The Official Guide to Lean Presentation Design by Maurizio La Cava

Are you overwhelmed with the amount of slides you need to create every day? Do you feel your slide show will cause "death by PowerPoint" to the audience? Tired of spending hours crafting mediocre presentations?

Then you are in the right place. Welcome!

During the last few years, I've worked hard to create an innovative presentation design approach, with the aim of allowing everybody (not just designers) to leverage a mix of presentation design, data visualization and communication techniques, in an effort to enhance their presentations.

All you need is a simple presentation software like PowerPoint and zero design skills to master this approach and achieve outstanding results, all in a timely manner.

I have put together my efforts in order to create a one-stop, full resource, which you can use to improve your presentations and save time.

Table of Contents

It took me years to mature my on-the-job experience and gather the contents together. Now I'm offering and updating them for free. Wouldn't it be fair to like the page? 🙂

Lean Approach & Storytelling

Why do some speakers inspire us, and others go unnoticed? Have you ever felt the full attention of your audience when you give a presentation? Having good slides is a must, but it's not enough! You need to build a story behind your messages. Building stories doesn't just mean to tell a joke or a personal anecdote. The magical communication power of stories resides in their special structure. Learn how to embed storytelling into your presentations and how to craft outstanding hooks to capture the audience's attention from the first word.

Presentations are everywhere, they are present on many occasions and transversal to many professions. The problem is that many of the presentations that are part of our daily lives often do not work.

Have you ever attended a presentation in which you found the speaker really boring and hard to follow?

Stories fascinate the human mind. We follow stories 24/7: when going to watch a movie or a talk show, when we read a novel, or when we hang out with friends and listen to how their week went. Learn how to leverage storytelling structures to enhance your communication through presentations.

Why do presentations matter?

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Presentation Design Technique

Presentations have the power to print your messages onto the audience's mind. Visual communications are more likely to be remembered than words. Images create emotions and expand the reach of your speech. A presentation is the natural extension of a speaker, but we often see boring slides that distract the audience from the speaker and trigger sleep. Learn how to master visual engineering techniques to craft powerful presentations for your next speech.

I’m sure there are a few keywords that pop into your mind when you hear the word “presentations“: last minute, rushing, creating new layouts, assembling slides from existing presentations…Do not worry, it is the same for everybody. We are always called to create an effective presentation at the last minute, and this forces us to recycle as much as we can (collage effect), in order to reduce the number of new layouts we have to create as much as possible.

One of the most powerful tools easily accessible today to every one working with presentations is icons. Icons nowadays are an effective and powerful way to visualize abstract concepts and ideas. Learn how to visualize abstract concepts with the help of icons, learn where to find effective, free icons, and how to easily implement them in PowerPoint.

How often do you receive slides from colleagues and waste entire days formatting them together in the hope of making your presentation continuity acceptable? How many times have you tried to reduce the size of a presentation, unable to figure out why it was so heavy? How many times have you tried to align titles from one slide to another, flicking back and forth? I created Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Master tutorial for practical experience on how to solve these problems!

Nowadays, making effective and beautiful presentations is very difficult. The first mistake of many people is to write too much information in a single slide, this because every detail seems essential, in order to create an accurate presentation. In this article I will explain the techniques to make your slides beautiful and conceptually clear.

When you are working, one of the most important things  is to be fast and productive. With time and experience, I have learned countless functions, generally by working directly on PowerPoint presentations. Thanks to this article, you will be able to know all the PowerPoint tricks that will save you a lot of time.

Do you think using free images for PowerPoint presentations facilitates the understanding of a concept for your audience? I got you! You are nodding.You are not the only one. For now, we agree that images are an excellent communication tool. It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but have you ever wondered why?

Do you want me to coach your team?

"Maurizio is a great coach and he teaches a very interesting topic. His teachings have been immediately put into practice thanks to Maurizio’s effectiveness, who knew how to simplify complex procedures. I recommend the Lean Presentation Design course to every professional who works on PowerPoint."

D. Caggiano - Dentsu Aegis Network

"Working with Maurizio was, for me, a great learning experience. He is really prepared! The secret of his success is passion for what he does. He’s able to transfer messages, even technical concepts, in an easy way. My speeches and presentations are now really attractive and effective. I've already got several positive feedback from my stakeholders."

D. Avallone - Ferrero International

Visual Composition & Applications

Working in complex organizations nowadays requires you, as a professional, to present projects and influence corporate stakeholders communicating abstract business concepts. The way you visualize ideas can win or definitely lose the attention of people. Learn how to use presentation design to compose powerful slides.

In an effective presentation, the audience’s eyes should focus on the speaker and only have a quick glance at the slides. In this way, the speaker will have most of the attention during the speech, and the slides will just support him allowing the audience to visualize the information and to retain them longer.

Have you ever sent your resumé applying for a job opportunity and you didn't get answered? Don't worry, this is very likely for most of us. It is estimated that resumé applications have a 2% conversion rate. Therefore, you get interviewed once every 50 applications. To solve this problem, you need to rethink your application tools, starting from the way recruiters think.

Lean Presentation Design

How to create presentations that everybody loves


    Change your audience’s mind and become a true leader


    Exploit advanced design techniques without necessarily being a designer


    Make presentations twice as fast as you do today

Charts & Tables for Presentations

Nowadays it's easier for everybody to generate charts and tables to display figures that support your message but making them in a way that they work and persuade the audience is a different job. Learn how to choose the best data visualization tool for every occasion and make stories around your numbers in order to make them stick to the memory of people

Learn how to effectively present data in PowerPoint, dissecting numeric information, visualizing figures, optimizing tables and charts in the most efficient way for your presentations

Gantt is a powerful tool to organize activities, identify any delays and monitoring the upcoming deadlines. Learn how to use Gantt chart effectively and creating outstanding PowerPoint presentations.

We all face the dreaded issue of presenting a full load of data organized into an awful table, often coming from Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. Especially if you work in business, you will always need to present performance updates, data analysis, market analysis, stock analysis, trends, etc. How do you turn awful tables in powerful slides?

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Presentation Delivery

Giving a presentation means establishing a dialogue with your audience. The goal is to influence people doing something they would have done differently. Through successful presentations, you can influence people to change their behavior.

Wouldn’t it be great if every single person who attends your presentation gets excited at your speech and stays tuned until the end, focusing on you the entire time? It would be great, but how hard is it to achieve?

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Presentation Resources

When crafting presentations, going fast is just not enough! Every second is crucial to the cost you generate and, after all, to your lifestyle balance. Shortcuts, customizing quick access toolbars, and advanced PowerPoint add-ins are powerful tricks to boost your effectiveness. Learn how to achieve super-fast speeds and take your PowerPoint to the next level.

Pitching is the second hardest task of entrepreneurs launching a start-up, after creating something people really want. Nowadays, start-ups pitch to survive, to get funding for their companies to keep going. However, pitching has become extremely competitive and the funding sizes smaller. If you can't afford to fail your next pitch, you'll find everything you need to make an effective an convincing presentation for your investors here.

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Made with love by Maurizio