Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time is one of those kid shows that have crossed generational boundaries and become a hit among adult viewers. Sure, animated shows for older viewers have been produced before (Beavis and Butthead comes to mind. And then there’s The Simpsons). Adventure Time, however, is a charming, honest-to-goodness children’s cartoon that just happens to appeal to adults.
So what is it about the show that pulls the grownups? Maybe it’s nostalgia (the old-school RPG Dungeons and Dragons was an inspiration) or the characters’ dark and witty sense of humor. Whatever it is, Adventure Time has made many of us look beyond the cartoon’s candy-colored fairy-tale exterior and appreciate the lessons in each episode. BuzzFeed has even created a post, “lessons for living a better life,” in reaction to the shows’ positive appeal.
In response, we are also creating our own list of things that we have learned from the show and how they apply to PowerPoint design.
Focus on what matters
The show follows Finn, a young boy, and his dog friend Jake, who possesses super stretching powers, as they fight candy zombies and foul gnomes in the Land of Ooo. In one episode, Finn overanlyzes a conversation he had with his ex-girlfriend, Flame Princess. The princess didn’t laugh at Finn’s joke. This prompted our hero to overthink their relationship and jump to conclusions. Thankfully, Jake the dog knocked some sense into him.
What he told the boy can also be applied to presenters who are too absorbed in unnecessary PowerPoint details. Stop being hung up on imaginary problems but rather, focus on what’s real.
In designing PowerPoint slides, many of us tend to be anxious about what elements to include in hopes of creating an impact. We forget that the message is more important than any flashy graphics or fancy animation and sound effects.
Never underestimate people
Many characters in the show appear unassuming yet capable of surprising you in the end. Cinnamon Bun is one of them. A typical lovable oaf, this guy was always underestimated by everyone. Nobody expected him to do anything extraordinary. Until in one episode, wherein he saved the day and got the girl. Finn’s reaction was priceless. “Did I just get shown up by Cinnamon Bun?”
One of the mistakes that you can make in delivering a presentation is underestimating your audience. This may show in the poor quality of your slides and lack of interest in making proper preparation. “They are just there to listen. Why should I even prepare?” You’ll get your answer after the presentation, when the audience starts throwing questions at you.
It’s okay not get it right the first time
Novice presenters can learn so much from this line from Jake:
You can apply this to any situation but if you’re being hard on yourself because of an initial presentation failure, take heart and remember this advice.
Stay optimistic – even if you don’t have enough sleep
And after several sleepless nights of designing your slides and practicing your speech, you may feel worried that you won’t be able to pull it off. Don’t worry. Princess Bubblegum (the ruler of the Candy Kingdom and friend of Finn and Jake) has something to say about that.
Jake: Princess Bubblegum, are you okay?
Princess Bubblegum: Yeah, I’m fine. I’m good. Haven’t slept for a solid 83 hours, but… yeah, I’m good.