The 5 Phonetic R’s of Creativity on Haiku Deck

The newest Haiku Deck is a fun and easy-to-use presentation tool for the iPad. The fact that it’s also free makes this app a must-have no-brainer for iPad presenters.

The deck above took me about 20 minutes to make and demonstrates the appeal of the app. Searching for the right images takes a bit of time but it’s far faster than sifting through stock photo sites, buying/downloading images, adding keywords, and importing them onto the slides.

I could easily take this deck and expand on last week’s creativity post to deliver a talk. This is what makes Haiku Deck so cool and so powerful.

NEW :: Make Beautiful Presentations Easily with Haiku Deck 2.0

Last fall, I reviewed Haiku Deck, a free iPad app that lets users create attractive presentations very simply. The app intentionally limits what you can put on a slide (we call those constraints and I’m a big fan of them) and also recommends Creative Commons images based on the text you type on the slide. Clever.

The company has now released its 2.0 version of the app, responding to user requests by adding charts, lists, and a number of usability enhancements. The app’s simplicity still helps you keep the focus of your presentation on storytelling instead of zippy but meaningless animations and effects.

I’m looking forward to experimenting more with Haiku Deck in Renovate’s work. Right now, my presentation tool of choice is Apple’s Keynote. But I’m curious to see what I can do with Haiku Deck.

What if you don’t have an iPad? You’re out of luck–for now. The company has plans to develop the software for other platforms but hasn’t disclosed any details.

Here are a few news stories profiling the new version of Haiku Deck–very positive so far.

Techcrunch: “Haiku Deck was a great product when it launched back in August 2012, and a big version 2.0 update makes it even better today.”

TheNextWeb: “While the app already gathered very positive reviews when it was first released last August, its new features are welcome additions to its value proposition: make it dead-easy to create beautiful presentations on an iPad.”

betakit: “With notable bloggers already using the software, including Seth Godin, who had the most-viewed Haiku Deck of 2012 with over 200,000 views, the app seems to be catching on with both business and personal users.”

Xconomy: “The new version adds some features back—charts and graphs, lists, text management, easier sharing of the decks—based on “that flywheel effect of customer feedback,” which [CEO Haiku Deck Adam] Tratt calls “the hardest part of starting something new.”

Fontspring: Best Fonts of 2012 (and Recommendations for Your Presentation Designs)

Fontspring announced their bestselling new fonts of 2012. Which would be good choices for your presentations? Breakers Slab (which we’d recommended a few weeks ago and is still on sale) and, if you want to mix it up a little, Veneer (which is on sale for just $29).

Below are some sample slides that use Breakers Slab. It’s easily readable at a distance and comes in several weights, which allow variety and contrast.

Choosing the right font - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Choosing the right font - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Choosing the right font - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

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.

Presentation Design for the College Classroom (LCU Undergraduate Faculty)

Note: I gave a similar presentation to the Hargrove School faculty back in April.

What do effective presentations look like in a college classroom?

Last Friday I offered some thoughts on this with my colleagues in the School of Undergraduate Studies (SUS) at Lincoln Christian University. Here are the key points we covered.

  1. Don’t default to PowerPoint – You have lots of options for learning experiences: demonstrations, writing/drawing on the whiteboard, discussion, video, and more. PowerPoint is just one tool.
  2. One idea per slide – The less that’s on the slide, the fewer distractions, the better the focus. Instead of using one slide with six bullet points, expand that one slide out to six separate slides.
  3. Minimize text – Closely related to #2. Don’t type everything on the slide that you plan to say. Use just a word or two.
  4. Use pictures – Images are powerful and emotional. We remember what we feel. When you use images, don’t feel constrained by the placeholders on the slide–let your photos fill the slide. See The Girl Effect for a good example of these points.
  5. Stories for the win – Stories engage us emotionally and spark curiosity, an essential ingredient for learning. They can also be used to keep and regain attention (See Dr. John Medina’s notes on attention from his book Brain Rules).
  6. Give cues – Many students take notes by writing what they see on the PowerPoint slides–nothing more. Give students verbal cues: “write this down,” “this is important,” “this will be on the test.” You can also build visual cues into your presentation that help them navigate your lecture. For example, create your main point slides in one color and subpoint slides in a different color.
  7. Get inspired – Here are a few helpful resources: TED (and here are some of my favorite talks), Slideshare (here are my favorites), Compfight (great tool for searching images on flickr), Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (give them your email address and they’ll give you some excellent teaching and presenting resources for free), and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. I’ll recommend our own book, Presentation Renovation, as well–you can download it right now.

Last fall I wrote a couple posts to help students prepare better presentations for their end-of-semester projects. You might find those helpful as well:

Thanks to Dean Jim Estep and Provost Clay Ham for making time for this in our faculty meeting.

16 Secrets for Better Student Presentations - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook