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This post was written by
Scott Schwertly

Scott is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3.

We’ve been following Chiara Ojeda on Twitter for a long time now, so we’re extra excited to see her deck as a SlideShare presentation of the day. We’re happy to have such a dedicated ally in the fight against Death by PowerPoint, and “Presenting as Yourself” is a strong illustration of how to avoid typical Death by PowerPoint afflictions.

In terms of design, we like the high level of consistency Chiara maintained throughout the deck with the use of similar colors and fonts. The presentation looks cohesive and unified, but at the same time the slide layouts are different enough to keep the audience visually interested.

We also really like how– a few times in the deck– Chiara used an objective slide to introduce what she was planning on talking about, and then duplicated that slide again to highlight each section before breaking it down. (Example: Slide 29 as the main objective slide, slide 30 highlighting that she’s going to talk about Readiness, slide 50 highlighting that now she’s going to discuss Engagement, etc.)

And finally, we like all the visuals used in “Presenting as Yourself.” None of them feel stocky or clichéd, and we particularly love Slide 15, in which she infused a landscape image into a person’s arm. This kind of creative use of imagery is what we should all strive for in our presentations.

Now for the content side of things: We often talk about the importance of including just one point per slide throughout a presentation, and Chiara’s “Presenting as Yourself” offers a great example of how to do this effectively. Having one point per slide, or one main focus per slide, guides the audience’s focus; it’s like telling them “Look!” at this bit of information right now.

A concern of many presentation designers– especially those who are creating online presentations– is that they have to put a lot of text on one slide to get their points across. In certain cases, that’s completely fine, and with an online presentation it may be essential, but take a cue from Chiara’s presentation by using builds to present the information.

Let’s say you need a header and six different bullet points on one slide. Well, instead of slapping all of it on one slide and forcing your audience to take in as much as possible in one glance, create a build with the bullets, so that on the first click, the header pops up (audience takes in the main topic), on the second click the first bullet pops up (audience takes in the first point), on the third click the second bullet pops up (audience takes in the second point), and on and on.

Builds offer a quick fix to the problem of having lots of text on one slide. Notice how the slides where Chiara uses them in her presentation tend to be the most effective in disseminating a lot of information while maintaining the audience’s attention and encouraging clear intake of the points.

Finally, we should mention the effectiveness of using secondary sources, as Chiara does in quoting Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte. Making such references increases her credibility and strengthens the main points in “Presenting as Yourself.”

We can’t wait to see your next presentation, Chiara! Keep up the good work!

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