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Synapsis Creative Blog

Tom Howell

Tom Howell is a PowerPoint designer and the founder of Synapsis Creative, a boutique presentation design agency. Tom started his career as a designer for multiple disciplines and specialised in PowerPoint 10 years ago and has never looked back. With a talent for animation and interactivity, his work has been featured on Microsoft’s webinar series on PowerPoint and in multiple online magazines and articles. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and is a key figure for presentation design in the industry. His clients come from an array of different industries. Tom loves the challenges and successes that are achievable in PowerPoint and lives to make presentations stand out for all the right reasons.
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Recent Posts

[Preview!] PowerPoint just changed the game with 3D Modelling

Posted by Tom Howell on 07-Jul-2017 11:35:28

 

Just when you thought you knew what you were doing in PowerPoint (and just a few months after it's 30th Birthday), it reinvents itself and changes how we communicate stories.

PowerPoint will shortly be supporting visual and motion 3D modelling capabilities beyond what you thought was previously possible. We're not talking about your cubes, bevel and embossing - we're talking advanced modelling up to (and including) entire city-scapes. See our short demonstration below...

 


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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

5 Surprising Ways to Use PowerPoint in Your Business

Posted by Tom Howell on 06-Jul-2017 08:48:53

The software program PowerPoint is synonymous with on-screen presentations, and it’s not surprising as this is an area where it excels. What is surprising is how often PowerPoint is used for other purposes. In this article we’ll review 5 ways to use PowerPoint (other than for on-screen presentations) and how these can work for your business.

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

7 Big PowerPoint Mistakes You Just Can't Afford to Make

Posted by Tom Howell on 16-Jun-2017 10:58:49

Making a PowerPoint presentation is about more than presenting facts to an audience. It's about educating others and gaining their confidence in your professional skills and opinion. Unfortunately, some basic mistakes can lead to bad presentations that undermine viewer confidence instead of building it up. Avoid these seven common PowerPoint mistakes, and you'll have the power to impress any audience. 

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

Microsoft MVP Award Winner - Tom Howell of Synapsis Creative

Posted by Tom Howell on 09-Jun-2017 13:06:13

 

5 years ago I was working at an agency as the creative leader of a design team that specialised in PowerPoint presentations. My mind was drifting one afternoon and I began searching any awards programs for PowerPoint. I found there was no PowerPoint Award, nor was there any award for design in PowerPoint. I did, on that day, find two things:

The Presentation Summit and the Microsoft MVP Award program.

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Topics: Insider, Industry Topics

Choosing the Right Balance of Statistics in PowerPoint

Posted by Tom Howell on 07-Jun-2017 11:25:59

 Every PowerPoint presenter wants to be regarded as an expert in their given field, and presenters often use statistics to drive their points home. Unfortunately, too many statistics or poorly presented statistics tend to undermine the efficacy of PP presentations. If you're considering presenting statistics on your slides, you'll need to take care to choose the right balance of statistics to send your message. Thankfully, doing that isn't tough. Take these five steps to use statistics in PowerPoint successfully. 

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

Create the Perfect Background for Your PowerPoint Presentation Slide

Posted by Tom Howell on 31-May-2017 14:07:14

Creating striking PowerPoint presentations means carefully considering every single element included on your slides. From graphics to fonts to colors to text, making the right aesthetic choices increases audience engagement and makes your presentation look more professional. A strong slide background provides a grounding element for your presentation and helps provide visual consistency, but creating one can prove surprisingly difficulty. Here are best practices and tips to help you create striking slide backgrounds that will enhance any presentation. 

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

Choosing the Right Images for Your PowerPoint Presentations

Posted by Tom Howell on 23-May-2017 09:27:25

The images you choose for your PowerPoint presentation will have an incredible impact on viewer attention, esteem and retention. That means that picking the right PowerPoint images is essential to the overall success of your presentation. Here are nine tips to help you choose imagery in PowerPoint presentations that will make a strong impression on your audience. 


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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

5 Worst PowerPoint Fails from Business and Government

Posted by Tom Howell on 15-May-2017 09:43:12

When it comes to entertainment value, the only thing better than an aesthetically stunning PowerPoint presentation is a really bad PowerPoint presentation. Take these five presentation fails from the world of business and government, which demonstrate what happens when someone with no design sensibility takes over presentation duties. More than just providing fodder for a good laugh, these really terrible presentations also provide a helpful illustration of everything you shouldn't do the next time you create a PP presentation. 

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

A tip borrowed from graphic designers for a better looking PowerPoint Presentations

Posted by Tom Howell on 05-May-2017 10:54:59

 

Throughout my career as a Presentation Specialist (and into my years as a creative director in the same field), I routinely see one thing in a lot of presentations (both professionally designed and not). That is a lack of structure. I’m not talking storyline structure, sentence structure or grammatical mishaps – although I see a fair share of those! I’m talking design structure. Let me elaborate, with a brief digression into historical design principles and let me be candid when I say, this isn’t a how-to article. This is a why-do article. If you want techniques in execution of this, there are many, resources around the internet that can help.

 

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Topics: Corporate PowerPoint

3 Lessons from the Fyre Festival Pitch Presentation (why good design can sell bad ideas)

Posted by Tom Howell on 03-May-2017 12:55:40

You’ve likely heard the news about the woeful organisation of the latest festival-flop Fyre Festival. If not, you can read about it here. 

The one question nobody seems to be asking is: how did this inexperienced, underqualified and overconfident team pitch $25 million dollars in investment to put this festival on?

 

The answer is a good looking pitch deck.

 

Absurd, yes. Seemingly full of untruthful statements, yes. But what isn’t being talked about is the fact that this pitch presentation opened wallets. Likely, a LOT of wallets. As comically-tragic as the whole debacle was, it is a lesson that good design can often carry more weight than a good idea.

 

Let me say it again, as I don’t even completely believe it myself:

 

Persuasive presentation design can influence business decisions more than the merit of the idea itself. Fyre Festival is proof.

 

Read on to see the full pitch deck from the ill-fated Fyre Festival

 

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Topics: Insider, Industry Topics, Graphic Design

Let's make PowerPoint Beautiful again...

It's time to stand out from the crowd.

These articles are all about PowerPoint, presentation design and graphic design. We're here to help you make beautiful slides that make an impact with your audience.

Within two meetings of every major decision in this world, there is a PowerPoint Presentation. We're all about making better slides, so here is what we cover in our learning articles:

  • Create with your audience in mind
  • Learn how to integrate Graphic Design principles into your work
  • Be inspired by new and exciting things
  • Use PowerPoint in different and engaging ways

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