Davide Luzzati is a presentation expert based in Italy. He is the founder of and runs a presentation company called LUZZPRESENTS that craft innovative presentations, teach Prezi software and presentation technique trainings, and create memorable events.

In this episode with him, we have a chat about the challenges of corporate presentation templates and how they can be done and built better.

Davide began the episode by discussing the difficulties that everyone who works on presentations must overcome, some of which are imposed by internal company policies or corporate templates. He made a great argument about how having a company letterhead and sending letters are still common corporate practices that the corporate presentation templates are wrongly inheriting.

And when this letterhead, that does not change from letter to letter, gets transferred to presentation slides – that becomes a problem as presentations should not have identical slides. For example, you do not need your logo on each slide at all, as Davide proves to us. Hear the entire episode to learn his points!

Additionally, Davide made note of how the many corporate presentation templates restrict your creativity. Your template should support you, not stifle you or your creativity!

Limiting the amount of slides in the belief that doing so will shorten the presentation’s duration is another crucial topic we covered. Davide explains how we sometimes overlook the fact that a presentation can have two slides and last forty minutes, or have twenty or more slides and last five minutes. If you are in the event management or if you are enforcing these rules on your staff as an employer or manager, limiting the amount of slides for any reason will only limit the creativity of your speakers or employees.

Listen in to the full episode to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes everyone dealing with presentations has at some point been guilty of.

Resources

Connect with Davide Luzzati on LinkedIn or Facebook. Check out his company’s website LUZZPRESENTS here or his YouTube channel here.

Transcription

Boris Hristov:
Hey, everyone, and welcome to yet another episode of The World of Presentations podcast brought to you by us at presentation agency 356labs. Not that many of you will know, but we are recording this intro for a second time. There was a technical glitch. Today, by the way, is episode 111. Three 1s here. And today, together with me, we have another guest from our industry, another presentation expert who is based in my favorite city, my favorite country on this planet, which is called Italy, baby, Italy. His name is Davide. And let me be very careful, extremely mindful with the family name here because I want to be precise – Luzzati. All right. The next time! I tried my best… who is based in Italy. He runs a presentation consulting company there, does a lot of work with Prezi, builds presentations for his customers with Prezi, but also trains them in the world of Prezi. And, Prezi video, one of Prezi’s latest tech. Davide, thank you so much for joining.

Davide Luzzati:
Okay. Thank you, Boris. Yes. Today we are here to talk a little bit about this world of presentations and about a couple of how they say challenges in English. Right? That that all people involved in presentations, and I’m not talking about teaching us or experts, I’m talking about all those people that put their hands on a presentation, all the challenges that they’re facing, like in a company when they ask you to stick. Well, I jump into the subject already. When they ask you to stick to the template, right? They tell you this is our structure, a template, a corporate template, and you have to stick to that. Okay. I believe this is kind of a problem nowadays because let’s see, I think we arrived at this situation from the letterhead.

I mean, before digital, we were used to writing letters. So, the company had its letterhead. And you take the letter, and you start writing the letter also on the computer, but and then they transferred this way of doing into presentations. So, it’s about the same thing. The template has some parts, some graphical parts which are always the same on every single slide. It’s exactly like writing a corporate and a company letter, and this is why we got there. Why this is challenging because when you work on a presentation, you actually shouldn’t start from the computer, from the template, from the digital part of it. But we all should start from a blank piece of paper. As we know – analogic. And analogic means your ideas that you put on paper. You build the presentation from scratch. You have to design it with your hand the presentation, with the with pencil. And then it’s, it’s there that you understand the main topics, the subtopics, all the flow of your presentation. This is how you should start. We all know that. Okay, so we don’t have to start with the computer. If you have a corporate template, you may think, okay, let’s open that corporate template and start from there.

Spaces are those and you have to put your things, your, your contents in those spaces. So, your creativity is a bit cut there. And you don’t have your imagination stuck to those areas, to those spaces. Instead, we should find a way, a new way of having. Okay. If the company is telling us yes, we need a template because, of course, I understand we have a corporate identity, we have the brand, the colors, the font type, and we have to stick to that and that’s understandable, indeed. So, a solution here could be building a corporate template with different types of slides. So not only one slides, one slide the same for all our presentation, but we may build a slide for a picture that goes all the way throughout our 16 by 9 space. Because sometimes we know it’s a nice feeling to have such picture, right, Boris?

B.H.:
Yeah, absolutely.

D.L.:
But maybe the template could have some little parts of graphic of the company. So, with the colors, little stripes and something that reminds us, we are in this ambiance, we are in this company, let’s say. Another type of a page of slide could be for our needs when we have to put those points.

I don’t want to say bullet points because we know we ran out of bullet points. But those informations that have to be listed and we know that we can do a much better work than bullet points, but sometimes we have still to list some information with some illustrations, etc. and the corporate template can have one kind of that page and so on. We may have a corporate template with several types of different pages which we use whenever we need this kind of graphic setting or the other one, you know.

