Why are most PowerPoint presentations so boring? So corporate? So much information? A few months ago I was reading a communications blog when I stumbled upon a SlideShare presentation by advertising/marketing/PR guy Jesse Desjardins. As a public relations professional, I have an eye for what I consider to be good, clean, compelling design, but that is not not my specialty. It’s my job to write interesting and attention-grabbing messages. Desjardins’ presentations do just that. Look over some of his 34 posted presentations and you’ll see what I mean. But if you don’t have time to do that, check out my top three takeaways:
1) Write a good headline and the rest is a piece of cake.
First impressions are everything. Headlines should be short, demand attention and, as an added bonus, tie in with current events. From “Bomb Like Charlie Sheen” to “Really Ugly Resumes” and from “10 Ways to be a Marketing Genius Like Lady Gaga” to “You Suck at PowerPoint,” the first slide in Desjardins’ presentations make you want to keep reading.
2) Lighten up.
Sticking with branding or a client’s design preferences can be challenging, but I’m inspired by how Desjardins pushes the limits with bold colors, humorous images and conversational text to make his presentations engaging and fun.
3) Be entrepreneurial.
Like Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, do it.” When I read Desjardins’ latest presentation, “100 (or so) Bullet Points From the Best Cannes Lions ‘11 Seminars,” (a global gathering of creative professionals that took place in London in June), I was impressed when, on the last slide, he thanked a long list of Twitter users who “partially crowdfunded” his trip. What an ingenious idea … get lots of people to donate a small amount of money for access to notes from an inspiring worldwide event that most people would have never attended. It’s a win-win for everyone (at least the 50,642 people who have viewed the presentation to date).
In the end, Desjardins’ work serves as a good reminder to be creative, think big and push the limits. Why not?
~ leah, public relations chair