Last night's Design Matters' meeting in the Apple Store featured a presentation by Swiss artists/designer/photographer, Markus Wernli Saito. It was simply excellent. Why? (1) the content was perfect for the audience, (2) he had a sincere passion and enthusiasm for the topic which came through loud and clear, (3) he used stories, anecdotes and painted pictures with his words, and (4) his PowerPoint (though the media was completely transparent) was highly visual, full screen photo bleeds with a bit of text highlighting what he was talking about at the time. The visuals were perfect because they reinforced what he was saying rather than getting in the way. And although the slides were very colorful and had a big impact, like most good design, people were not even aware of just how wonderful the slides were (though we always notice awful visuals). The audience did not focus on the fantastic visuals themselves except when the presenter actually pointed out parts of a graphic. The slides were powerful, true. But Markuz's speaking and his message were even more powerful. Together, the visuals and the verbal message were amazing. The presenter did not narrate slides. He told a story, and the visuals helped a great deal. A big mistake most presenters make is narrating slides. What we should be doing is designing visuals that help support our story and make our story stronger. This is true for a 15-minute insurance presentation or a 30-minute report on your recent research on global malnutrition. The title of Markuz's presentation was: "The integration of image and word:The process of designing an illustrated book." Checkout a few of jpeg copies of his PPT slides (cick on thumbnail to get larger image).