Monday, May 28, 2012

Death By PowerPoint

I Recently gave a short tutorial to my work colleagues about power-point design. If it make it my mission in life, it's to educate people on proper power-point design! Take it from someone who has recently graduated from university and been exposed to more than his fair share of power-point presentations and good 99.9% of them where crap!

Research says you have 0.8 seconds on each slide to retain an audiences attention. that's 0.8 seconds to get the primary message across before you've lost your team members or audience to the faries. Therefore it has to be clear, concise and to-the-point (isn't that what all good presentations are suppose to be anyway?).

Sooo.. I'm going to say that the layout and structure of your presentation is equally as important as the information your are getting across, of you can't convey the message clearly, you may as well jump out the board-room window (that would retain their attention... but for more 0.8 seconds? not sure.)

But "powerpointers beware!", it's easy to go over the top, exploding pie-carts and background music not-unlike the theme music to 2001 Space Odyssey is overkill and should also be put to death.
It's difficult to get that happy-medium and create a clean and informative power-point. If you've got a big presentation to put together, whether its your High-school English assignment, a university lecture or your pitching a new idea to your boss, take the time and research good presentations, there's heaps of information on the inter-webs on good design, layout, speaking/prompting and more.

But for a general guide, I have put together some top tips:

The Nerd's top-tips to terrific presentations.

  1. Use the slide layout guide to keep the slides clean and simple
  2. Don't overcrowd your slides with images - it's fugly!
  3. Follow the 6x6 rule (6 words per point, 6 points per slide)
  4. Font Selection. Have 3 font's that you use and stick to them!
    1. one for Slide Headers
    2. one for Content
    3. one for Emphasis (usually just an italics version of your content font)
  5. Keep the background clean, don't have complicated or detailed images that may take attention away from what your trying to deliver... unless that's your purpose.
  6. Always allow for margins, if you are unsure of the location of your delivery, you may find yourself making a presentation on a projector, smartboard, flat-screen TV, computer monitor or the web. So always allow a good margin for different size screens.
  7. and lastly PowerPoints should summerise the topic at hand not be the topic at hand.
Check out these links and videos for some ideas on PowerPoint design. 

Some good Hints and Tips

For a Laugh

aaaannd Lastly...

If your still stumped for a good design and layout, there are thousands of graphic designers out there in the world (including myself) who would be more than happy to help you out... contact me if want to, or leave a comment.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Barefoot Running

I would like to introduce you to my latest purchase!

Studies have recently shown, some running shoes can alter your running stride too much and cause issues later in life.Barefoot shoes (toe-shoes) running enables your body/feet to produce it's natural running stride while still protecting your feet from the nasties of the road.

I have recently become a fan of running! a couple of months ago, you couldn't get me into runners, I was fine with walking,  but it wasn't until I started to jog with my sister of a morning when I started to enjoy it, I loved the feeling it gave me when I achieved a particular distance or time. I can't wait to be one of those sexy runners you see on the side of the road wearing nothing but a pair of runners and shorts early of a morning. (got a long way to go)  :) . At the moment I am mainly a treadmill runner, I understand it removes the freedom that running on a street can bring, but I have no doubt that one day when I am confident enough I will remove myself from the belt and onto the beaten-track (or pavement).

I haven't yet had a go to see how the shoes behave when I jog, but I did try them on and wear them around the house for a couple of hours.... I'll keep you updated.

I purchased mine off a store on eBay, However here is the website for the product.

I have noticed that a lot of other shoe makers have been following the trend, with adidas's realise of the AdiPure Toe-shoes:

Recipe's and Other News

It's been a couple of days since my last post.

Before I started this Blog I had a whole bunch of ideas as posts, but since I started I can't seem to remember any of them :) But, Today I am putting a nice healthy recipe for your to all enjoy.

It comes from one of my favourite TV cooks Nigela Lawson I even have found a YouTube clip of her cooking the recipe.

This salad is an excellent treat to enjoy as a site on a warm day, I love combination of the sweet watermelon and bitter olives - along with the excellent textures of the crunchy watermelon and smooth creamy feta. (listen to me, I feel like a food writer)

It's something that you shouldn't have on a regular basis, the sugar in the watermelon (just to begin with) and the fat in the feta cheese means it's no healthy alternative. But in comparison of a Big Mac....

Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • 1 small Red Onion 
  • 2 - 4 Lime depending on the juiciness 
  • 1½ kg sweet, ripe Watermelon 
  • 250 g Feta cheese
  •  fresh Flat-leaf parsley 
  • fresh Mint chopped 
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 100 g pitted Black Olives 
  • Black pepper


  1. Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. 
  2. Two limes’ worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
  3. Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm triangular chunks, if that makes sense (maths is not my strong point). 
  4. Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. 
  5. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint. 
  6. Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape.
  7. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime. 
It's about 5 mins Into the Video