My TEDx Talk: Creating Change Without a Roadmap

Jon Thomas - TEDxSpringfield

TED Talks changed the landscape of presenting. Gathering brilliant people to talk about a wide variety of topics in 17 minutes or less and recording it all created a seemingly endless treasure trove for anyone seeking to learn how to engage an audience. Some presenters used PowerPoint, some used video, some used props, and some simply stood on the stage by their lonesome. Each was great in its own way.

I’ve mentioned often that while I love the benefits of effectively designed visuals, they’re Continue reading…

20 Best PowerPoint Presentation Design Posts for 2014


In order to create an amazing PowerPoint presentation, you have to learn the process of effective presentation design. After four years of blogging, I’ve written a number of posts designed to help you create better, visually engaging and effective PowerPoint presentations. As all blogs posts do, some resonated better than others and often provided great discussion in the comments.

Instead of forcing you to sift through my site, page after page, or trying to search my site with keywords just to find the best posts, I have aggregated 20 of my best blog posts to help Continue reading…

Bad PowerPoint: Who is to Blame?


Bad PowerPoint has plagued the presentation world since the technology was invented. But it’s hard to point a finger at exactly who is to blame.

Is it Microsoft? They’re the ones that added the prompts to “Add Title Here” and “Place Bulletpoints Here.”

Is it the corporate world? They’re the ones perpetuating “Death by PowerPoint” with restrictive templates and a necessity to include paragraphs of text on slides so the client can read it later.

Is it textbook publishers who provide college professors with dull presentations? I think it might, because I “learned” how to design presentations from them, Continue reading…

Visual Storytelling Goes Viral


While sifting through my Twitter feed I recently came upon a video about the distribution of wealth in the United States. I read and research various topics every day, but I have to admit, I’m more often reading about social media, advertising, design, storytelling and less often about finance and the economy (to my detriment—I only have so many hours in the day).

I didn’t know what to expect. The video was embedded on a site so I couldn’t see how popular it has truly become (over 4 million views). Within the first few Continue reading…

No Audience NEEDS Bullet Points


There are basic principles to living a healthy life: Drink lots of water, count your calories, avoid empty calories (read: junk food), and burn calories (namely through exercise)—these principles matter to every human being on this planet. Some need/burn more calories (Olympic swimmers), some need/burn less (the rest of us), but our health, for better or worse, depends on how well we subscribe to those aforementioned principles. There are no valid excuses as to why junk food is a healthy part of your diet or why eating 10,000 calories a day is okay (if you don’t exercise).

What Continue reading…

Everything is a Presentation


I saw this sign as I drove back from vacation this weekend. It was in a fairly rural area of Delaware, though not very far from a major highway. Look closely at the manually placed letters. What are they advertising? That’s right. They have BO at this motel.

I understand that these are very low-cost accommodations. I’m not sure there’s a price low enough to get me to stay in one of these places. And all along this road, the every motel was in just as much disrepair as the next. But that’s not the point.

This sign could be Continue reading…