Slide Makeovers: Buffer's Social Media Guide

June 30, 2014

Given the popularity of the last Slide Makeover, I’ve decided to offer up another example for your learning and education. This one comes to us from our friends at Buffer, and their guide for how often to post on social media. The deck has gotten more than 38,000 views, but we think it could have gotten more with a more powerful design.

Consistency & Logo

The original slides were dark with the exact same background, which can quickly lose a viewer's attention. For for the redesign, we chose to make it fun and exciting by utilizing photography-based backgrounds. Even though we used a photo on every slide, it was a different photo with different graphic treatments to help keep things fresh and vibrant. Also, we chose a simple color scheme and utilized varying shades of colors to add increased visual interest.

BEFORE

AFTER

For the cover slide, we chose to feature young people looking at a tablet to infer that they could be looking at something related to social media. We also made sure to include the Buffer logo.

The Lesson: The original deck Buffer did not have their logo on the first slide. In any situation where your information might be spread virally, you should at least have your name or logo for viewers to reference.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photos and Text

In this situation, we used big typography in conjunction with photography to make the message stand out. In addition, you will notice throughout the deck we used multiple layouts to break up the monotony.

The Lesson: Your presentation can still be consistent and on brand without having the same layout and background on every slide.

BEFORE

AFTER

Data Visualization

The "before" presentation featured a small pixelated screen shot of the above graph. We made the graph take up the whole page so the information could be easily absorbed.

The Lesson: You should be able to look at a graph for just a few seconds and find out what you need to know. For the background, we still used a photo but we dropped down the opacity and put a color on top of it with a light pattern. We also highlighted the most important information.

BEFORE

AFTER

Split Screen

For this slide we chose to change up the layout by featuring the words on one side and the chart on another.

Lesson: This approach helps keep things exciting and interesting while still keeping things consistent.

BEFORE

AFTER

Same But Different

This slide has the same layout as Slide 2 to keep things consistent. In the original deck they kept all their break slides exactly the same.

The Lesson: It is good to use multiple layouts in your presentation, but you should not use so many different ones that there is no familiarity throughout the deck. We suggest that you use the same layout but with different pictures and alternative sets of colors.

BEFORE

AFTER

Change It Up

On this slide, we chose to use a completely new layout for an exciting break. The text is very large and easy to read, making it very engaging.

The Lesson: Differentiate your style every now and then to shake things up while still maintaining a level of consistency.

BEFORE

AFTER

End With a Bang

For the final slide, we made it memorable with the screen shot of the blog and the web address. In this specific case, Buffer wanted to drive traffic back to their web site, so it was the logical choice.

The Lesson: Don’t neglect opportunities to always include a call to action .

The redesigned deck:

I hope you enjoyed this presentation design makeover. It’s my hope that it empowers you to continue pushing your presentations one step further.

READ MORE: Slide Makeovers: Presentation Design Lessons from Real Slides

Author Bio

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3 , a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University. Find Scott on Google+ .

Photo: CHAINFOTO24/Shutterstock

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