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Maarten van der Schaal on Slide Design, Presentation Tools and Delivery


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Maarten is the author of the book "Slide Design" and a professional presentation coach at presentation agency Mr.Prezident, based in Amsterdam and New York, which is helping people and organizations achieve more with their presentations. He is also one of the speakers at the Present to Succeed conference in April leading a dedicated masterclass.

In this episode, we talk about slide design, presentation delivery, Apple, and the war between presentation tools like Keynote and PowerPoint.

Slide design

Maarten shared with us his experience while working with Apple and explained their understanding of how important presentations are for every single person in the company. Moreover, we discuss design language and how it has been developing over the years.

The top advice he gives us is that excellent presentations are not about slides, but the message and the story that we have to tell are of greatest importance. And that when we have to give a presentation, we should first think of what we want to achieve. On top of that, he also shares with us how his book came to be.

Keynote and PowerPoint

Maarten tells us about his experience working at Apple, as well as his experience with Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint through the years and the many changes they have gone through. In his opinion, PowerPoint slides are not the thing that you always need when you have a presentation. “We often do what we see our colleagues are doing. And we know that you don’t need all those bullet points and you don’t need all that text. But it doesn’t take a lot of time and my colleagues are doing it and so my audience will be used to it as well”, he adds.

The presentation tools and virtual presenting

Maarten underlines that it’s up to you which visual aid suits your story, and it’s also up to you to learn how to use the tools with their full power. Besides Keynote and PowerPoint, together with Maarten we also discuss Prezi and Canva. We also talk about what to expect of his masterclass where he is going to teach us how to do more when we lack the know-how. “It is a slide design on the next level” as he describes it.

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