An entrepreneur at heart, Vinay Mohan completed his MBA from The Ohio State University and co-founded Slideteam.net. Having made numerous PowerPoint presentations in B-school and earlier, he realized that there is no good one-stop PowerPoint resource on the web, where professionals can get excellent quality pre-designed slides. Realizing that there is an opportunity to service this market, he collaborated with like-minded professionals and co-founded Slideteam.net, which has now become the world’s largest supplier of innovative, creative and highly effective PowerPoint presentation content, and a go-to resource for anybody who uses PowerPoint. He is also the Head of SlideTeam Presentation Design Services, a professional presentation design agency comprising of 50+ PowerPoint experts and graphic designers.
In this conversation, Vinay talks more about the Outstanding Presentations 2016 webinar series.
Geetesh: Can you tell us more about your recent webinar as part of the Outstanding Presentations Workshop?
Vinay: I presented on the topic 6 Design Hacks to Quickly Create Powerful Business Slides and it was an exciting experience. The purpose of my talk was to teach professionals a simple approach to turn complex business ideas into powerful, easily understandable slides using visual aids.
Being in the PowerPoint industry for the last 10 years and after working on hundreds of business presentations, the most common trend I observed, unfortunately, is the absence of any visual element. Bullet-point slides are still the norm in presentations. The most common concern cited is “How can this concept be shown visually.” With that problem in mind, I gave hands-on, step-by-step instructions to turn 6 commonly used business slides into visually interesting and persuasive designs.
- Making Text Legible Over Presentations: Inserting text over images is a very common problem that presenters face. Legibility of the text and the beauty of the image suffer when this is done unprofessionally. I, therefore, shared two design tricks that would help anyone make text legible, without losing on the power of a visual. One such design hack I shared in the webinar was the Gradient Mask. Below is an example which I shared during the webinar.
- Planning Slide using Timelines: Timeline is a powerful graphic to depict any planning slide, business milestones, development stages, or history of events slide. Creating a timeline is not a difficult task in PowerPoint. So, I walked the audience through easy steps to create a professional timeline diagram and improve the quality of their slides.
- Interconnected Ideas using Puzzle Pieces: Nothing depicts interrelated processes, teamwork and collaboration better than puzzle pieces. And creating them is just a 5-minute task in PowerPoint which I shared with the webinar audience.
- Data Visualization Using Speedometer Dashboard: Data slides are often the most boring and incomprehensible slides with mind-numbing data. I shared the hacks to create Speedometer Dashboard—a powerful visual tool to tell stories with data.
- Strategy Slide using Roadmap: A business or marketing presentation remains incomplete without the strategy roadmap. Very few, however, take advantage of this visual aid. I shared the fastest way to accomplish a professional roadmap design in PowerPoint to pitch strategies with impact.
- Consumer Journey Using Funnel Diagram: Again, presenters often need to show a consumer’s journey from lead to sales or stages of consumer behavior. A funnel is the appropriate visual for that and perhaps the simplest to create in PowerPoint which I shared through the webinar.
Geetesh: What is the reason for poorly designed slides? In your opinion, what is the solution?
Vinay: First and foremost, 99% of presenters jump straightaway to PowerPoint when asked to deliver a presentation. Without a second thought, presenters tend to follow the default slide layout that opens on their computer screen—which is a heading on top and bullet points below. The slides are crammed with bullet points, and no logical sequence follows.
Secondly, lack of time, as well as skill, are big reasons for poorly designed slides. Even when people have the knowledge, a severe time crunch prevents them from working on the design of their presentation.
The solution to the first problem is to do Storyboarding which essentially means—Start on paper, not in PowerPoint. That way, you can properly structure your presentation, brainstorm and collect all ideas, and visualize in your head the best slide layout. Presentations can never fail if this rule is followed.
The solution to the second problem is to gain expertise in design or use pre-designed, professional presentation templates. PowerPoint beginners can gain expertise by following presentation resources on the web. We also regularly share PowerPoint tips and tutorials through SlideTeam Blog to help beginners master the art of presentation designing. Where users do not have the time to do it themselves, we offer a wide collection of pre-designed templates to help presenters make their presentations a visual success.
Designing beautiful presentations is not as tough as it seems. By taking care of the basic principles of design, anyone can create blockbuster slides. My purpose is to share the knowledge with all presenters out there. Conducting webinars is one such step in this direction and I am glad I got such a prestigious platform as Outstanding Presentations Workshop hosted by PowerPoint MVP Ellen Finkelstein to share the best presentation ideas with the global audience.