10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: Don’t Use Templates

People tell me they like the way I do presentations … so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

Tip #1: Don’t Use Templates

Ever. They are evil. Well, ok – they’re probably not that bad. But they sure do suck the creativity out of creating a slide deck!

Generally, I start with a clean, blank slide. I remove all the text boxes, title boxes, etc. Or just pull up an actual blank slide.

For backgrounds/themes, I usually just use a simple white, black, or gradient background (though once in awhile I’ll use a fun textured background that I find somewhere – it really depends on my mood).

From there, I actually drop parts of my outline into the presenter notes part of the slide (so I still have a blank slide). Then I start figuring out what words are important enough to actually use for the slide, and decide what type of image might work best on the slide, to support the point I’m trying to make.

Then I start dropping text and images onto the slide. I usually stick with 1-2 font styles, and make heavy use of layering and shadows (so parts of the slide “pop” out at you).

The image accompanying this blog post is the title slide to my newest presentation (giving it this Sunday at ALA Midwinter). White background, fancy font with a shadow, and some images (that relate back to the three main points of my presentation).

Simple, yet effective. And fun, too (if you like creating slide decks anyway).