Blog excerpt reposted from The Big Fish Blog, written by Big Fish Presentations.  For more about The Big Fish Presentations approach check out their latest book, The Big Fish Experience by Kenny Nguyen, Gus Murillo, Robert Killeen, and Luke Jones.


Over the past few years, we have not only had the fortune to observe, but also work with some of today’s greatest presenters. As time passed, we found our own process to emulate some of the presenters we admired. We discovered that:

ENGAGING CONTENT

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HIGH QUALITY DESIGN AND SIMPLISTIC VISUALS

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POWERFUL DELIVERY

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AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

It may seem easy, but it wasn’t always this simple.

In the beginning stages of Big Fish, we tried to create content and design at the same time. On paper, it seemed efficient enough, but in reality it was a huge mistake for two reasons:

  1. We could only design as fast as we could write, and vice versa.
    Because we tried to create content and design at the same time, delays became time-consuming and exhausting. In the end, we didn’t give each individual part of the presentation the attention and effort it needed.
  2. We never put all our effort into making a great outline or a beautifully designed presentation.
    We split all our efforts, and we couldn’t give the presentations the TLC they deserved and needed to meet our standards. Our sole focus was on design, when we should have dedicated more time to the client, content, and delivery. After all, you could have the best-designed slides, but if you can’t present them, they’re useless.

In our second year, we realized we weren’t reaching the standard of quality we envisioned in the beginning. In the end, our standards and time management suffered because of our original process. That all changed when we took on a project with a determined client and realized a much better process.

Our client, the CEO of a mid-size talent-recruiting agency, was speaking at a conference and wanted to impress the audience. We were tasked with improving a script provided to us by creating slides based off a new and improved script, while training the client for the big day.

So, once again, we began trying to design the slides while writing the new version of the script. This time we realized there was a problem: The core message wasn’t clear and lacked a call to action. To save time, we decided to put a hold on design until the content was completely rewritten.

This was uncharted territory for us, but we felt it was imperative to our success. Because of this, we focused on building a simple, yet inspiring, outline packed with stories. After this, we finally had a finished product and were able to move on to design.

Our client worked with the content daily, and knew what they wanted to say, which allowed the slide design to be mainly visuals and minimal text.

The process became simpler, quicker, and more visually appealing, because we took the time and care to ensure every aspect of the presentation was the best it could be. Our client was also easy to coach because of their extensive knowledge of the content, which let us focus more on developing their delivery style.

At the end of the their presentation, the client called to thank us for helping them deliver “the best presentation of their life.”

And thus began the Big Fish creative process.

You can find the full article here.