Nolan Haims is a well-known personality in presentation design. He has had careers in circus and theater before he started making presentations for Fortune 500 companies and major TV channels. He has also worked as presentation manager for Edelman; the largest independent PR company in the world.
Here are some points from his presentation which was all about how and why simplicity sells.
Simplicity Works for Almost All Use-Cases
Both a simple and a complex presentation can succeed if used correctly. But, simplicity pretty much guarantees that it will always be successful. He explained that we can easily achieve simplicity in presentation slides by deciding what we wish to remove. Here are a few reasons why you should consider simplifying things:
The Message Becomes Clearer
Nolan explained how ads with a lot of text in them were not as effective. There needs to be room for the product itself. Less text and lots of empty space for the product lets it stand out and get noticed. He also showed the famous Afganistan PowerPoint slide that left many scratching their heads as an example of what too much complexity can do.
Presentation Slides Are Like Bumper Stickers
Presentation slides need to look simpler; think bumper stickers. These stickers are simple yet have the ability to convey complex ideas as a summary. Think of your slides as bumper stickers. Use a simple heading and a large image on the whole side, just like a bumper sticker would.
Slides Should Be Memorable
We retain very little of what we read or hear. The only parts that really stick to us are clear messages that get repeated. Notice how company logos are so simple, and they’re getting simpler every year.
This is because simplicity works. So, make sure to take the main point, and push it forward in a clear and memorable way by keeping it the center of attention.
Simplicity Makes Money
Nolan explained that “a confused mind always says no”. If you put forth all options and ask the client to choose, it doesn’t go well. They might even like the fact that you’ve given them more choice, but they’ll probably be stressed out when making those choices. The fact is that people choose more often when options (even complex ones) are made simpler.