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What are your slides saying about you?

Posted on March 2, 2017

What are your slides saying about you?

Over these last two weeks, I’ve conducted two 3-day leadership and communication courses.  I was extremely conscious of the fact that as soon as I walked out in front of the group, they started to form an opinion about me.  I chose what I wore with care, made eye contact, and started to speak.  I knew that in that moment, my opening story was important, but 93% of the communication about who I was had already been formed.  The words I carefully planned to say would only amount to 7% of their opinion!

Humans are wired to rely on non-verbal communication for both meaning and interpretation.  Layer on top of this the fact that over 65% of adults in America are visual learners, and we HAVE to start changing the way we look at being a speaker.

Surely no one wants an audience leaving their presentation saying things like, “Those slides had too many words on them. It looks like he just copied and pasted the whole thing” or “I couldn’t see the pictures they were all so blurry, it felt like she put that presentation together last minute.”

Non-verbal communication is the combination of body language, tone, touch, and visual communication. The term “Visual Communication” simply means the use of images and symbols to effectively transmit a message or relay information.

However, we know it’s not that simple. For the next series of articles, I invite you to join me as I dissect and present various elements of visual communication and how to make sure your slides are saying the right things about who you are and what you want to transmit as a speaker.

visual design



Imagine you are building a house.  You need an architect to draw up the house plans for your approval and then detailed drawings for the builders to follow.  Next, you need a general contractor to oversee the entire construction project.  Finally, you will have sub specialties coming in to install plumbing, electrical, and other areas.

Similarly, there is no one-stop shop for a “visual communication designer,” rather, areas of expertise vary based upon the final product.


Graphic Designer:

  • The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.

A graphic designer is highly focused on selecting typography, color, images, and layout for a cohesive look/feel and are usually trained to work with design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Graphic designers commonly design print material such as brochures, posters, logos, and website designs.


  • The art or skills of creating images for use in magazines, books or for commercial products such as calendars and greeting cards.

An Illustrator is strictly focused on making simple and complex images using traditional and digital methods, their artistic skill, and originality to come up with visual depictions of different ideas.

Presentation Design:

  • The art or skill of driving presentation comprehension and retention using content selection and design choices.

A presentation designer takes on a wide range of tasks within the presentation creation process from refining content to slide design. This specialized niche requires a knowledge of adult learning theory, content design, and elements of graphic design to drive visual learning.

I walked in front of that audience with my carefully selected outfit, my opening story, made that initial eye contact, and brought up my slides, knowing they were transmitting exactly the look/feel/tone I wanted.  Do you know what your slides are saying about you?

I am a presentation designer who has a passion for what I do so, let me help you formulate a winning presentation, and together we will ensure your slides reflect the best version of you!