Depuy Spine is a Boston-based developer of innovative products for medical patients with spine disorders. To help train physicians about its newest product, the CharitÉ artificial disc, Depuy's executives turned to the Presentation Team to overhaul a series of PowerPoint presentations.
The project goal was straightforward: transform the 12 individual modules, each created by a different physician, into a professional-looking package with consistency in typography, imagery and overall visual panache.
My company started the redesign with an overhaul of the title slide. We chose to create a 30-second video loop to play as people assembled in the auditorium for the training lectures.
We then created the overall look and feel of the new presentation by developing four template variations using Macromedia Freehand and Adobe Photoshop. The goal of the new templates was to balance the conservative aspect of the medical industry with a sense of flow and motion based on the flexibility of the Charité disc product.
We imported the templates into PowerPoint and overhauled the body and headline type for consistency.
To maintain the concept of flow, we added rounded edges to each of the hundreds of graphics. To do this, we re-saved every image in the original PowerPoint presentation by right-clicking on each image and choosing SAVE IMAGE AS from the menu. We created the rounded-edge rectangle in Macromedia Freehand and copied and pasted them into Adobe Photoshop.
In Photoshop, we used the Freehand square image to create a mask over each original image. We then turned off the background to create a transparent image and re-saved the new graphic as a PNG file before importing it back into PowerPoint.
The end result was a presentation that captured the excitement of the training and packaged it in a way that was both interesting and clear to DePuy Spine's audiences.
Software and system used: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002; Windows XP.
Raise expectations with dynamic video intro
Before: A flat static slide remains onscreen as the audience assembles and awaits the speaker.
After: A Digital Juice Motionback loops in the background, set against medical-themed images and a bulked-up title. The video was assembled in Adobe After Effects. The result is a professional and exciting opening slide.
Text and graphics shouldn't fight for attention
Before: The graphics fly in with text bullets superimposed. Unfortunately, this layout makes the text difficult to read and competes with the graphic.
After: Consolidation of the text reduces screen clutter. The square images have masks with rounded edges to give the design a sense of flow. The slide is now consistent and the bullet points are easy to read.
Take the time to clean up scanned images
Before: A scanned page from a book is a quick but uninspiring way to get the message across.
After: We reworked this image by typing the information from the scanned page into PowerPoint. In Photoshop, we trimmed the white out from the graphic and resaved the image as a PNG file. The graphic now appears more professional and the slide text is cleaner and easier to read.
Kevin Lerner is founder and president of The Presentation Team, a marketing-support company that creates presentation graphics and multimedia. He can be reached at 877.823.5730 or www.presentation team.com.