So I was struggling with today's post because I've been consumed creating PowerPoints this week. But then it dawned on me, I should share my approach to the dreadful PowerPoint—it just might be the creativity boost you need for the workplace.
Although I wish my day was filled with planning the perfect party, in reality most of my work day is consumed with marketing and brand consulting. I tell people, I work where creativity and business intersect, providing Resonant Branding™ for both established and start-up organizations. A niche I've discovered is being able to formulate a company's thought leadership and sale's propositions using, you guessed it, PowerPoint. But more importantly, when creating the PowerPoints I use the principles of Information Graphics in order to transcend words and make complex ideas transparent.
A great example of this is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Gore had been giving talks on global warming since 1989. His environmental efforts went relatively unnoticed until he created a presentation using information graphics and in turn got a movie deal. In 2007, An Inconvenient Truth won the Academy Award for Best Documentary and Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Now keep in mind, the information graphics were created by the presentation firm Duarte in none other than Keynote – Mac's version of PowerPoint. Duarte is a leader in transforming companies' presentations by showing them that even though everyone can create a PowerPoint, not everyone discovers its true POWER. Most of us forget the importance of defining a clear message, telling a compelling story and implementing creative graphics.
A recent example I did was for The Kurtzman Group. The results of the new brand messaging and PPT were so successful that we even redid the website. The home page features part of the PPT we created. You can also learn more about my branding background and philosophy by downloading my resume and portfolio. (Download resume here. Download portfolio here.) A shameless plug, I know!
I suggest the following reading if you're interested in learning some tips to creating better presentations and having more effective communications:
- Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
- Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- Anything by Malcolm Gladwell, his most recent is Outliers
- The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
- The Designful Company by Marty Neumeier: I love Neumeier's thinking. You should also check out his company website here.
Okay that's my professional creativity boost. Hopefully next week I can go back to sewing or flowers or cupcakes.