Before & After: 4 Slide Makeover Tips

May 18, 2015

4-slide-makeover-tipsAt Ethos3, we love presentations. So, we find it especially fun to experiment with new or existing content to see how much value we can add with a facelift. This past week we decided to grab a few decks and play. The end result: a series of four beautiful Before/After pieces with a few presentation tips all of us should keep in mind.

Slide 1: Content Slide (Before)


What you are seeing here is your typical “Death by PowerPoint”-type slide. Boring template. Check. Ugly header. Check. Nap-inducing bullet points. Check.

Slide 1: Content Slide (After)

Slide 1 - After - 1 Slide 1 - After - 2 Slide 1 - After - 3 Slide 1 - After - 4

After playing with the structure and slide count, we were able to have a little fun and stretch things out a bit visually. What was originally one slide is now four separate slides.

Presentation Tip: Opt for photography and typography over bullet points.

Slide 2: Chart Slide (Before)

ethos3 makeover presentation 2

What we started with here is your typical boring pie chart in PowerPoint. It’s ugly. It’s boring. It makes little to no emotional impact.

Slide 2: Chart Slide (After)

Slide 2 - After

After applying a data visualization lens, we were able to re-imagine the data and create something much more engaging. The best suggestion I can give you here is to look for the visual metaphor in your own data. For instance, if an organizational chart looks like a “web of mess,” then utilize a spiderweb metaphor when putting it back together.

Presentation Tip: Look for an opportunity to reimagine, simplify, and end a reliance on Excel for showcasing data.

Slide 3: Title Slide (Before)


Here we have the dreaded title slide. It’s long-winded, cluttered, and lacks visual appeal.

Slide 3: Title Slide (After)

Slide 4 - After

Since John’s talk is about opportunities and momentum, we decided to let a picture help support this idea and communicate the essence of his subject. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Presentation Tip: Always aim for simplicity. Slides are there to accent rather than dictate.

Slide 4: Quote Slide (Before)

ethos3 makeover presentation 5

We love quote slides when they are done right. In this case, it’s hard to appreciate Einstein when he is buried in a dry and outdated template.

Slide 4: Quote Slide (After)

Slide 5 - After

By utilizing a modern and fresh template in emaze, this slide came to life beautifully.

Presentation Tip: If you are going to utilize a template: 1) Choose wisely and 2) Be sure to maximize its features by filling the screen with your photography and using larger typography.


You can do so much with your presentations moving forward. All that stands in your way is breaking your old habits and trying something new.

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.