Power-Up Newsletter 10

You have the power to control minds.

And most people won’t even be aware that you’re pulling their strings.

Last week we learned how to trick everyone into thinking we were ​expert slide designers​. This week we continue the trickery by employing persuasive design techniques.

I like to think of it as a little nudge, or a behind-the-scenes magic trick… that only you and I know is happening 😈

It’s Tuesday and time to discover how to make your presentations pop

To unleash your powers of mind control, we need to establish a Visual Hierarchy. This same technique is used in apps, websites and everywhere someone is intentionally trying to influence your actions.

A visual hierarchy arranges items on a slide in a specific way to guide the eye of the audience. Essentially, you are taking the wheel and directing the audience through the order you want them to consume the content.

This order can significantly affect how your slides are comprehended, their impact, and what value your audience gets from the presentation.

Think of it as the vehicle carrying the story of your presentation and you get to decide where to stop and sightsee.

How to set a Visual Hierarchy

Your visual hierarchy sets the movement path on each slide. Use one or a combination of these tools to influence it:


Often the easiest way to set a visual hierarchy is the use of proportion and size. If you want the audience to focus on a specific part of the slide make it bigger. This works especially well for titles, call-outs or diagrams and charts


If you’re dealing with Western countries, chances are everyone reads left to right and typically from the top down. Use this natural eye movement pattern to position your content in that sequence. Combine it with proportion (or one of the other tools below 👇) for maximum impact. Remember to change the order and sequence to suit your business, culture or geography 😊


Make an element stand out (or minimised) with the use of bold, italics, colour and even style. Use this contrast and even combine it with proportion to draw your audience to the focal point

Here I use Proportion and Emphasis on a Quote slide


Subconsciously, we’re all searching for patterns as we’re taking in a story. By consistently applying design elements to your slides, the brain is automatically conditioned to recognise them. When you use the same colour for taglines, the same position for icons or use the same font for call-outs the brain recognises this and follows the sequence you’ve trained it on


Typically the easiest to implement, but often the most abused tool on this list. I like using a progressive reveal of items to engage and guide the audience through how you want your content to be consumed.

​Here is a link to a tutorial​ that I did on this exact bullet point reveal technique that Apple and Google use in their presentations


Whether you’re grouping icons or bullet points to show that they belong together, or whether you’ve intentionally left some space between items for emphasis, the overall design should fit together to convey your message.

💡Pro tip: Put your presentation in slideshow mode on a big screen. There’s no hiding from your design choices and whether you’re achieving the desired effect than seeing it on a projector

🎁 Bonus Tool: Variety

Not only do we want to maintain consistency, but we may need to add variety. In longer presentations, intentionally include a different design sequence or element to refocus or re-engage the audience as needed. It could be a single slide, video interlude or even a change in the speaker that makes all the difference.

It’s all about making the most important items on a slide clearly seen as the most important items. Remove the friction, make it obvious and make it easy for the audience to see your point.

You can unleash your powers of mind control by directing the flow of the story on each slide. Every piece of a slide is an opportunity to add to the message you are trying to convey.

If you get stuck, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the story we want to tell on this slide?
  • How do we want the content to be understood?
  • What do we want the audience to see first?
  • What do we want them to remember?
  • How can we make this obvious and unambiguous?

To take it up another level, get intentional about your word choices. Employing good copywriting techniques is a whole other email on its own, but here’s a quick cheat sheet of power verbs for you to use in your next presentation:

source: ​www.idealist.org​

Good luck and have fun sharing your work!

I hope you’re having fun applying these presentation secrets to your work.

Is there a particular area that you currently struggle with? Let me know with a reply and I will create a lesson just for you 🏆

We made it all the way to Edition #10! Hope you have a fantastic week!

✌️ + ppt


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