Jeff Brenman is the founder and director of Apollo Ideas, an award winning presentation design and consulting firm based out of North Carolina. Jeff regularly works as a communication consultant to top executives in corporations around the globe, empowering their business communications with better visual storytelling. His presentation won the last The World’s Best Presentation Contest held by SlideShare. He won it again this time.
Geetesh: How does it feel to win the World’s Best Presentation Contest consecutively for the second time?
Jeff: Surprising. There were a lot of great presentations entered in the contest this year, so it’s an honor to have been chosen as the winner by such accomplished judges. Honestly, I was more concerned with entering the dialog than entering the competition this year. The SlideShare contest is a fantastic way to bring good design to important issues and spread critical messages to people around the world.
Geetesh: Tell us more about the type of research you did on the topic. Also, what made you choose Water as the topic of your presentation.
Jeff: Everybody drinks, but hardly anyone is talking about water. The freshwater crisis is a fascinating topic because it’s one of those things not a lot of people know about, but is going to affect all of us very soon. In my opinion, that also makes it a perfect topic for a web-based educational presentation.
The water crisis is a big issue, so to do it justice required spending a lot of time researching the storyboard. The full list of books, articles, and news stories that went into THIRST can be found at our site.
Putting together a presentation is kind of like making a pizza. There are dozens of delicious toppings you could add to a pizza, but you have to be selective and choose just a few. A pizza with every topping imaginable wouldn’t taste very good. In the same way, a presentation with every piece of research you discover isn’t going to be very interesting — it’ll be overwhelming. You have to be selective with the information you include.
THIRST is far from comprehensive, but intentionally so. It doesn’t offer a list of suggestions for how to conserve water. It doesn’t get into the politics of who controls the water resources around the world. It doesn’t even go into detail about the problems surrounding the bottled water industry. Instead, THIRST is a conversation starter, designed to inspire people to explore the topic deeper on their own. As a story, THIRST was created to act as a beginning, not a beginning, middle, and end. Based on the feedback it has received so far, I’m proud to see it’s working.