20 Steps to Becoming a Presentation Design Hero

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There’s no set path to become a presentation designer. The few of us trailblazers out there are still carving the path for those who will join us in the Presentation Revolution.

I’ve outlined in great depth tips to create an effective PowerPoint presentation, but what if you want to take it further than that? What if you wanted to be the resident PowerPoint expert in your company? Or what if you want to turn your passion for presentation design into a career?

First, bravo! The world needs more presenters and presentation designers like you.

Secondly, I’ve created a list below of 20 (ever evolving through the contributions in the comments, of course) steps you can take to become a presentation design expert. The list is not (nor will ever be) exhaustive, nor do you have to do EVERYTHING on this list to improve your presentation design skills. These are just some steps I have (and haven’t) taken to get where I am today as a presenter and presentation designer.

  1. Read Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  2. Read slide:ology by Nancy Duarte
  3. Read Resonate by Nancy Duarte
  4. Read Brain Rules by John Medina
  5. Read Universal Principles of Design
  6. Attend a presentation design workshop
  7. Volunteer to give educational presentations in your organization (on any topic)
  8. Volunteer to train others in your organization in effective presentation design techniques
  9. Join your local Toastmasters
  10. Join and upload your designs to Slideshare – encourage feedback
  11. Enter your PowerPoint and Keynote presentations into contests like World’s Best Presentation and Slidefest (you never know!)
  12. Attend a presentation conference like the Presentation Summit (I’ll be speaking there!)
  13. Learn alternative presentation software like Prezi, SlideRocket, and Keynote (yes, it’s not mainstream yet!)
  14. Volunteer to design the presentations for the conference speakers in your organization
  15. Visit Note and Point often and don’t let the amazing presentation discourage you!
  16. Research effective storytelling techniques
  17. Learn the art of storyboarding your ideas
  18. Volunteer to redesign a presentation (effectively, of course)
  19. Read presentation design blogs (see my blogroll) and comment with your thoughts
  20. Start your own blog and chronicle your journey as a presentation designer

Of course, there are countless more ways to improve and ultimately be able to call yourself the presentation expert in your company.  What pathways have you taken to become a better presentation designer? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

Image via Flickr

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  • Akash

    Great tips!

    A couple of them that I’d like to add –

    1. Practice, Practice more. Try your hands at various image editing tools and spend more time with PowerPoint (or any other tool that you are using).

    2. Don’t hesitate to try out different designs for your presentations. You can use the ‘Hit and Trial’ method to see what looks the best. Also, that design (that you visualize in your head in the very beginning, is often great!) Try to put that out to your slides – just like a painter brushes his art out.

    Thanks for sharing the tips, Jon. Cheers!