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Pantone Color of the Year 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity

Pantone, the world’s leading authority on color and provider of color systems, surprised the world when it announced two colors for 2016’s Color of the Year.

Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919) made their way to the world of fashion and design for spring and summer. They create a secure and calm feeling when used both individually and together. These colors offer gentle color pairings. They also came with eight color templates you can use as a reference.

Play around with these colors’ contrast, balance, and harmony using the free color templates provided by Pantone on their Web site.

Peaceful and Inspirational: Rose Quartz and Serenity

hot air balloon color Rose Quartz and Serenity

Garr Reynolds, best-selling author and presentation consultant, explains in his article on TechRepublic how color can enhance your deck by calling up specific emotions. In this case, the pair of Rose Quartz and Serenity is reminiscent of dawn. This time of day is usually used as a metaphor for new beginnings and visually cues your audience to enter a more contemplative state.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute:

“… Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

Invoke the peaceful and relaxing imagery of dawn using Rose Quartz and Serenity for your pitch. Study your deck’s narrative carefully and decide if the theme fits the imagery these pastel colors evoke.

Rose Quartz and Serenity Color Templates

Color Templates

These color templates provided by Pantone suggest other possible color pairings that’ll work very well with the Color of the Year. Notice how shades of gray appear prominently in all of the swatches. Gray is a neutral color placed strategically to prevent other colors in the palette from overpowering Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Something else to take note of is that a color other than the two is allowed to stand out. In the first set of palettes, this is Fig; in the second set, it’s Cream Gold. Then Blooming Dahlia, Lupine, Navy Blue, Marsala, Grapeade, and Maroon. Most of these colors are variations of violet or purple, colors created by a mixture of red and blue. Secondary colors mixed with these colors don’t overpower Rose Quartz and Serenity but highlight them further.

Rose Quartz and Serenity can complement your brand color especially if it runs along the shades of purple or violet. Complement your brand color with some of the free Pantone palette suggestions. A cool color like Serenity or Rose Quartz in the background of your slide will make the color recede, bringing forward the foreground as the focus. Use a dark, warm color for your text in the foreground, like Fig (Pantone 19-1718), so that your text moves forward visually and contrasts with your background for better readability.

These color combinations should inspire you to look at your brand from a different perspective. Achieve balance and mindfulness with the help of Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Attain Balance and Harmony

Color Templates of the year

These colors exemplify the concept of duality. They are carefully balanced opposing forces. Ancient philosophy talks about this relationship at much length, but what we can take from it is that balance is important to keep things in order.

Warm and cold colors are tricky to get right, but you can’t go wrong with Pantone’s complementary color pairing since they‘re taken from nature’s very own palette. Color harmonies are pleasing to the eyes, which can help the audience engage with your content further.

Create a sense of order and harmony with your deck’s brand colors. Balance it with the Rose Quartz and Serenity palette to highlight it further and enhance your own brand’s color scheme.

Experiment with Color

pantone color

The Pantone Color of the Year encourages you to be bolder with your perception of color and the role it has in shaping your environment. Rose Quartz and Serenity take a cue from nature in order to build a soothing atmosphere for your pitch.

Invite the audience to relax and engage effortlessly to your content by using the Color of the Year to highlight your brand’s color palette. Determine if the color templates provided by Pantone will suit your brand’s direction and narrative. The contemplative and peaceful aura the colors evoke might not be what your company needs right now.

Order, balance, and harmony are all the key qualities this color pairing provides. Associate your message with these qualities as you see fit.

 

References:

Reynolds, Garr. “10 Slide Design Tips for Producing Powerful and Effective Presentations.” TechRepublic. September 19, 2006. www.techrepublic.com/article/10-slide-design-tips-for-producing-powerful-and-effective-presentations/6117178
“About PANTONE.” About Us. www.pantone.com/about-us
“Introducing Rose Quartz & Serenity.” Pantone. www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016

‘Before/After’ Slides from Presentation Design Expert Garr Reynolds

Renowned presentation expert, Garr Reynolds runs a blog called Presentation Zen where he shares tips and insights on presentation design. He advocates for the use of more minimalist visuals, challenging us to create presentations that are simple but impactful. He provides more details about this presentation design philosophy in his book.

If you’re curious about learning more about his presentation design philosophy, see it in action with these Before and After slides.

Presentation Design Inspiration

Check out how the following slides have transitioned from PowerPoint Hell to Presentation Zen:

Presentation design inspiration by Garr Reynolds 1

Presentation design inspiration by Garr Reynolds 2

 

Presentation design inspiration by Garr Reynolds 3

These prove that PowerPoint slides don’t have to be long and detailed in order to embody the core of your message. Reynolds makes use of interesting images and minimal text without losing the key points of the slides.

