How Can I Quickly Create a Great Looking Presentation? A Brief Review of Haiku Deck

Q and A - Renovate Communication Design, LLCBad presentations
abound; hopeless or hopeful?
iPad app gives hope.

If you spend any time making your own presentations, you know that it can take time to make good-looking slides.

For a large slidedeck or a Very Important Presentation, it can take a long time. Nancy Duarte, in her book Slideology, estimates that a one-hour presentation with 30 slides could take from 36-90 hours to develop.

We’re often asked if there’s a way to speed up the process.

Until recently, I’d have said, “Well, if you want to put together something worthwhile, it’s going to take time.” Plain and simple.

That’s changed.

Enter Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a new app for the iPad (website link, iTunes Store link) that can help you quickly create an attractive presentation. It’s excellent, it’s fun and it’s free.

The design ethos draws from the minimalist approach that we (and others) advocate: less text, more images. Haiku Deck more or less forces this method on users since it allows no more than two lines of text per slide. And since you can’t load up your slide with text, you’ll have to focus more on the story you tell. Perfect.

It also cleverly integrates an image search tool that finds relevant Creative Commons licensed images based on the words you’ve used on your slides. No need to sift through Google Images or skirt the fringes of copyright law to find your pictures. You can include photos or graphics that you’ve made yourself as well.

Once you’ve created your presentation in the iPad app, you share it via email, Facebook or Twitter. You can even export the slides as a PDF or to a PowerPoint file to further edit or present your deck.

The slides I posted yesterday (also shown below) from the 16 Secrets handout were made with Haiku Deck in less than an hour. Of course, I had already done a lot more work creating the handout, but the slides came together very quickly with Haiku Deck’s easy-to-use tools.

Giant Thinkwell, the company behind Haiku Deck, maintains a blog with helpful ideas for presenting (in general) and application-specific tips. And while Haiku Deck is available only as an iPad app now, the company hints that a desktop application is in the works.

Haiku Deck will not work for every presentation. If you need to create slides with a lot of charts or graphics, you’ll want to stick with PowerPoint or Keynote. But if you simply want to tell a story with the support of good images–and want to create it quickly–Haiku Deck is worth a try.

A lot of folks have had good things to say about Haiku Deck lately. Check out this review from FastCompany and a video from The Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE: Scott Berkun posted a favorable review of Haiku Deck today as well.

%d bloggers like this: