Quick Note: I know I have disappeared for a bit. Sorry about that, I got a bit busy with the $10M Series B closing, the new product launch and the birth of my son. I will get back to regular blogging soon.
Yahoo! has been doing badly, but looking at their corporate slides, you would think they were doing much worse. I worked at Yahoo! for over 2 years. Every time there was a quarterly all-hands, I cringed. Not because the stock was dropping, but because the corporate slides are so amazingly crappy looking. You really have to go out of your way to make these things as bad looking as they are. A lot of what the company does looks pretty darn good, but when it comes to making PPTs, they have some dude that seems to have a corner on the market of making ugly ass slides.
Let’s take a look:
Here are my major issues:
- Logos: One logo is enough. Why two? Why is the Y! so big?
- Headline: Sucks, it says nothing
- Colors: Purple and yellow! Gag, these colors look awful together. I know those are the old colors, but for charts and for today (not 1996), they look terrible together.
- Colors: There are two purples. Why? One for the Y! logo and one for the chart. Makes no sense
- Boldness and Lines! There are outlines to the chart boxes. Why? Every font is bold. Why? Why is there yet another line between the title and chart?
- Chart legend: Looks ridiculous
- 3d! I hate 3D charts. This is a perfect example of how they make data harder to absorb.
- What is my take-away? They know this slide is going to be reprinted. Help tell the story they want to tell.
In 8 minutes, I remade this slide. This is not a great slide now, but it sucks so much less.
In my revised slide, I increase the data fidelity. For example, I have added faint lines behind the bars to show the information from 12 months earlier. This added more data to the chart, but eliminated one of the bars. I have eliminated the legend. I have added a “why?” so I can tell a bit of my story. I tried to use a tone that is matter of fact, but unsatisfied (#3). I have made all the colors consistent. I have eliminated the garish yellow in favor of 75% shade of the purple. I have made the headline informative. I could have said, “Revenue is down. We are going to change that.” for more attitude, which seems like Carol Bartz’s style. Maybe added an f-bomb. The notes are smaller and in plain english. I have added a lot more white space.
For more ideas on how to make presentations that don’t look like crap, see my post: 20 Tips to Make Your Presos Suck Less.
What do you think?