I am the world’s first Chief Drawing Officer. And I carry my title with pride 🙂
Powerpoint presentations are mostly dull. We’ve all seen them, words and graphs put together in a logical order in a presentation, organized by boxes and bullet points so that you can send the message easier, cleaner and clearer to your customers. But don’t you yawn sometimes when you see the same kind of presentation over and over again?
I decided to change that, even though there is not much flexibility in consulting when it comes to how creative you can be with your presentations. But they do become very personal, and your style is personal, I can easily identify which one of my colleagues did a presentation because in the end it is more relevant to me than a business card or a photo.
What’s my style? How did I get there? I like art, I like the logic of art (I know, is there such thing?), the equilibrium of a painting, the feeling it gives you. And all that comes from every single detail, from where you put a spot of color, to the colors you use (with all the different shades), the number of layers, the image you build, the message you send. Art is amazing and it teaches you so many things, from imagery to feelings.
I look at my presentations as though they were a piece of art. Of course, content matters but most of the times there are plenty of ways you can use to send a message. See advertising companies. I use images instead of words, I use graphs instead of figures and I use interesting titles to make my point. And the colors, oh the colors, how much freedom you have to choose the right shade of grey (no connection whatsoever with the book 🙂 ). But there are slight differences between colors, shades and especially what you want to make your client understand or feel with those colors. I am an avid color user, making sure the color transmits my worry, my concern, my exact point, what have you.
The final touch, from aspect point of view, is how you arrange images, words, graphs, colors, little boxes on the slide. Balance is my only purpose, trying at the same time to emphasize the main message of the slide. Sometimes moving a box a few millimeters to the right can change the entire appearance and “feel” of the slide. Choosing the right shapes can do the trick also. In the end, the slide should look like a piece of art.
The final touch of every presentation is the story. My presentations are stories, they have an introduction, content, critical point, conclusions and end (end being mostly about what will happen next). Any presentation that is a story reaches it audience. Story telling is the most applauded presentation method lately and there’s a reason for that: stories are easy to understand and remember and involve emotionally the audience.
My presentations are beautiful stories with colorful pictures. It doesn’t sound proper for consulting but it surely got me to become the world’s first CDO.