In conversation with Julie Terberg—presentation design expert and makeover maven

Episode 118:
In conversation with Julie Terberg—presentation design expert and makeover maven


This is an episode for: Presentation nerds, design experts and fans of Julie.

Molly Geoghegan, Narrative Strategist

Molly Geoghegan

Apr 25, 2024

Julie Terberg, Presentation Design expert and the woman who co-wrote THE book on PowerPoint templates (among others), joins the pod!

With a background in industrial design and graphics, Julie designed slides pre-PowerPoint on physical slides before becoming an expert in the software.

Terberg has developed several online courses, published books on developing PowerPoint templates. appeared at the conference circuit regularly and also holds status as a Microsoft MVP. Julie has taken on creative challenges throughout her presentation work such as her “Makeover Maven” series and designing a Slide-A-Day.

Julie’s work around visual design and presenting has changed the game. Let’s hear her story.

What's in the Spice Cabinet??

Find more of Julie’s work on her site, Design to Present

She’s got a new whitepaper on choosing fonts for PowerPoint coming out soon!

Favorite presenters? 

Does Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 PowerPoint Rule still stand?

  • “No. [What's what's updated about it?] Like I was saying earlier, well, every presentation is different. And you need to present based on your topic, your content, and your audience. And so less is more. Don't follow any guidance for numbers of words. 

Who should attend the Presentation Summit? (an in-person and online conference for presentation people!)

  • “If you’re involved in the presentation space in any way, it’s a great conference. And you’re gonna meet all these people—you have no idea how many people kinda work in this niche industry.”

Julie’s walkout song?


Click here to see the podcast transcript

Michael Mioduski  00:21

Welcome back to presentation thinking storyteller Study Club. I'm Mikey Madhu ski co host founder of ghost ranch communications of presentation design agency. And Molly, my co host, your favorite. We have a pretty exciting guests today, don't we? Yes, I've


Molly Geoghegan  00:38

been looking forward to this for ever since you put it on my calendar. Mikey. I don't even know how you landed this interview. But we are sitting here today presentation nation with a truly one of our story saints, we like to say, presentation, design expert, Microsoft MVP, author, speaker yourself, Julie. Julie shurberg. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining.


Julie Terberg  01:00

Thanks for having me. It's my pleasure. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  01:03

So this is this is an honor truly, we I think we've quoted you every couple of episodes, or I'm sure in some capacity, we've talked about you from our own experience of going to presentations on it's so good to see your face in the Zoom Room.


Michael Mioduski  01:17

I remember first seeing one of your presentations, I think presentation Summit, like 2017 must have been in Clearwater, Florida was I think my first one with a few of my pals from Ghost ranch. And yeah, we did your full on presentation template workshop, which was I think, a full day right with you and echo. Y'all wrote the book on PowerPoint templates. So nobody knows it better than you. So we thought it was like an insane opportunity to hear it right from you, the people who wrote the book, and then later on you were a presentation machine, because you gave the makeover Maven, you know, sort of a before after workshop, maybe a smaller, like a one hour kind of lecture, where you actually jumped in and showed people took real slides from people who were willing to volunteer the befores. And then you showed what good could look like. And I think that really left a big impact on us. Because, you know, I think the bar for PowerPoint a lot of times seems like it's fairly low because it's kind of a embraced as a DIY tool. It's so accessible that a lot of people who touch it aren't necessarily designers, but certainly you are and you've helped push the game to a much better place. So thanks for everything you've done. And we're excited to hear a little bit more about your background,


Julie Terberg  02:30

or what would you like to know?


Michael Mioduski  02:32

Well, geez, did you when you were a kid, did you dream of being a PowerPoint MVP in a presentation design or


Molly Geoghegan  02:38

playing with slides?