A few lessons you can pick up from these examples:

  • Add meaningful images that will ‘show’ without having to ‘tell’
  • Think of catchy, one-sentence headlines instead of using generic titles for your slides
  • Condense several bullet points into a brief but meaningful sentence

View the rest of the Before and After slides in Garr Reynolds’ SlideShare presentation. He has several other presentations that you can view. Browse through his profile to learn more about ‘zen’ presentation design.

 

Featured Image: Gábor Hojtsy via Flickr

These are the 5 Presentation Books that Should Be on Your Reading List

Improving your presentation skills will take time, but you can speed up the process through a bit of research. We’ve compiled five presentation books that can help you become the effective communicator you aspire to be. Make some room for these titles on your night stand!

Presentation books focused on content and delivery

1.) Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story‘ by Jerry Weissman

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Jerry Weissman’s book offers readers techniques in content creation and delivery. The title adheres to a strong sense of structure that mirrors the advice it gives. It’s underlying cause is to help readers create meaningful messages that will stay with the audience.

Thirty million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns. A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly…discover common ground… and, together, decide to act.

 In this fully updated edition, Jerry Weissman, the world’s #1 presentation consultant, shows how to connect with even the toughest, most high-level audiences…and move them to action! He teaches presenters of all kinds how to dump those PowerPoint templates once and for all and tell compelling stories that focus on what’s in it for the audience.

 Weissman’s techniques have proven themselves with billions of dollars on the line. Thousands of his elite clients have already mastered them. Now it’s your turn!

2.) The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience‘ by Carmine Gallo

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The presentations Steve Jobs gave for Apple have become benchmarks for great delivery. Carmine Gallo delves into what makes Steve Jobs an effective speaker, and lends practical advice to his readers. In his book, Gallo emphasizes the importance of a good story that connects with the audience.

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s wildly popular presentations have set a new global gold standard—and now this step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to use his crowd-pleasing techniques in your own presentations.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is as close as you’ll ever get to having the master presenter himself speak directly in your ear. Communications expert Carmine Gallo has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs’s performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets….

With this revolutionary approach, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to sell your ideas, share your enthusiasm, and wow your audience the Steve Jobs way.

Presentation books focused on design

3.) slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations’ by Nancy Duarte

Book_Slideology

Nancy Duarte’s book is a feast for the eyes, which proves that it’s an excellent reference for presentation design. The comprehensive guide is a product of the author’s experience as an industry leader, working with high profile clients like Al Gore.

No matter where you are on the organizational ladder, the odds are high that you’ve delivered a high-stakes presentation to your peers, your boss, your customers, or the general public. Presentation software is one of the few tools that requires professionals to think visually on an almost daily basis. But unlike verbal skills, effective visual expression is not easy, natural, or actively taught in schools or business training programs. slide:ology fills that void.

Written by Nancy Duarte, President and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, this book is full of practical approaches to visual story development that can be applied by anyone. The book combines conceptual thinking and inspirational design, with insightful case studies from the world’s leading brands…..

Millions of presentations and billions of slides have been produced — and most of them miss the mark. slide:ology will challenge your traditional approach to creating slides by teaching you how to be a visual thinker. And it will help your career by creating momentum for your cause.

4.) Speaking PowerPoint’ by Bruce Gabrielle

SPPT_FRONT

Bruce Gabrielle’s book offers a fresh take on using PowerPoint for business presentations. While it might not be as ‘glitzy’ as Duarte’s book, it offers concrete tips that are useful for the more corporate-oriented reader.

You use PowerPoint at work to create strategic plans, executive briefings, research reports and other boardroom-style slides. But could your slides be clearer, more convincing and built in half the time? You bet!

Learn a new method for business managers who want to use PowerPoint at work to drive strategy. The Mindworks Presentation Method is based on 40 years of research in brain science, instructional design and information design and will help you to

Eliminate time wasters and complete PowerPoint decks three times faster
Enhance your credibility by creating visually pleasing slides using simple graphic design rules
Make complex slides easier to understand and avoid “Death by PowerPoint” forever
Make audiences more likely to agree with you by applying the proven principles of master persuaders

A mix of both worlds

5.)Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery’ by Garr Reynolds

presentation-zen

In this title, Garr Reynolds effectively guides his readers through three aspects of presentation: preparation, design, and delivery. The title refers to his “Zen” presentation philosophy, which advocates a simple and minimalist plan of action.

Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net — presentationzen.com — shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote. Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making “slide presentations” in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from the fields of communication and business. Combining solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity, this book will help you along the path to simpler, more effective presentations.

