Because they have been used so many times, or maybe better, disappointed so many times, some of the old (and often expensive) tricks of presentation design are not at all that effective anymore.

  • Complicated language. Buzzwords, complicated sentences, clarifying footnotes. This person must know what she is talking about, better believe her.
  • Scientific frameworks. Management consultants loved these. It looked complicated, scientific, they were delivered by smart people. Even if you don't understand the framework, the message must be true.
  • Excel-generated hockey sticks. The highly complicated spreadsheet produces the $500m revenue in year 5 number, all assumptions seem sound, it must be true
  • Noisy/flashy/spectacular videos. Stuff is flying in, drum rolls, this looks professional, these people probably tell the truth.
  • Stunning images. "Yes! We should follow the guy who jumps of a a building with a parachute!" That sun set looks amazing.

I am afraid we are back to humble, human communication again.

And here is the pitch for my presentation design app SlideMagic: make it easy to create slides that look pretty decent/professional, and let you spend the majority of your time creating your story.


Image: fake cathedral ceiling in Rome's Sant Ignazio Church