Julie Terberg  02:39

exist? Computer Graphics did not see that's, I loved art. My mom was a fine artist. My dad was a craftsman. So I I loved working with my hands and making things and drawing. So I wanted to go into the art somehow. But as a kid, you don't know what that means. Yeah, so I studied, I went to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and I have a BFA in industrial design, very cool. And I thought that was going to take me into packaging design, but I landed a job in computer graphics and as a junior, and it was in its infancy. And I was designing slides on a PC. And then we got some dedikate The owner bought some dedicated systems for creating slideshows and and it just kept snowballing. And then the computer systems kept getting bigger and more expensive. And we just kept having to learn new software, new equipment. And then I transitioned to working for a large marketing firm doing building media slideshows, right? So we'd be backstage for these big, huge corporate events in Vegas and other big venues. And not only designing the slides, but sitting backstage and punching the show. If you know anything about show events. Troy Koller is the master at that. But yeah, and then fast forward, you know, get married, have a kid and say I can't work this many hours. I started barbering designed in 1997, holy


Michael Mioduski  04:01

cow and still going strong. They'll gangster. Yeah, that is longevity in


Molly Geoghegan  04:05

90, maybe seven painters that picture because I've we've heard Rick Altman story, founder of presentation Summit, as like, when did PowerPoint actually premiere with Microsoft? What was the year? You're going to


Julie Terberg  04:18

quiz me on that really? It was in the 90s. And while I was at that marketing firm, we were using proprietary software for shows like Rio tips and Luminar and it did basically a fraction of what PowerPoint and Photoshop can do on your phone. Right? That's what that software would do. And uh, for instance, if we needed a spinning logo, like a walk in spinning logo, we had to program it with 3d studio, render it overnight with a laserdisc and wait till the next day to see what it looked like.


Molly Geoghegan  04:51

Can't Yeah, yeah, then that project timeline, but


Julie Terberg  04:56

it was exciting. It was. It was thrilling to be on the cutting edge of this weird, medium, I guess, really pushing it being able to push it as a designer? Right? In a lot of cases.


Michael Mioduski  05:09

Yeah. So then you saw you were there before. And then you saw, I guess, like slide where in general, but PowerPoint specifically just go full adopt, you know, like, completely adopted by business today. Did you see like that evolution or even like the decline of when PowerPoint started getting a bad name because of how it was, when


Julie Terberg  05:31

you had a bad name ready to begin? Did it really, I think, well, for the people who were able to use it and save money on slide shops, yeah, big bonus, because they, you know, send their son their slides off to a shop to have them, you know, rent, what is it developed on the slide, but it was, you know, it was an interesting time, because if you knew how to manipulate graphics and design in that environment, you had a leg up over folks who thought that PowerPoint was just about typing in text. And so for the people who are really interested in conveying a graphic concept, they would hire you, instead of trying to like manipulate PowerPoint to do what they needed to do. So large companies really saw the value of hiring experts who knew design and how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and whatever and get it into PowerPoint.


Molly Geoghegan  06:25

Maybe PowerPoint suffered initially from that blank page syndrome, where it's like, because it is for us, of course, the combination of design and storytelling, all the content that goes in it. And if you just focused on one of those things, it falls out of balance. It still does. Yeah, exactly, exactly. The death by PowerPoint concept as matter since the since the jump.


Julie Terberg  06:45

But I've found that, you know, it's really helpful to get people over that hump, because a lot more people think, goodness, you know, thank goodness that there is an evolution in what people really are expecting from a presentation now. I really think it has changed. So that folks come to you. And they say, How can I get rid of all these words? What can I do? And so the biggest game changer was showing them Presenter View. If I don't need to read what's on my slides, Oh, okay. Well, that just changes everything change. Yeah. And then when you can redesign a slide, get rid of all the words, put them in the speaker notes, and read everything back, deliver the same slides back to your client the way that they delivered them to you, because that's how I actually, I interview my clients giving a talk, right? And I take notes, and I record them. And then you can redesign it the way that it should be or should flow or flow better. You deliver it back with the cleaned up beautiful design slides, and they go, Okay, this makes so much sense.


Molly Geoghegan  07:47

Yeah, it's more human. Yeah. Well, that's awesome. And was that is part of your job, I guess, from the get go is maybe educating folks on how to how to use the tool.


