Visual Storytelling - T. Benjamin Larsen's Blog

The making of a presentation (part 4)

This is part 4 of «the making of 'Cultivating Creativity'», a presentation I entered in’s «World’s Best Presentation Contest».

Graphical refinements

As I had already went through several version of the presentation in my mind things were starting to click. A short doodling session gave birth to a whimsical looking character I decided to use instead of the generic 'loose appendixes' one.

Some of the different stages on the way to a finished slide

Quick drafts of the different slides came about within minutes and could begin to consider the finer points. One of these finer points was to refine the earlier idea of somehow separating the two main-segments. I decided to make the 'feed'-slides with a strong line and strong colours as they referred to the more active side of my inspiration-recipe. In contrast, the 'rest'-slides should have a calmer, softer more organic look. Water colours seemed to fit the bill and even the fonts were either painted or traced by hand to make them more humane in appearance.

Know your audience is another mantra that it is wise to adhere to. Unfortunately I had no way of finding the key-demographics among slideshare-users. I did however know a little about the judges of the competition. I even recalled reading Guy Kawasaki praising the 'art of sucking up'. I decided to give it a shot. As all the judges are also authors, I decided to include imagery of these in the 'Read'-slide. The judges should recognize their own work, but it should not distract from the presentation as a whole. Certainly too good an opportunity to be missed. As I finished my illustrations I scanned them into my Mac and combined them with the text in Photoshop where I also performed some additional touch-up. The hard (but fun) part was over...


Underdog attack!

OK, first a small confession. I'm something of a Mac-head and yes I do love a lot of their products. Apple have always used the fact that they're "different" for what it's worth. As "standard" Windows-PC's, at least traditionally, have been about as exciting as.. cricket (sorry cricket-fans) this makes a lot of sense. Apple's current campaign "I'm a mac" continues the trend and I believe this is a strategy that makes a lot of sense for a smaller company. People instinctively root for the underdog and there is something to be said about having a product that differs from the masses as well.

So why doesn't Microsoft do the same thing with their Zune-player? Now, I haven't seen one of these yet, but reckon they must be OK. Having Microsoft's deep-pockets, media-interest and advertisement-budgets could well help it to become something of a hit. It's not an iPod and for some people it seems that's the most important specification any MP3-player could have...