Adam Noar is founder of Presentation Panda, a presentation design firm that specializes in creating and delivering professional presentations for startups, large businesses and individuals. Adam has been designing professional presentations for 10 years, delivering hundreds along the way to senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, and to large and diverse audiences at marketing events around the world.
In this conversation, Adam discusses his Slides Made Simple book.
Geetesh: Tell us about your book, Slides Made Simple – and what motivated you to author this book?
Adam: Everyone knows how important presentations are, and how they can quickly help someone land their big investment or accelerate their career.
However, the problem is that most people are terrible at designing presentations. Although PowerPoint has made it onto the course curriculum of business schools, the training is mostly centered on designing basic slides. A more complete understanding of proper presentation design, however, is a critical skill that needs to be developed. That’s why I wrote this book.
“Slides Made Simple” shows people how to create killer presentations that will have any audience pumped and ready for action. After reading this illustrative guide, people will feel extremely confident knowing that they can create a presentation that is exciting as the story they are about to tell.
About how I came about writing this book, I have a market research background in the telecomm industry,and my team was responsible for churning out research reports and presentations every week. It’s funny how I remember always being blown away on how our research department would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a research project with a particular research vendor, conduct some fantastic research, and at the end of the day we would receive, at best, a mediocre PowerPoint presentation from the vendor. It was here that I realized there is huge opportunity to educate small and large businesses on how to design a presentation that will excite an audience, and get them to say “Yes!” to the product or service being offered.
Yet, this book is different than most slide design books. While I am a huge fan of the Nancy Duarte and Garr Reynolds books on presentation design, I really wanted to focus on showcasing all of the tools and resources that are available when designing presentations. For example, we know that the correct use of color in a presentation is critical. So, here I not only wanted to highlight why color is important, but also walk people through all of the best color tools available so they can create the perfect color scheme for their slides.
In my opinion, these tools and resources alone are a reason to buy this book. I spent a long time researching all the best tools available for each section of the book. Also, the nice thing about my book being an eBook is that all my tools and resources are hyperlinked. This way, if people want to explore a particular resource, they can click on the hyperlink and be taken directly to the resource’s website.
Geetesh: What, according to you, is the major takeaway for a typical PowerPoint user from your book?
Adam: When someone finishes reading Slides Made Simple, they will realize that creating amazing PowerPoint slides is actually quite simple.
Once a reader understands the basic design principles highlighted in this book, it’s really just a matter of taking action on those ideas. That’s where all the tools and resources come in.
Readers will come away feeling empowered, and will have a full understanding of what they need to do in order to design a great presentation.
The most frequent feedback that I hear from my readers is that they simply had “no clue” about what they needed to pay attention to when designing their slides.
It’s also nice receiving messages from people telling me that they just “nailed” their presentation and received lots of compliments on their presentation deck.