Julie Terberg  07:57

You know, I think that for a lot of folks, the first step into presentation design, is make it pretty, clean it up, slam it into brand. However, that looks polish, that I would say that's most presentation folks first foray into this area. And as you familiarize yourself more with what is a good presentation from an audience perspective, you can you know, help your help your speakers understand that and help them understand that less is more, because your audience isn't there to look at your slides. They're really there to listen to you. So it's that back and forth, and then becoming more experienced and comfortable. And having your clients and your internal clients trust you that you know, better than they do about what only works on the slides. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  08:46

Julie, was there? Was there a point in your career where you felt like you made that jump from taking orders to making things look pretty to saying like, actually, I think I know more than these people do about about how to present?


Julie Terberg  08:58

Yeah, my clients have been coming to me for a very long time. I really don't, I don't do clean up. Yeah, it's a very rare thing. I helped my clients conceive something, you know, they might have some ideas, and I help them brainstorm, visualize it, and I help edit. A lot of times it's helping them reconfigure a deck, right? What makes you know, and what to get, telling them what to get rid of, or how to, you know, pull back or how to split things up? How to split up complicated concepts, whether it's an animated series or or a series of static slides. So it's that whole experience and letting them they do trust me, to help them make it better. Right. Establish that


Molly Geoghegan  09:43

as your career as your career moved along. Did you find because we know you're an amazing speaker yourself, but did you find the more you kind of like practice what you preach and actually like got up on stages and shops and that kind of thing that it was easier to translate that Back to other people or yeah, what kind of chicken are


Julie Terberg  10:03

my first speaking engagement,


Molly Geoghegan  10:05



Julie Terberg  10:06

So in the early days of my unterberg design, I was writing a creative techniques column for the original presentations magazine, it was a sister publication to training magazine. And it was only a print magazine at the time. And I was reading the creative techniques column. And they said, You got to come present at the presentations conference, which was a little tiny subset of training magazine Conference, which is this massive event, right? I had never spoke never been in front of this the state in front of the slides before, I'm always behind the curtain. And so they wanted me to deliver a presentation on the new features. It was, oh, gosh, probably PowerPoint XP when animation first came out. So I did this really cool, animated series, it was all called Blue Planet, it was all fish. And it was animated. I forget everything that was in it, but it had


Molly Geoghegan  10:59

the original blue planet.


Julie Terberg  11:00

It was It looked very aquarium, like whatever. So I had to talk after I showed that, and I was a nervous wreck, because I didn't have any coaching didn't have anyone to, you know, teach me how to do this well, and not a lot of experience, other than seeing those big stage shows, you know, which they have teleprompter survived. And so fast forward, I spoke at that conference again. And then I reached out to Rick Altman, after that missed the first year of PowerPoint Live, which was the original name of presentations. And I asked if I could speak at the next one. And again, I was a nervous wreck, but I did it anyway, the more you get up in front of the audience, the more comfortable you become. And then the one trick I had the one thing that got rid of a lot of the jitters was I just realized, I'm just a teacher. And it doesn't matter the size of my audience. And I went on to speak in front of 800, at the house design conference, one year she saw you, if when you put your teacher hat on, and you realize I'm not there to motivate these people or to to change their world or to deliver bad news. I'm just here to teach them something. It changes your mindset. You're no longer a speaker, you're a teacher. Yeah, this isn't that. And yeah, that helps me a lot. I hope it helps other


Molly Geoghegan  12:15

well, it comes across as your in your workshops, you are you have that educator persona, I think that can easily help people with like, you know, a presentation is trying to open like a window into their world or a different world or something new. And if you are able to tell the story and like kind of educate the audience that's there about that, then they will be able to understand the lesson, I guess, as your to kind of fly with this metaphor. But that makes a lot of sense. And it's interesting, because you didn't have a lot of precedent other than like the physical slides. And of course, there's always been business conferences since the beginning of business and everything. But you were a presentation pioneer that way. So you were creating your own precedent.


Julie Terberg  12:52

It's been an interesting 30 years. Right? Yeah,


Michael Mioduski  12:57

we always joke about the pressure or how meta it is to present about presentations. You know, I think the audience were like, this better be damn good, right. And certainly, you've always blown us away. Can you talk about how the makeover Maven series began? Like, what is it about showing actual slides and before and afters that maybe like some people?


Julie Terberg  13:18

Yeah, Rick's idea a long time ago, he had a couple of us do the makeover series. And he's always done the makeover series. And it was cool, because and it still is cool, because patrons can submit their slides. And they really should, because we're not here to pick on your slides. We're just here to show you how to make how you can make better. And so it's a real world example of here's what you had. And here's one approach that you could take with these slides. And it's fun to do. Yeah, I love those.


Molly Geoghegan  13:46

I mean, from slides to like, makeover montages, like people just human race will always love a makeover. So it's a perfect place to tap into. As cool as we can make presentations. I think it's that makeover made Maven niche.


Julie Terberg  13:59

Yeah. And hopefully, folks take away practical advice for how to do it on their own, you know, even if it's not their slides up on the screen, hoping that folks understand that, you know, you can do this too. Here are some stuff in I've started really breaking it down into a


Molly Geoghegan  14:15

process. That's great. And what was the moment when you like, had been doing this for a while, I suppose that you were like, Damn, I'm gonna I should write a book about this.


Julie Terberg  14:25

Well, the first book I wrote 2004, surgeon from Ireland, his name is Teri Irwin. He's still a good friend. He reached out he had read my articles and presentations Meganisi magazine and said he was writing a book on PowerPoint for the medical industry, would I be interested in helping him out? So I co authored a book with Terry, and in 2005, we won the British Medical Association's annual book prize for that book, fast forward to meeting echo and she and I becoming really good friends and working together occasionally. You know, we're business partners, and she and I wrote the first book on PowerPoint templates because we were Building so many and learning so many things. And we had so much knowledge that we had accumulated. And we weren't even building templates from Microsoft. And the knowledge didn't exist anywhere in one place. And so we took it upon ourselves to write that first book. And then as the software's changed, you know, the technology changed, we needed to do the update. And so the version two is completely, you should just totally forget about the first one, just work with version two. And then she and I just recently helped Terri Irwin, write another medical present in a way.


Molly Geoghegan  15:30

That's awesome. Yeah, the partnership continues to like, I've gotten so much out of like, all the Googling something about presentation, principles, design, whatever it is, Mike and I are working on and end up on your blog in some way, or some kind of guest interview or something. And so it's funny that even though like your stack of books isn't sitting on my desk, I have read so much of your work over the years and seeing you in, you know, those workshops.


Julie Terberg  15:56

Worthy. But Malia?


Molly Geoghegan  15:59

No, it's so it's so helpful. And yeah, what's tell us a little bit about this slide of slide a day project as well. Well,


Julie Terberg  16:05

it's been a little while I did that for a couple reasons. It's always good to practice your craft, right. And my craft doesn't involve a lot of sketching occasional sketches. But it involves site design, right. And so I just said, Okay, I'm going to do a slide a day. And it can be anything that I feel at that moment, and there's no brand restrictions, and there's nobody telling me what to do. And so it was really liberating that way, and then you realize that, oh, oh, sometimes you do a couple a day. And then you just do just one, you know, a series for the next few days, but never, ever, never, ever set out to do something every day, and do a challenge and like, maybe get a certain date. But the cool thing about that project is it did. It allows you to expand your portfolio, especially in cases like ours, where a lot of our work is under NDA. So it allows you to showcase some more of your pretty work for folks who can't see the real stuff. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  17:08

How long did you keep the streak going?


Julie Terberg  17:10

Oh, the streak? I don't remember. Yeah, I have at least 100. That's awesome. But I think there was a point there where I got so busy. I just couldn't continue doing it every day. Yeah. But I kept it up for at least I think it was at least a year to two years. Maybe 20. Oh,


Molly Geoghegan  17:25

that's amazing. It's like keeping that Duolingo streak alive. That's


Julie Terberg  17:29

heard is so sad. Right,


Molly Geoghegan  17:32

right, we need to we need the little paperclip guy reminding you to make a slide I guess maybe. But for some people's brains, I have seen that with various creative practices and different creatives offering some kind of routine creative endeavor. And I think when PowerPoint gets stuck in those brand guidelines, and it's so business related, we kind of forget that it is really like an art form. Like you can, you can tell beautiful stories, but that so it's helpful to kind of have that practice.


