It's no secret that we're huge fans of beautiful slides and visuals. Used well they are an incredibly powerful tool in getting your message across. That said, there are definitely times when you really don't need them at all.
One of the most assured speakers around today is business leader Simon Sinek. If you've never come across him before, it's well worth viewing a speech of his from earlier this year at TED2014: 'Why Good Leaders make you feel Safe'.
Whilst clearly an accomplished and skilled public speaker, what we've always liked the most about Simon is his preference for an easel, a flipchart and a couple of markers over any elaborate visual software. At Edison Red we tend to always 'start analog' when building slides. That means we shut down our laptops altogether and grab a pencil and some paper instead.
All too often it's easy to become overwhelmed by backgrounds, images, transitions, colours, fonts etc. and forget what the slides you're creating are supposed to be helping you with. Stripping it back to basics removes the distractions and helps you focus on your key messages. Once you've completed the initial draft on paper it feels like more of a natural progression to further those ideas digitally - not dissimilar to how filmmakers create storyboards long before picking up a camera, such as the example from 'Psycho' below.
Watching Simon's speech above (or indeed any of his others) you witness the mastery of the analog approach as he reinforces his key points with basic, graspable diagrams that are confidently drawn on the stage. This gives him complete control of his presentation and allows him to be entirely in the present moment - it's far easier for him to react to and connect with his audience. If he wants to change something in his presentation he has that flexibility as his visuals are not fixed. He's in complete control of not only what we see but when we see it - we are in total sync with his journey.
Consider using the analog approach with your next slide deck and who knows you may just end up using an easel, a flipchart and some markers.
Want a different take on your slides? Why not send them through to us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Image credit: Flickr