Featured Image: Flickr

10 slide design tips for producing powerful and effective presentations

By Guest Contributor

September 19, 2006, 7:00am PDT

By Garr Reynolds

#1: Keep it simple

 

PowerPoint uses slides with a horizontal, or Landscape, orientation. The software was designed as a convenient way to display graphical information that would support the speaker and supplement the presentation. The slides themselves were never meant to be the star of the show. (The star, of course, is your audience.) People came to hear you and be moved or informed (or both) by you and your message. Don’t let your message and your ability to tell a story get derailed by slides that are unnecessarily complicated, busy, or full of what Edward Tufte calls “chart junk.” Nothing in your slide should be superfluous, ever.

Your slides should have plenty of white space, or negative space. Do not feel compelled to fill empty areas on your slide with your logo or other unnecessary graphics or text boxes that do not contribute to better understanding. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become.

#2 Limit bullet points and text

 

Your presentation is for the benefit of the audience. But boring an audience with bullet point after bullet point is of little benefit to them. Which brings us to the issue of text. The best slides may have no text at all. This may sound insane given the dependency of text slides today, but the best PowerPoint slides will be virtually meaningless without the narration (that is you). Remember, the slides are meant to support the narration of the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous.

Many people often say something like this: “Sorry I missed your presentation. I hear it was great. Can you just send me your PowerPoint slides?” But if they are good slides, they will be of little use without you. Instead of a copy of your PowerPoint slides, it is far better to prepare a written document that highlights your content from the presentation and expands on that content. Audiences are much better served receiving a detailed, written handout as a takeaway from the presentation, rather than a mere copy of your PowerPoint slides. If you have a detailed handout or publication for the audience to be passed out after your talk, you need not feel compelled to fill your PowerPoint slides with a great deal of text.

We’ll talk more about this in the delivery section below, but as long as we are talking about text, please remember to never, ever turn your back on the audience and read text from the slide word for word.

 

This slide is not unusual, but it is not a visual aid, it is more like an eye chart.

 

Try to avoid text-heavy (and sleep inducing) slides like this one.

 

Aim for something like this simple slide above.

 

And this is even better.

#3: Limit transitions and builds (animation)

 

Use object builds and slide transitions judiciously. Object builds (also called animations), such as bullet points, should not be animated on every slide. Some animation is a good thing, but stick to the most subtle and professional (similar to what you might see on the evening TV news broadcast). A simple Wipe Left-to-Right (from the Animations menu) is good for a bullet point, but a Move or Fly, for example, is too tedious and slow (and yet, is used in many presentations today). Listeners will get bored quickly if they are asked to endure slide after slide of animation. For transitions between slides, use no more than two or three types of transition effects and do not place transition effects between all slides.

#4: Use high quality graphics

 

Use high quality graphics, including photographs. You can take your own high quality photographs with your digital camera, purchase professional stock photography, or use the plethora of high quality images available online. (But be cautious of copyright issues.) Never simply stretch a small, low-resolution photo to make it fit your layout–doing so will degrade the resolution even further.

Avoid using PowerPoint Clip Art or other cartoonish line art. Again, if it is included in the software, your audience has seen it a million times before. It may have been interesting in 1993, but today the inclusion of such clip art often undermines the professionalism of the presenter. There are exceptions, of course, and not all PowerPoint art is dreadful, but use it carefully and judiciously.

I often use images of people in my slides, as photography of people tends to help the audience connect with the slide on a more emotional level. If the photographic image is secondary in importance, then I decrease the opacity and add a Gaussian Blur or motion filter in Photoshop. If the photographic image is the primary area I want the audience to notice (such as a picture of a product), then the image can be more pronounced and little (or no) text is needed.

 

Try to avoid cheesy clip art like this.

 

This edited stock photograph is more effective and professional.

 

In this title slide, the image is primary.

 

In this slide from the same presentation, the image is secondary and pushed to the back by editing it first in Photoshop.

#5: Have a visual theme but avoid using PowerPoint templates

 

You clearly need a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation, but most templates included in PowerPoint have been seen by your audience countless times (and besides, the templates are not all that great to begin with). Your audience expects a unique presentation with new (at least to them) content; otherwise, why would they be attending your talk? No audience will be excited about a cookie-cutter presentation, and we must therefore shy away from any supporting visuals, such as the ubiquitous PowerPoint Design Template, that suggests your presentation is formulaic or prepackaged.

You can make your own background templates, which will be more tailored to your needs. You can then save the PowerPoint file as a Design Template (.pot) and the new template will appear among your standard Microsoft templates for your future use. You can also purchase professional templates online.