Julie Terberg  17:59

Yeah, do something just for yourself. Yeah, I think that's the key there, pick whatever colors, fonts, images, textures, graphics, just do something for yourself. And it'll free you up a little bit more in your in your daily work. Yeah. If


Michael Mioduski  18:15

you haven't seen it, Google Julie Tilburg slide a day project, and you'll find the repository? Yeah, there's so


Julie Terberg  18:22

many cool that right now. Yeah, designed to present that


Michael Mioduski  18:26

design to Yeah, it's such a cool, like, huge array of the versatility like you said, so you could, yeah, if someone's like, Well, have you done something for the FinTech industry or something and such and such style? You're like, yes. And so yeah, much easier for you to showcase what you can do that for me, too. I'm thinking, I get in these ruts, stylistically where I'm like, gosh, I feel like I keep doing the same thing, even though just because it's comfortable to me. And I think it seemed like you were really pushing the range, which I think is just a way to keep fresh as well.


Julie Terberg  18:57

Yeah. And I have, I hold myself to really high standards, which is, you know, that whole perfectionist tendency, which isn't good. So I tried to release things that I wasn't completely happy. It's really hard. You know, it was getting a lot of eyeballs at the time. Yep. And then it got tougher to do something that felt free. So yeah, right. I would recommend if so, you, if you're going to do something like that, first of all, do me a favor, and don't use slide a day. Because when you Google that you're gonna get my stuff. But not only that, I would suggest just just maybe hitting a number and giving yourself maybe a date to hit that number.


Molly Geoghegan  19:34

Yeah, I like that, too. Still a nice goal, but maybe not as


Michael Mioduski  19:40

truly, I see some hardware on the shelf behind you. Maybe says MVP, could you tell us a little bit about what that is and what it means to you? And yeah, how did you become an Microsoft MVP? Well,


Julie Terberg  19:53

I went to the PowerPoint live conference, and I met all these amazing people that I knew from newsgroups, only like I recognized all their names, you know, Echo swynford and Steve Rendsburg. And who else was there, Glenn Ushaw. And Troy Koller and Rick Brettschneider, who was working for Microsoft at the time I met all these people. And we just kind of like melded it you know, in terms of geekiness, and a lot of common interests, but we geeked out over PowerPoint. And somebody nominated me for MVP, and I became an MVP the next year. So 2005 was my first year. Yeah, it's a cool thing that Microsoft does to recognize folks in the community, the PowerPoint community and any other communities. Microsoft product community sure recognizes you for your contributions to the community, your technical leadership, your willingness to help others with questions and answers, and maybe your speaking engagements or your now your online influence is a factor. But it's people who are really committed to helping others solve problems. Yeah, I think that's something we all have in common as MVPs is we really want to help other people solve their problems with PowerPoint.


Molly Geoghegan  21:07

Are you suggesting there's also Excel spreadsheets and VPs as well? There


Julie Terberg  21:11

are more Excel MVP in our PowerPoint.


Molly Geoghegan  21:15

Oh, my God, I love this. Yeah, I wasn't aware of this, this program until my he mentioned it, and I am now see it on your on your title as well. But that's such a cool, it's so smart of them, right to have these educate your educators, right? You're kind of, you know, evangelizing the platform, but in what


Julie Terberg  21:32

the cool thing is, it's it goes back and forth. So Microsoft, can we meet with them at least once a month, and we meet with the PowerPoint, you know, some of the PowerPoint team, the MVP lead, and they can present things to us and and get our feedback about my ideas. Yeah. And then they we always file bugs with them. And it's amazing the speed with which they're fixing bugs. It's crazy. But yeah, it's a back and forth. So if my client has a problem, I can actually, you know, find the answers. And it's a good program that way. And


Molly Geoghegan  22:06

if anyone's interested in taking part in this program, what's the best way to get involved with throw this in the


Julie Terberg  22:15

lock? Because I don't know, I really don't want to get nominated. You have to be nominated by a current MVP. So somebody who feels that you are part of the group, you know, maybe you have been contributing a lot, maybe two answers on to it either something online. I think there's a Reddit forum, for instance, or maybe you've written some great stuff, or you delivered some great talks. And you know, you really show that you were out there helping other people. But it's not easy. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  22:46

Oh, yeah. That's it. That's a commitment for sure. And they've been doing that with them since 2005.


