3 Quick Tips on How to Illustrate Presentations


Have you seen the intro video to the last “Apple Special Event”?


It lasts only a minute, but it’s a phenomenal presentation.


But from this one minute we can all learn some important things about how to best illustrate presentations.  This video is a self-explanatory presentation, and so it works without the help of a presenter, but the tips that follow are valid for all types of presentations.


Here are the 3 Quick Tips on How to Illustrate Presentations:

– TIP 1: Choose a visual element that illustrates your central message and that can be adapted to multiple situations.


The central visual element chosen by Apple in its amazing one-minute video is the circle. Imagine. Something as simple as a circle, worked creatively, can trigger so many feelings and convey so many different messages.


In the video you can see how a lot of circles together can mean abundance, or as a few bouncing balls can convey joy.


So for your presentations, think of a visual element with which to convey several messages. No need to choose something as simple as a circle, of course. You can use something more complex, but the important thing is to make sure that whatever element you choose can be used to transmit multiple messages.


Below are three of the first moments of the Apple video. Notice how the same visual element is used to convey different messages:


how to illustrate Presentations
“If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything?”



how to illustrate Presentations
“We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice.”



– TIP 2: Have one key message per slide and only the visual reference that illustrates it.


In the video, each moment (which we consider to be a slide) conveys only one message, simple and strong, with an illustration to go along. If you pay close attention you see that the illustration always lends strength to the message being transmitted and helps the audience immediately understand the concept.


There are several moments in the video when there is just one word on the screen and an animation that illustrates the word. To illustrate surprise, the circles get together and form fireworks; to illustrate love, there are only two circles, but they overlap.


So now you know. If you can summarize the message of a slide in a single word, do it. Then think about the image that can best illustrate that word.


 Here are 4 examples of strong moments in which only one word is used.


how to illustrate Presentations
“Designing sometimes requires focus.”



how to illustrate Presentations
“The first thing we ask is, what do we want people to feel?
Delight, Surprise, Love, Connection.”

–   TIP 3: Keep it Clean and Simple


When you see this video, what do you feel? Simplicity, clarity, transparency, calm, perfection?


The fact is, when we want to convey a message, we should strive for clarity and simplicity, because only then can we ensure that those who are listening to or watching us will be able to grasp and understand exactly what we want them to understand.


So remember to “keep it clean and simple.” Don’t use too many color or too many fonts in your presentation. When choosing the visual elements that will illustrate your slides, be sure that all of them have the same graphic style (for example: don’t mix drawings and icons and real images).


If you notice, in its video Apple uses only 3 colors (black, white and gray) and only one font. But with so little, so much is conveyed.


Here’s one of the last moments of the video and its final message.



how to illustrate Presentations
“Then we begin to craft around our intention.
It takes time, there are a thousand no’s for every yes.
We simplify, we perfect, we start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches.
Only then do we sign our work.”



Now treat yourself to the full video:


It’s really worth a minute of your time.