The best presentations aren’t built by presenters with five hundred open tabs and three Facebook chats running. Creativity is a byproduct of focus, which is often impossible in a digital landscape. Notifications, random Google searches, chats, emails, and more are detrimental to the writing process. Don’t sit in front of your laptop getting a brutal face tan from the screen; get out there and make your presentation analog with these tools:


Consider using something large enough to hold your entire outline or perhaps even your slide-by-slide storyboard, all without costing an annual fee or crashing. A whiteboard or blackboard is an excellent way to write the entirety of your vision and refer back to it later; no more opening separate tabs or scrolling through a large document. The freedom to compose in any direction may inspire you more than you imagine.

Flip Book

Consider storyboarding your presentation slide-by-slide using a flip book or an artist’s sketch book. It’s a fuss-free way to create illustrations and place the text/images on your slides before you draft a digital version. Furthermore, a physical version of your presentation is easy to share with others for feedback, no fuss.


Nothing beats a lined journal for creating an outline of your key points, headers, and subpoints. It is a powerful tool for focusing specifically on content and developing yourwords in a distraction-free, scribble-friendly way. In fact, famous psychologist Ira Progoff said that an intensive journal process could “draw each person’s life toward wholeness at its own tempo. It systematically evokes and strengthens the inner capacities of persons by working from a non-medical vantage point and proceeding without analytic or diagnostic categories.’

Moodboard Collage

For presentation designers looking to collect random pieces of inspiration, a physical moodboard opens up creativity by allowing the “real world” to become a part of the collage. Scraps of newspaper, magazine clippings, photographs, patches of fabric, or even pressed flowers; all of it can become part of your presentation’s color and design moodboard when you unplug.

A laptop tan is nothing to be proud of this summer. The best presentations are built offline and far from the distractions of the web. Before brainstorming your next presentation, consider unplugging and physically drafting the presentation using a real, actual pen.

Question: Do you suffer from a laptop tan?

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