#6: Use appropriate charts

 

Always be asking yourself, “How much detail do I need?” Presenters are usually guilty of including too much data in their onscreen charts. There are several ways to display your data in graphic form; here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pie charts. Used to show percentages. Limit the slices to 4-6 and contrast the most important slice either with color or by exploding the slice.

 

Vertical bar charts. Used to show changes in quantity over time. Best if you limit the bars to 4-8.

 

Horizontal bar charts. Used to compare quantities. For example, comparing sales figures among the four regions of the company.

 

Line charts. Used to demonstrate trends. For example, here is a simple line chart showing that our sales have gone up every year. The trend is good. The arrow comes in later to underscore the point: Our future looks good!

 

In general, tables are well suited for side-by-side comparisons of quantitative data.

 

However, tables can lack impact on a visceral level. If you want to show how your contributions are significantly higher than two other parties, for example, it would be best to show that in the form of a bar chart (below). But if you’re trying to downplay the fact that your contributions are lower than others, a table will display that information in a less dramatic or emotional way.

 

#7: Use color well

 

Color evokes feelings. Color is emotional. The right color can help persuade and motivate. Studies show that color usage can increase interest and improve learning comprehension and retention.

You do not need to be an expert in color theory, but it’s good for business professionals to know at least a bit on the subject. Colors can be divided into two general categories: cool (such as blue and green) and warm (such as orange and red). Cool colors work best for backgrounds, as they appear to recede away from us into the background. Warm colors generally work best for objects in the foreground (such as text) because they appear to be coming at us. It is no surprise, then, that the most ubiquitous PowerPoint slide color scheme includes a blue background with yellow text. You do not need to feel compelled to use this color scheme, although you may choose to use a variation of those colors.

If you will be presenting in a dark room (such as a large hall), a dark background (dark blue, gray, etc.) with white or light text will work fine. But if you plan to keep most of the lights on (which is highly advisable), a white background with black or dark text works much better. In rooms with a good deal of ambient light, a screen image with a dark background and light text tends to washout, but dark text on a light background will maintain its visual intensity a bit better.

Learn more:

  • PresentationPro.com has some great Flash tutorials, including one on color.
  • Go to the CreativePro.com to learn more about color.
  • Dummies.com has a good short article on how to use the Color Schemes> in PowerPoint.

#8: Choose your fonts well

 

Fonts communicate subtle messages in and of themselves, which is why you should choose fonts deliberately. Use the same font set throughout your entire slide presentation and use no more than two complementary fonts (e.g., Arial and Arial Bold). Make sure you know the difference between a serif font (e.g., Times New Roman) and a sans-serif font (e.g., Helvetica or Arial).

Serif fonts were designed to be used in documents filled with lots of text. They’re said to be easier to read at small point sizes, but for onscreen presentations, the serifs tend to get lost due to the relatively low resolution of projectors. Sans- serif fonts are generally best for PowerPoint presentations, but try to avoid the ubiquitous Helvetica. I often choose to use Gill Sans, as it is somewhere in between a serif and a sans-serif font and is professional yet friendly and “conversational.” Regardless of what font you choose, make sure the text can be read from the back of the room.

 

Times

 

Arial black; Arial

 

#9: Use video or audio

 

Use video and audio when appropriate. Using video clips to show concrete examples promotes active cognitive processing, which is the natural way people learn. You can use video clips within PowerPoint without ever leaving the application or tuning on a VCR. Using a video clip not only will illustrate your point better, it will also serve as a change of pace, thereby increasing the interest of your audience.

You can use audio clips (such as interviews) as well. But avoid using the cheesy sound effects that are included in PowerPoint (such as the sound of a horn or applause when transitioning slides). The use of superfluous sound effects attached to animations is a sure way to lose credibility with your audience.

#10: Spend time in the slider sorter

 

According to the Segmentation Principle of multimedia learning theory, people comprehend better when information is presented in small chunks or segments. By getting out of the Slide view and into the Slide Sorter view, you can see how the logical flow of your presentation is progressing. In this view, you may decide to break up one slide into, say, two or three slides so that your presentation has a more natural and logical flow or process. You’ll also be able to capture more of the gestalt of your entire presentation from the point of view of your audience. You will be able to notice more extraneous pieces of visual data that can be removed to increase visual clarity and improve communication.

 

The Slide Sorter view in PowerPoint

Garr Reynolds is currently Associate Professor of Management at Kansai Gaidai University, where he teaches Marketing, Global Marketing, and Multimedia Presentation Design. Garr is active in the Japanese community and can often be found presenting on subjects concerning design, branding, and effective corporate communications. In addition to his Web site, he maintains a blog, Presentation Zen, which offers insights into professional presentation design.