presentation

Get Inspired: Here's What's Hot in Motion Graphic Videos

What does the word "video" evoke for you? Do you see a talking head? A staged, corporate piece? A Hollywood production? 

Today, video production styles vary widely—opening the door to countless ways of expressing your message in this powerful medium. If you're developing content designed to get viewed and remembered, take a moment to see what's possible beyond the traditional videos you might be used to. 

In this blog post, we're focusing specifically on some trends in motion graphics—a fun and versatile type of video production that can range from very affordable to cinematic.


Flat design

Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional illustrations. Simple images convey messages more quickly than detailed illustrations. Images like icons can indicate universal actions or purposes so that everyone can easily understand them.


4K design

On the creation side, there is an increase in 4K related video production, video editing and motion design products. Hardware producers (projectors, displays, televisions) are pushing hard to get 4K into the mass market.


Hand drawn hybrids

Blending hand drawn elements with CGI components is a great way to give the audience a sense of wonder. This concept is powerful when trying to explain how a complex design came to life. It makes it easier to understand and appear more tangible. It’s a powerful marketing technique that makes it easy for the target audience to fall in love with a desired look.


Vector organics

This year there are more animations turning up in which organic shapes transform in a liquid way.

Shapes are smeared and splash back together, often at the moment of a peak in the action, moving in slight slow motion, with twists and bends. It resembles the psychedelic shapes known from the 60’s.

Abstract drops and smears, swirling typography, and even characters whose limbs are being stretched and swirled. It may be a counter movement against the downward trend of geometrical squares, triangles, and circle-transitions.


Mixed disciplines

What was once an uncommon occurrence, is now becoming more and more prevalent. Many motion graphics today successfully combine mixed disciplines to create a more graphic, stylized, and illustrated look.


Seamless transitions

Seamless transitions are nothing new nor revolutionary when it comes to motion graphics but they have gained in popularity only recently. They create a feeling of fluidity and allow one scene to flow into the next without any interruptions or cuts between them.


Gifs

Although GIFs aren’t a new thing, they have recently gained traction after Facebook and Twitter allowed embedding and sharing. They are a great way to convey a message in a precise manner and are often used to add a touch of humor.

Which of these trends speaks to you?

Give Your Audience a Reason to Reflect

It’s the end of an all-day meeting, where substantial, important ideas have been shared and discussed. This organization worked with us to create this video that invites the audience into a moment of personal reflection at the end of the event. Not only did it provide visual variety, it created a mental oasis for those attending.
 
Pairing inspiration with information is a successful way to convey strategy and build culture. Give people time to personalize strategies and messages, and see what happens.

Communicating through Meetings: Three Tips for Saving Time

Meetings cost money. And wasted time in meetings adds cost that doesn’t produce value.
 
That’s why we’re championing some ideas on removing waste from meetings. Here are a three that are working for us:

  • Hold impromptu standing meetings. We’ve found that standing helps one stay on task, and signals that the meeting will be brief.
  • Cut meeting times in half. We no longer assume that a meeting has to be an hour, or even 30 minutes, when it is booked. If someone thinks they need a one-hour meeting, start by scheduling a 30-minute meeting. This week we beat our record and cut a one-hour meeting to 13 minutes—which left a whole 47 minutes unscheduled on their calendars and ours!
  • Cancel meetings. It may have made sense when the meeting was called, but circumstances may have changed. Before you start the meeting ask if this is still the best way to achieve your desired goal. If not, cancel it or reschedule it with a smaller group.

We’re actually proponents of meetings because having the right people together is so much more efficient than a string of emails if you’re problem-solving. It also gives you the benefit of the brainstorm, which is more likely to occur when people are interacting in person. But we believe most meetings could be vastly more efficient.
 
What ways have you found to waste less time in meetings?

Nail Your Presentation

Who of us can’t recall stories of miserable, dry presentations we’ve sat through? None of us wants to be that presenter—the one that bores, that can’t be understood, that wastes the audience’s time. So how can we make our presentations shimmer?

  • Use stories.

