Presenting Basics: SlideRabbit at the Boulder Technology Summit

Pushing PowerPoint: Presentation by SlideRabbitLast week we were lucky enough to participate in the Boulder Technology Summit, coordinated by the Non-Profit Cultivation Center and the United Way. The Tech Summit is a resource for non-profits where technology experts come, share, teach and trouble shoot.

Not surprisingly, we presented on presenting. We discussed the basic dos and don’ts of using visual aids, taught our 20-minute template (a fast and easy way to brand your slides quickly), and trained up our class on using presentation software to create branded documents and marketing pieces. We also took a quick look at Prezi and when it makes more sense than traditional slides – and when it doesn’t!

Check out the full deck:

**SlideShare doesn’t want to maintain our hyperlinks to supplementary content, like the Prezi, so if you’d like a working copy of your own, please feel free to email me!**

Part of our mission at SlideRabbit is to bring high-quality design to every industry at affordable cost levels. We love and support the non-profit community with lower rates and fixed fee projects. Through our work in this sector, we’ve had the occasion to work with some fantastic organizations around the country. We were so pleased to be able to share our expertise in a hands-on workshop and hope to offer more training in the future. If you’d be interested in presentation-focused webinars, please let us know in the comments or by direct email!

Non-profit or not, contact us today and let’s chat about how we can help you bring your presentations to the next level!

Announcing Our New Referral Program!

Presentation Design Discounts

We are so very excited to introduce our referral program for the summer of 2014. From now until the end of August, get 10% off your bill* when you refer a new client to us. We love our clients and can’t wait to give back!

If you get our newsletter, In the Hopper, you already knew about this. If you don’t, sign up so you don’t miss out on other offers!

*Discount to be applied to invoice following referral’s purchase of services. Honored up to $500 per referral.

Slide Design: How to Build a Powerful Color Palette

With sight dominating our senses, it is no surprise that colors have come to hold so much meaning and importance in our culture. Consciously and unconsciously, we use color to signify our feelings: a red rose for our love, a yellow one for a good friend. With colors so closely tied to emotion, and emotion so effectively increasing memory retention, it follows that colors are instrumental to powerful and memorable communication.

When selecting a main color for a presentation template, take into account the emotions that the content should produce. Is the material meant to excite the audience, rile them up to a new product that changes the game? Use a bright warm color (red, orange, yellow) to capture the energy of your message. If the material is about a trustworthy medical or financial service, use blues to convey reliability and fortitude. For more ideas on the right colors for your content, check out this awesome infographic from The Logo Company on how brand colors speak to our emotions:

Color Emotion Guide | The Logo CompanySource: http://thelogocompany.net/blog/infographics/psychology-color-logo-design/

Whether the starting point is a predetermined brand color or a color selected to do some emoting, the next step to building a palette involves color theory. There are several different methods used to combine colors from the color wheel to produce a pleasing look & feel. Here’s a look at the basic color wheel:

SlideRabbit, color wheel, VisualSugar, Color

Different color combination methods, or harmonies, produce a different feel. Here’s a look at some common harmonies:

Complementary & Split Complementary palettes are vibrant and striking. Complementary colors are across the color wheel from each other and provide high contrast.

SlideRabbit, color wheel, VisualSugar, Color

Analogous palettes are pleasing to the eye and feel comfortable because they often occur in the natural world, like a sunset of pinks, reds and oranges. Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel.

SlideRabbit, color wheel, VisualSugar, Color

Monochromatic palettes are built by selecting different saturations of the same color. They feel simple and elegant, but lack contrast.

SlideRabbit, color wheel, VisualSugar, Color

Triadic, Tetradic & Square palettes use simple geometric shapes (triangle, rectangle & square, respectively) superimposed over the color wheel to determine color harmony. These palettes offer rich contrast.

SlidRabbit_VisualSugar_Triadic_Tetradic_Colors

For quick help selecting the right colors, use an online tool like Adobe Kuler.