B.H.:
Let me interrupt you here very quickly. So, you think that problem, this problem exists mainly because most organizations out there have a template, but this template is also very limited in its in its capabilities because normally what we end up seeing, at least with the customers that we work with, is that they have a template or at least they think that they have a template, they call it a template because that’s more or less how it is being called internally. But inside it’s actually not all they have is not something that’s helping them communicate their message in a better way without them being designers. Right? It is something that, unfortunately for most people, most of the times, it’s actually preventing them to do that, which is very, very strange. Which more or less tells you and shows you that the template is not done well.

D.L.:
Yes, yes, indeed. That then. Well, I try to run out of a template, you know, as much as I can, because the template is limiting you. And sometimes, as you said, the companies are used to the template, but they are probably those companies never tried something alternative, something completely new. I’m talking about presentations of the same company done in different ways. This is not something impossible. You still can put your colors, transfer your corporate identity, even if you use different kind of presentations. So, the point is, is considering new possibilities like the logo, the logo in every single slide. As you know, this is something that many of us, many experts like we are, are trying to run a little bit away from that because reducing this logo in each single slide is a piece of graphic that is taking away your attention from the main content.

You don’t have to tell your name and a first name and last name all the time when you talk and this is a similar thing. So, what I suggest on the logo, because we understand the logo is important and must be there somehow, you can put the logo of course at START and you can put a logo on all those main pages. Let’s say we talk about three topics, each topic as a cover. We put the logo on the cover and then when we go into the details of that topic, we don’t need to repeat the logo all the time. I use Prezi, as you said, and Prezi is built with a home page. You know you put on the canvas your home page and there you have all the topics. When you finish one topic, you go back to the home page and you see the corporate logo, the corporate colors, and whatever you want to show. So indeed, we have to-it’s a delicate it’s a delicate issue. One of the corporate templates that what we are talking about today, is because companies don’t want to run away from that, but at the same time, they should try something different. Also, not to smother, not to bother people listening to you, right?

B.H.:
Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree that people, at least individuals inside of organizations at least, should experiment with other tools so that they know what’s on the market. PowerPoint is just one thing. Google Slides is just one thing. There are other alternatives. Speech, Canva, Prezi, the video technology, obviously. But still and I would say that the lessons learned from the first path here are that, hey, if your template is not helping you build better slides faster, this means your template is not done well and you need to address the PR person or the marketing person who is responsible for that. I think that you need to reach out to those people and just let them know, Hey, I’ll maybe in six months or even one year when you’re doing another exercise with a branding agency or whatever, and please talk with them about our template, it’s not helping us in treating us as good at something faster.

D.L.:
Absolutely. As always. As always, we have to see our goal. What’s our goal? Our goal is to attract people, is to have people listening and watching us engaged and happy to hear a happy to participate. So, this is our goal. If to reach our goal, we have to do something different, like the template. Let’s do it. Let’s get rid of that old stuff and do something new. Try something new because that’s very important. That’s investing some time in that. And this is a very important issue. What we are talking about. I wanted to throw in another situation, Boris if you don’t mind. Yes, sometimes. Go ahead. Here, I hear this when people organize events where some speakers are involved, like the present to succeed and several speakers are involved sometimes the organizer is telling the speakers, to the people that will be talking at maximum ten slides. Maximum 15 slides. And this is so funny.

B.H.:
Yeah, I don’t think that this is happening only at conferences and events. I would say that this is happening a lot in the world of corporates in the first place.

D.L.:
Yes, yes, in corporate. But I’m talking about corporate events mainly because they think that I’m going to go in detail on this, but they think that then slides mean a time, a limited time. But this doesn’t it doesn’t make any sense. You should ask maximum of 10 minutes, maximum of 20 minutes, maximum of 40 minutes. But you shouldn’t tell the speakers how many slides, the maximum number of slides, because that is cutting their creativity. The speaker can talk for 40 minutes with two pictures, with two slides only, or in 5 minutes showing 2020 different slides. That depends on the flow of the speech on the on the story that they’re going to tell. So, this is another thing that should stop happening because maximum ten slides, it really doesn’t mean anything unless you want to cut creativity and cut the also the spirit that the speakers will have when, when that will be their right.

B.H.:
Yeah, I think that I think that this is something that everyone who is here on the podcast, who comes from the business world and if you are a manager or a team lead or an even higher exec, we as presentation people understand why you are asking for that. But for you to at the end of the day, get a presentation that communicates a message, leave your people alone, and allow them freedom, right? Don’t try to force them to put everything in five, seven, or whatever amount of slides you think is the right number of slides. That’s not. The slides have limited space on them. And when everyone when I hear someone saying to me, hey, my manager made me do these intense slides. They’re trying to and I’m trying to cram everything on top of them.