  • Boil it down.

  • Use sophisticated visuals.

  • Use each slide to highlight a significant idea—but not give the entire case for it.

  • Use slides to show things that would take too long to tell. A chart, for example, conveys a trend in an instant.

  • Keep slides simple and spare on words.

  • More slides don’t necessarily mean your talk will go longer. By breaking the slides down to fewer messages, you’ll make it easier for the audience to focus on one idea at a time.

  • Use high contrast colors that are easy to read. No yellow on white or red on deep green, for example.

  • Squelch the impulse to use lots of different fonts—especially ones that are juvenile and unprofessional.

  • Make the connections for your listeners by explaining what data means.

  • Use familiar, simple words.

Need some inspiration? >>  

An international manufacturing firm’s CEO delivered this PowerPoint presentation at their annual shareholder’s meeting.


These two-minute tips illustrate ways to improve your PowerPoint presentations. Good design in PowerPoint presentation is as important as good design in any media, so don’t cheat yourself by going amateur.


Executives for Hawaii’s largest health plan used this road show PowerPoint presentation that successfully took their change message to community leaders.


A university used this PowerPoint presentation for a financial aid road show to walk prospective students and parents through the intimidating process of paying for college.

Put Your Walls to Work for You

Invest in your culture by using your own facility to deliver stories, iconography and imagery that supports your mission. There’s no media buy—and it takes advantage of free and well-trafficked real estate that reaches visitors and employees.

We worked with Walla Walla University to develop this wall feature that puts faces on their mission and celebrates generations of student life on campus. Photos from today and yesterday draw the viewers in to shared student experiences that depict the vital spirit of this organization.
 
Wall displays aren’t just for museums. Where else have you seen these used effectively?

How to Dress a Shareholder Presentation for SuccessGT90ty

Want to inspire confidence? Create a compelling and clear vision? In this package, we’ve helped the client pay attention to these three critical factors:

  1. First impressions. Good design can help you create packaging that instantly conveys your message—without saying a word.

  2. Design. Great design is a strategic advantage. Regardless of your industry, clients expect it—and judge your company by it. Like any skill, great design is best achieved by someone who understands your business goals and who has spent a lifetime perfecting their skills. It rarely pays to risk your visual appearance to a novice.

  3. Attention span. As this gets shorter and shorter, presenters have to make it easier and easier to grasp a message. Variety can help here, too. In this package, we provide a short video to break up the in-person presentation. Video is a great way to add punch to any presentation, as it engages more of the senses with music and arresting images.

So whether your audience is a shareholder, customer or employee—use the tools of professional communicators to make you and your company more credible and successful.

Key Technology Video

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2013 Annual Report

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Investor Capacity Folder

Investor PowerPoint Presentation

Build Better Presentations: Part 2

If you follow our blog you'll know that we are advocates for bringing the same level of design and writing to PowerPoint presentations that one finds in other professionally developed communications. (See our first post on PowerPoint Design.)

Here's the second rule we live by:

Rule 2: Limit Bullet Points and Text

Instead of filling your slides with bullet point after bullet point, pare your message down to one main idea per slide and unpack the idea verbally.

Compare these two slides above, the first which uses a traditional PowerPoint layout and the second which uses a much cleaner layout.

Which one do you find more visually pleasing? Which one do you think will be more likely to catch an audience's attention and to communicate the message?

How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint

Keep it Simple

PowerPoint slides shouldn't steal the show—nor should they be a complete script for the presenter. They are meant to emphasize your key points in a visual way.

To give your point emphasis, float it in a sea of white space. Remember that the less information you put on your slide, the more clearly your message will come across to your audience.

Resist the temptation to resort to slide after slide with bullet points, also—since studies suggest that this format is one of the fastest ways to lose your audience.

For example,  look at these two slides from a presentation by João Paulo Alves on simplicity:

See how powerful white space can be.

If you are trying to communicate too much visually, simplify your message in order to communicate your key points.

We'd like to hear your thoughts on great presentations you've seen—or on how you're improving your own presentations.