Duarte Design Workshop

By Leo Mutuku
  Published 03 Jun 2012
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Have you ever sat through a presentation that is lengthy and boring, or whose ideas are all jumbled up, and you can’t make head or tail of what the presenter is trying to put across? Have you made such a presentation yourself? I am sure the answer is yes to at least one of these questions. We are all guilty of making presentations which we were not well prepared for and fumbled to put our points across. This past week, iHub and m:lab hosted Michael of Duarte in a two-day workshop to give presentation and design tips to Pivot East finalists. These are the top 25 whose applications wereshort-listedand are going to make their final pitches at the Pivot East conference this coming week. The finalists and the iHub staff members were shown how to move from the above described presentations to preparing engaging presentations. This is essentially done by allowing ourselves to be storytellers and by empathizing with our audience in the following simple steps:
  • Identifying who the audience will be, their expectations and their points of resistance to your ideas (conducting an audience analysis)
  • Creating well structures, interactive and clean slides with ONE idea per slide
  • Moving from text heavy slides to visually appealing slides with minimal text
  • Ensuring that the slides flow and have a signal (you get the message immediately) rather than noise!
  • Visualizing information in the right manner to show relationships and key foci
  • The golden rule: Never deliver a presentation you wouldn't want to sit through!
Some major no-no’s in presentation design that came up were the funny clip arts we  have used one time or other as well as over-animating the slides. In the second day, executives from leading companies also participated in a similar workshop and I am sure everybody took away some key lessons from these workshops. We are greatful to Michael for his great contribution and as one participant said, for “having averted a major disaster!” We look forward to seeing some of these good presentation practices put into use during the conference which takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 5th and 6th of June. For more information on how to make amazing presentations, get your hands on these great resources from Duarte: Slide:ology and Resonate  
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