Julie Terberg  22:52

They've been awarded our views.


Molly Geoghegan  22:54

Congratulations. Yeah. Yeah. Every


Julie Terberg  22:57

year, you have to submit again, for the next year, we have to submit everything we've done for the previous year, to get rewarded. Yeah, yeah. Well,


Michael Mioduski  23:08

we think you cracked, you should have a good chance next year, because I think you just published a new LinkedIn learning course on PowerPoints, copilot features, right from prompt to presentation. Can you tell us a little bit about that course? And what what one might expect to learn from it?


Molly Geoghegan  23:23

Oh, sure.


Julie Terberg  23:23

It's an overview of what copilot and PowerPoint can do. So if you're curious, just go take the course. Yeah, that's awesome. Copilot is right now it's, it's in its infancy. It's a it's a 1.0 feature, you know, it's going to learn the software is going to change, the features are going to change. But if you're curious about what it can do right now, the course will show you what it can do. And it's, you know, it's an assistant. Yeah. As an assistant


Molly Geoghegan  23:50

in the kind of building from that. Julie, I'm curious with the evolution of AI, all of these amazing, like tools that can provide so much help and assistance, as you say, how do you see AI playing a role in presentations in the future?


Julie Terberg  24:06

Well, or now, I hope that the focus turned more to tasks that will save us time. Yeah, because I think that the design bar is really difficult. And if you're training an AI tool on things that were cool or trendy from a couple of years ago, you know how fast design trends change. Not only that our clients are using brands right and their brands change. So I think I would like to see it do more tasks to save all of us presentation designers time. That's where I would like to see it go. But I can't predict the future. I don't Yeah, I want to quote my friend echo echo swynford When asked about you know is co pilot going to take away my job. She said if you have to think for a living got nothing to worry about.


Michael Mioduski  24:56

Yeah, that. I mean back to what she said at the top The episode two is like when we move from Alright, at first we're making things look pretty. Now we're being you know, as you've progressed in your journey, you're consultant guiding, you know, presenters on how to how to make a better presentation, which is like whole mind exercise, right. It's so many different disciplines to pull in from and it's a lot to juggle. So that's, that is a lot of brainpower there. Right.


Julie Terberg  25:23

Yeah. Think about all of different subjects and all of the different I mean, just the incredible array of presentation types. Yeah.


Michael Mioduski  25:32

All the context. The environment. Yeah. Who's going to be there? Is it dark? Is it light? Is it a big screen? Yeah. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  25:39

It's fun. Mikey and I were just having a conversation earlier today along the lines of Paul Graham's do things that don't scale. And in a presenter, of course, I was written with a startup advice, a context, but applying like a present presentation lens to that. Mikey had an amazing insight, which is that you should always be customizing your presentation, depending on who you're presenting with. Totally. And, yeah, and controversial, I suppose with the evolution of AI and temp and templates just being more commonplace. But starting true, like when you make a new presentation, just starting from the blank, the blank slide and building your content and your story first before getting too into as you said, like the aesthetic, the look.


Julie Terberg  26:21

Yeah, that story's got to be solid before you think about designing it. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  26:25

And, Julie, when you start a new presentation, yeah, what is your like wear suit, we've gotten like super tactical, on the podcast with people like we are what is your step one? Like when you've had a new presentation talk like what do you how do you go about making your own story? Yeah, for you,


Julie Terberg  26:40

for my stuff, I start to put together rough ideas on blank slides and PowerPoint, usually notes, ideas, thoughts, but I'll use PowerPoint, you know, as my, as my note taking thing. Yeah. And then I'll start to put together a straw deck, you know, how long is this going to be? How many, you know, where, how many slides do I think this section is going to be? And then I start to flesh out? You know what I'm going to talk about where that's typically how I would go about doing it for me. I like that. Ideas, outline notes. Yep.


