot of secondary sources, as well as pop culture references. There’s a Mad Men reference on slide 34, and a Dark Knight reference on slides 38 and 39. These casual references help the audience to feel connected to the content, and it makes learning about the future of advertising a little more fun and lighthearted.
Overall, “The Future of Advertising 2020″ is a wonderful presentation!

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