Nobody's perect (redux)
Bill Clinton and the art of speaking in a "human voice"

Inspiring visual presentations

Here are a couple of video presentations of a different sort. Both employ the use of strong visual elements, text, and audio; neither has narration. The first one is a great example of what can happen if you combine powerful, large images with text — text that is *in* the image not just near it. The second video presentation tells a very simple story with a positive message that I just love.

Appreciate what you have
You may have something similar to this in the past. This on-line slide presentation from Miniature Earth is a wonderful example which demonstrates the effectiveness of high-quality, full screen images combined with text. There is no narration with this, but you can imagine a speaker giving a talk with slides of this sort. Below are the links to the presentation (in three languages) and some sample slides. The slides are the same except for the language of the text.

English_1 Spanish  Portugese
Below are some sample slides from the online presentation.





There is a YouTube version with a John Lennon sound track for a different effect.

You can easily imagine how slides like these — powerful photographs with minimal text contained within the image — could be used to support a live talk as well. Perhaps the graphic below simulating a live talk will help you imagine yourself speaking in front of similar visuals. The key is not to narrate slides but rather to speak naturally to the audience. The slides appear naturally as well, in sync with your story.


Three years ago I used a very similar approach when I gave a presentation at United Nations University in Tokyo. Below are two sample slides from that 2003 talk. (Slides concern the issue of refugees in Afghanistan).

Un_1  Un_2

Free Hugs
The next presentation is of a very different sort. This presentation uses video, a bit of text, and a song to visually and emotionally tell a simple, memorable, and inspirational story. I absolutely love this music video presentation. Very raw. Very simple. Very effective. Enjoy. (YouTube link).

(UPDATE: A PZ reader points out that the myriad Free Hugs video uploads have been removed from YouTube. For the time being you can find many uploads of the video on Google, such as the one here. UPDATE 2: Embedded YouTube link above now working.)


Scott Schwertly

Thanks for another great post on presentation design. I have been applying your principles of using powerful visuals with minimal text for quite some time, and it has worked really well.

I am now starting to play with motion video backgrounds (i.e. time lapse, moving backgrounds) with my presentations. Pulling videos from sites like have really jazzed up my slides which are normaly built with iStockPhoto photos. The videos worked particularly well with transitioning to a new topic or subject matter.

Thanks again for the great post.


Thanks to inspiring me to make every single presentation that I made more meaningful for the audience and me. Know own, I am trying to touch the mainstream with the way the scientific presentation show.

Miniature of Earth is a remarkable self-presentation to ask all people deepest heart “Do we appreciate what we have?”


Great post, as usual. I am doing business presentation and now I am use only this kind o "slides".


This post is awesome!!! I loved it. I have been also using your presentation methods since I am a presenter but for a long time I didn't know what to use in order to improve my slides. This ideas you share here are exactly what I needed and they're making my presentations much more powerful. I even counsel and make presentations for some friends who have their own businesses. Thank you!

Balaji M


What an impact that this presentation produces for its audience. Wonderful.

Without a shred of doubt Thank you very much.

The comments to this entry are closed.