The easiest harmony to execute well is the Split Complementary palette, which is both pleasing to look at and easy to work with. This palette has three main colors, one of which should be dominant. The other two will be used as secondary and tertiary accent colors. Just as we borrowed from photography’s Rule of Thirds for compositional balance, borrow the 60-30-10 Rule from interior design to maintain color balance in the design. Sixty percent of the color on a given slide will be the dominant color – use it for big shapes and common themes. The secondary color should make up about thirty percent of the color, while the tertiary color is used only for small accents to grab attention.

SlideRabbit, color wheel, VisualSugar, Color

Whether website, marketing collateral or presentation, a good color palette begins to tell the story immediately and subliminally. Evoking emotion through color increases the effectiveness and memorability of the content. Selecting the right color palette for the message and the content is vital to communicating to the audience on both an intellectual and emotional level.

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Presentation Software: Not Just for Slides Anymore

Presentation Software SlideRabbit VisualSugar Presentation Design PowerpointThe phrase “Death by PowerPoint” calls to mind endless, text filled slides marching forward as a suit with a clicker drones on to a room full of bored coworkers. I truly believe that, while presentations like this may still take place, this scene is largely a collective memory. The majority of presenters have grasped that cognitive limits demand simple and straightforward information.

The corporate world is coming to understand that “professional” doesn’t need to mean boring. Text-driven communications are less likely to be retained, if they are read at all. While presentations become simpler and more visual, so must other forms of corporate communications.

Enter Nancy Duarte’s Slidedocs. This ebook discusses the benefits of moving all corporate communications in a more visually compelling direction using presentation software.

Wait! You might be thinking, You just said NOT to put a bunch of text on your slides! Correct. While these types of corporate communications might be produced in slide format, they are not intended for the projector. Rather, presentation software serves as an accessible, familiar resource for the everyday employee, empowering even those without a design skillset to begin to communicate more visually.

A case study summary, for example, might typically be produced in MS Word. Word is notoriously cranky about including visual elements and gives only the most basic options for creating them. Once a diagram or image is placed, editing the text near it will cause a headache of formatting issues.

A case study produced in PowerPoint, however, allows the creator much greater control over the layout and display of information, as well as a wealth of options for creating simple informational diagrams like charts, graphs and tables.

Using presentation software for non-traditional purposes can not only improve the quality of communication, but save costs and time on every day business items. Here at SlideRabbit, we produce all of our external business documents in PowerPoint, including proposals, invoices, terms agreements and the like. This may not be surprising, as we’re a presentation design boutique, but consider that we also have access to the tools typically used to create text-heavy layouts like InDesign and Word.

Presentation software is more accessible to the typical employee than InDesign, which is most often reserved for dedicated print designers. It is more adept at handling the combination of words, images and branding than Word. The templating tools in presentation softwares make the production of standard documents by many employees across the company easily attainable.

While some presenters still stubbornly stuff slides with bullets, sub-bullets and sub-sub-bullets, an increasing number understand why projecting a text filled slide actually hurts the presentation. As we, as a society, begin to communicate more visually, our corporate communications are following suit. Presentation software is uniquely suited to creating visual documents and it likely already resides on your computer.

Come hear me present on Pushing PowerPoint Beyond the Slides at the Boulder Tech Summit!

We’re Growing!

Presentation Designer Job Opportunity | SlideRabbitAfter a hugely successful 2013 and start to 2014, we’ve decided that the time has come to look for the right person to join our team! We’re excited to expand and continue to improve our speed and services for our present and future clients.

We’re looking for a talented designer with a keen eye for branding. This person should be excited about the challenges of pushing presentation software beyond the typical applications and creating high-quality pieces for a range of clientele.

Prefer to work in PJs? That’s A-OK for us as 95% of our work is done remotely. We’re especially interested in finding a new teammate near Boulder, CO or Chicago, IL but candidates from all over the U.S. are welcome to apply.

Since we’re growing, and not yet quite grown, this is a contract to hire position. Get in on the ground floor and grow with us!

Discover more about the new opportunity here!
And don’t forget to share with the talented designers in your life.