How to Make an Award Winning Presentation

How many horrible slide decks have you witnessed in the last six months?

How many have you made, designed or delivered?

Making an effective presentation is extremely simple. Focus on the content you are delivering and the the slides that are behind you.

I’ve compiled 10 quick tips to get you started and heading in the right direction.

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Still not sure who wrote this post? I'm Chris Moody.


  1. Chris,

    You definitely hit some major presentation must-dos like using imagery, little amounts of text, theme and triggers. However there are a few things I wanted to address.

    As a presentation designer I’m often asked “What’s the perfect amount of slides for a xyz minute presentation?” However, there’s no right answer. Some people use few slides, others use hundreds. It’s not in the amount of slides, it’s in the effectiveness of those slides to amplify your message and how well your delivery flows with your slides.

    I recently came in 3rd in the 2010 World’s Best Presentation Contest hosted by ( Each of the top 3 presentations could be consumed in under a few minutes and had 79, 48, and 83 slides respectively. I’ve given talks with well over 100 slides. When people hear the # they are startled because they assume I’ll be spending at least a minute on each slide, but on the contrary, my delivery style drives the content and I move past some slides after showing them for only a few seconds.

    So I wouldn’t tell people they should limit their slides. However, I would tell people to limit their content! Find your one big idea and make sure every content piece supports that idea. Most presentations fail because they have too many ideas, not too few.

    It can, but be very careful. Something that’s funny to you may be wildly inappropriate for the audience or subject matter. There’s nothing worse than delivering a joke and hearing crickets.

    This is certainly a fine technique to use, and I have used it plenty of times in my presentation. It’s not a prerequisite though, and I wouldn’t consider it a necessity for an award-winning presentation. I often use dark text in the white space of my slides. I don’t think you’re off-base, I think your tip should simply say “Use Contrast”

    I would definitely not consider this part of an “award winning presentation.” I certainly don’t have a problem with it. If you want to do that by all means go ahead. I don’t think it detracts fromt the presentation at all, unless you put your contact info next to the clip-art of the duck hitting the computer with a hammer.

    In a live presentation, I’d advice to actually hand your audience something with your contact information on it (other than the slides). Or take it one step further and ask them to follow you on Twitter right there. It’s just a risk to make that your only “contact me” point of reference because most people zone-out when you get to that slide.

    Regardless of my nit-picking, you’re light years beyond the average presenter. Keep it up.


    • Great thoughts as usual.

      My main point with limiting slides is not to stretch it. Some use a slide for 20 seconds (Ignite) and others for minutes per slide.

      As for humor… it has to match your personality, but your personality should be reflected. I’m sarcastic and that makes it into most of my slides. It has to be used with caution though.

      Regarding contact information, I always close with that because it allows questions that aren’t asked to turn into discussions later. You also never know where your slides end up… that deck had 4 embeds in 20 minutes, but I can be reached in each case.

      There are definite differences between slides delivered in person and those found online. :)

      Awesome discussion Jon!

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