Right? I try to fit in and that’s pushing them to. Right. So much like these heights. Right. So leave them alone. And by the way, if you are the person who is delivering those presentations or preparing those slides with all of the respect that you can have, talk with your manager, tell them, hey, you want this presentation, I’ll give you that presentation, but please allow me. Right? Allow me to do it the way I see it. And if it’s not okay, let’s discuss it afterward. But please don’t tell me to put in a specific number of slides.

D.L:
Exactly. Just go get your 13 some other aspect of this. The first is that each slide shouldn’t be too heavy, or too full of content. We all know that. And that’s the reason why we need more slides. Because if you tell me only ten slides, I push things inside that’s a problem and another issue that you mentioned is the relationship between the, let’s say, the manager, the person that will go to the conference talking and people building their presentation. You know this is a very this is another very delicate situation because sometimes someone is building the presentation and someone else is going to use it and so there must be a bit of a very strong link between these two people and they have to work together. But this doesn’t happen very, very often. Sometimes the manager is going to a big conference abroad and I need this presentation. Please prepare it for me. And then they don’t see it until the last moment. And this is another complicated situation, isn’t it?

B.H.:
Yeah, this one I think it’s again, just every single time when they get asked to talk about that, I’m like, the first words you are going to hear from me is if you’re approaching presentations in this way and you are not collaborating already and you dedicate time to collaborate with the person that’s going to build the slides for you, it is your fault that at the end you will get something that doesn’t seem like the thing that you are asking or imagining. I mean, I always love to say that the presentations are so personal, right? There’s like a website. And for them to work, for someone to build a presentation for you, they need to know you so, so well.

D.L.:
Yes, yes.

B.H.:
So, so. And thus. Collaboration is mandatory no matter who you are, as an executive matter how busy you are, plan the time to communicate and to collaborate with this person that is your assistant in this way or your presentation dedicated presentation expert in a way. Let’s go with one quick let’s go with one more here very quickly because we are very soon to hit 25 minutes. What is the one thing that you would like our audience, our business people, what would be that one thing that you would ask business people to think about or to learn or to improve on or to spend more time on or just to kind of. Yeah. Focus their attention on this now the summer is upcoming. No one does anything almost during the summer. But if they decide to do something during the summer, what would be the one thing to advise them to work on.

D.L.:
On that’s easy I’m glad I have the reply the answer right away. Don’t use the same presentation for any kind of situation. Okay. There is a problem that we know you. A company has one big presentation, very strong with a lot of information in it, very detailed, and they use it for any kind of situation. So, they use it as it’s a slide doc. So, lots of information. They send it over so someone can read it by themselves, and they use it in an event or during a sales mission, whatever. They use the very same presentation. So, to go back to your question, if someone has some spare time, try to build a side presentation based on those that presentation which is so rich and full of information, and try to build another one for those situations.

When you are there presenting, when you are in presence either online or live or in presence, when there’s someone talking with the presentation. So, you need another document and this is a problem for many companies because they have they are using the same presentation, the X that is the PDF, whatever they have, the PowerPoint, whatever you have, they think it’s so rich, it’s so complete. They use it in any kind of situation. But we will know that when someone is talking, you don’t need all those things. You need only a few nice picture illustrations that are following you on the speech on the floor of your story.

B.H.:
Yeah, absolutely. I cannot stress this enough. The things that we send over email are very different than the presentations that we use when we present in life in a live situation or online. The latter are way simpler and way more visual because the things that we are sending actually if we all think about them, need to be self-serve efficient. To work without the speaker. And when you are presenting life or on the Microsoft Teams goal, there is a speaker and this person or these people are the most critical people in it. And during that presentation. Thank you so much or thank you so much for spending those 24 minutes. It’s more, but it’s just the two of you that we know. Thank you so much for joining us. Want to hear away? Where can people connect with you? What is the network that you use most all for communicating with others? And where can people find more about what you are doing in your company?

D.L.:
Thank you, Boris. LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as my website – LUZZPRESENTS.com. In English, too, not only Italian.

B.H.:
Okay so LinkedIn and Facebook, we are going to make sure this will link those up in the show notes and your website will be there. So, everyone who wants to connect with their LinkedIn is the first place and the.

D.L.:
YouTube channel as well. The YouTube channel.

B.H.:
Is all right. And then the YouTube channel. Okay, we’ll link that one up to brilliant. All right. So, everyone, we hope we hope you enjoyed these 111 episodes of the Presentations podcast. No matter where you find this episode like comments, leave us your thoughts, and share them with friends. Or if you’re watching this on YouTube and you still haven’t subscribed, do. So, we publish a lot of fascinating discussion content in general in the 356labs world. And of course, as you heard from the view that if you still don’t know what presents succeed is, well, that’s a conference that’s out a conference that you need to know about if you’re listening to this podcast next year. We’re doing it here in Sofia, Bulgaria, on the 28th of April. So, tickets are already on sale. Join us for a hybrid event, this time not an online-only, but a hybrid event. The visit. Thank you so much for joining us again. This was a pleasure.

D.L.:
Thank you, Boris, for the opportunity, and bye to everybody. Ciao!