Molly Geoghegan  27:15

For me, PowerPoint becomes like this digital index. I've definitely been someone I'm writing a big, I'm thinking back to like, grad school. And I had like, index cards physically on the table. I can move them around and shuffle them. And I had like, arrows and stuff going wherever. And I think that's what PowerPoint can do in a digital way.


Julie Terberg  27:31

Totally, especially with sections and you know, you got a lot of room to take it in multi directions, like you said, kind of like a mind map. Yeah.


Molly Geoghegan  27:41

Yeah. So best. I also am curious, Mike, and I frequently asked this with presenters now that you see, and maybe clients that come to you, what is like one of the low hanging fruit, like most common things that people could just be doing better across


Julie Terberg  27:55

the board? At it? Yeah. Okay. And it love that. Get rid of most of those words on that slide. You don't need them. Yeah, you don't need them. You don't want your audience reading your slides along with you. That's ridiculous. Let them listen to you. And just only keep the high level information on the slide. Unless it was something absolutely critical that they needed to read word for word. But get rid of the words on the slides.


Molly Geoghegan  28:19

It's still so common like that I was just at a conference last week. And I won't say who or what. But it's just it's amazing that that's still that still happen in the people were so smart had such good points to share. I couldn't believe how much text is on their slides.


Julie Terberg  28:35

I think the more they have in the slide, the more important they look or the more the smarter they look. Yeah. And it couldn't be further from the truth. I think it makes you more poised presenter when you have less on the screen and your audience can really look at you and listen to you. And they're not trying to figure out what that eight point tech says down in the corner. You know, just you look more polished and professional.


Michael Mioduski  28:59

Molly, I think it's time we dip into the spice cabinet. Julie, this is our lightning round to wrap up. But on that subject if someone's got the edge like I do want to be better. Are there any like resources that you find yourself commonly recommending people to follow books to read podcasts to listen to your


Molly Geoghegan  29:18

fit your favorites? Jeez,


Julie Terberg  29:21

that's a very good question. Your podcast, podcast, I listen to a lot of true crime. So that doesn't really fit.


Molly Geoghegan  29:28

We'd like to know what people tune in what's your podcast? Oh, I


Julie Terberg  29:33

listened to about, I don't know eight to 10 of them in a given week. I'm not going to name any of them right now. I do want to mention that that's why I have a new white paper coming out soon. Oh, yes. Anything to plug? Yeah, it's it's a hefty, hefty, hefty, deep dive into choosing fonts for PowerPoint. And it's it's going to give everybody all the information they need to know to make informed decisions. Because as we know, power Point presentations and templates have legs. And the fonts don't always scoot along with them. So that white paper is going to answer a lot of those


Molly Geoghegan  30:09

questions. And where Should folks be tuning in? Designed to present? Yeah. All right. I was gonna say that. Julie


Michael Mioduski  30:15

does. I imagine a lot of the breakage keeps happening now with people using both PowerPoint and Google Slides within the same organization. Right. Is there any average fonts? What? Amongst that mess, that's a hot


Julie Terberg  30:28

mess. I was just on a call this morning, just on a call this morning with echo and one of our clients discussing that very thing. It is a hot mess. Status update stinks. Yes, I will. I'll be covering a little bit of that in the white paper. Okay, good. There's no easy solution for that. You have to pick the most common denominator and then just go really educate people on what not to do. Yeah,


Michael Mioduski  30:55

this circle the text on a circle path, you know, it only goes up like a Jif G slides. It just goes berserk. It looks hilarious.


Julie Terberg  31:03

It's down but Ariel. Yeah, it's wild.


Molly Geoghegan  31:07

I think we've dealt with it enough that especially when our designers are on site that we're like, Mikey, were like doing preventative work at this point for that kind of stuff being like, go with every version. Make sure make sure there's gonna be like a Mac if you if you design on a Mac, make sure it's a Mac connected to the projector and that kind of thing. Just little bits. Julie


Michael Mioduski  31:25

about do you have any like all time favorite presenters that you've you've been fortunate enough to see maybe maybe live?


