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Are you responsible for the horrible slides?

Good question. Who’s responsible for horrible slides in presentation?

Blogger and Tweeter Jeff Bailey suggest that : “Many people who do presentations are forced to use slides created by others. You can’t blame them for using horrible slides, but you do.”

Make sense.

In is blog post « Esthetics in everything you do » Jan Schultink wrote : “ My personal rule: never let an ugly chart or image enter my PowerPoint presentation, ever.”

Make sense. Who’s right?


As a presenter, we are responsible for delivering the message. Our responsibility include everything that support our delivering. We must eliminate everything that handicap it. This include slides.

Screenshot - 2009-04-06 , 21_20_27An horrible slide is noise in the communication. It distract the audience.  Therefore, we must get ride of them.

But, in some organization (particularly in big corporation) the slides are made by another department. Communication, product development, etc.

They have expertise in information or in communication, or anything necessary for creating a good document. The problem is; slides are not a document. They are a tool that support the presenter.

The slides must be create and design to support the speaker. They must obey different rules. Most of the time, the peoples creating the slides don’t know those rules.

Then, what is the responsibility of the presenter?

We must push the boundaries.

We must educate our colleagues. Teach them how to design good slides. Refuse to use bad slides.

Maybe it’s not always possible. It depend of the organization, the context, the situation, etc. I understand. But, i never encounter a situation where we cannot find a solution that satisfied everybody.

Sometimes, i took lots of negotiations. Don’t discourage yourself.

Here is an example of bad slide design from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Rick Altman as done an excellent makeover of it.

[slideshare id=403978&doc=clintoncommitsdeathbypowerpoint-1210744981862644-9]

Share with me: How do you deal with slides made by other department?

Source :
Jeff Bailey Blog and Twitter
Jan Schultink  Blog and Twitter
Rick Altman Web site

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