Presentation Zen has an example of going through a recent 90s style presentation deck and giving it some millennial pizzazz: Presentation Zen: Slide design: signal vs. noise (redux) .
One I really like is subtle: putting North America in a different color in some of the bar graphs to help it stand out relative to the other regional bars. Nice touch. And the color scheme is very Tufte.
Notice that the rest of the revamps relies on you having access to some high-quality stock photos to backdrop your message. This takes a good bit of talent to find, collect, and then ensure that the photo matches your message.
I've tried going through the freely available stock photos on the web and collect the ones I really like and it's a way to burn hours very quickly. Not only should the content have some sense of wonder or wow to it, it has to have enough open space for you to float your message in.
I don't attend a whole lot of presentations, but so far there's been only one this past year that wasn't full of bullets and conventional deck-isms. And I'm quite guilty of bad deck design myself: I've made a few decks recently and how did they flow with their content? Bullets.
But I'm working on it. A nice before and after example like this helps.
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