Julie Terberg  31:32

Oh, geez. Favorites. Wow, that's a really good question. You threw me there. I really enjoyed Temple Grandin this last year at presentation Summit. She was fun to listen to Nigel Holmes. He's going to be back at the presentation summit this year. Coincidentally, you know, I mean, he's great. Love him. Guy Kawasaki. He's good. Nancy Duarte is always a treat. We love guy we love Nancy. Yeah. Do you still do it? We just talked about this on the podcast. Guy Kawasaki is 1020 30 PowerPoint rule written in 2005? What do you think? Does it still stand? No. What's what's updated about it? Like I was saying earlier? Well, every presentation is different. And you need to present based on your topic, your content, and your audience. And so less is more. Don't follow any guidance for numbers of words. Yeah, that's also 20 minutes is now pretty long. Like, yeah, don't worry. We're 20 minutes. Yeah, yeah, that is that's a decent sized presentation.


Michael Mioduski  32:32

You You mentioned presentation Summit. You'll be there. It's Rick is saying it's the last hurrah, his last one that he's hosting at least right. Yeah. If someone's listening, and they've never been to one, who would you recommend a visit to the presentation summit to Oh,


Julie Terberg  32:47

if you if you do anything with presentations, whether you're behind the scenes, whether you're delivering them, if you're involved in the presentation space in any way. It's a great conference for all of you kind of meet all these people who you had no idea how many people were in, in this niche industry.


Michael Mioduski  33:06

It feels good to meet those people. I didn't know there were others out there. Yeah. A


Julie Terberg  33:10

lot of fun is along with it. It's it's not all session session session. There's a lot of fun.


Molly Geoghegan  33:16

Yeah. Any. Any favorite pre some memories? We've heard some of the iconic stories from from Rick, in the past?


Julie Terberg  33:24

The trivia contest is always a blast. That's always just I laughed out loud so many times. That's a riot. You never go wrong with trivia. Well,


Michael Mioduski  33:34

Julie, we love to ask this question. Let's say you're strutting out to your next big keynote, maybe it's at the presentation Summit. What's going to be your walkout song?


Julie Terberg  33:42

Well, I like Helen back by the car.


Michael Mioduski  33:47

Was that when he found me.


Julie Terberg  33:52

But I like it for the tune in the beat. Not necessarily the lyrics, but it


Michael Mioduski  33:57

doesn't have to be content, you love it, whatever gets you going. That's important.


Molly Geoghegan  34:01

I can't wait to hear that sampled and held back by Bakar. Julie, thank you so much for joining us any, you know, our listeners are a combination of you know, people that are yet behind the scenes in presentations giving them might have some startup founders among us and and PMM as well, product marketers, but any final parting shots, words of advice to presentation nation,


Julie Terberg  34:23

if you are on the presenting side of it, trust your presentation professionals like ghost Ranch, folks like myself and other presentation designers because we're going to save you a lot of time in the long run and make you look really good. And if you're on the design, end of things, go to a lot of live events and really see what things look like on the big screen. It's amazing


Michael Mioduski  34:43

advice. It really clicks a little differently. Once you see it up there. All the environmental context can change what you might put into it. Yeah. Love that, Julie. Well, thank you so much. We'd love to have you on anytime. If there's anything else you want everyone to come talk about. Open Door. Yeah. Thank you So this lesson plan. Thank you. All right, until


Molly Geoghegan  35:02

next time that we find a new excuse to bring you on and hopefully we'll see you at pre summit this year. I hope sounds awesome. Thanks so much. Really appreciate it and everyone else in the meantime, keep on

About The Author

Molly Geoghegan, Narrative Strategist

Molly Geoghegan is a writer, organizer, and film school dropout. She hikes frequently with her dog, Guinness, and signs up for too many email newsletters. Having lived in Chicago, Paris, Dublin and Galway, Molly has made her way back to the Rockies and calls Denver, CO home.

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In conversation with Julie Terberg—presentation design expert and makeover maven