Episode 20: The Power of Visuals in Your Presentation – Interview with Nadine Hanafi of We Are Visual

People appreciate it when you make an effort to simplify [dense] information…and put it in an image that will make it easy for them to absorb.

nadine hanafi design draw speakThis week I’m gettin’ visual with Visual Thinker and Communication Designer Nadine Hanafi.

Nadine is the founder of We Are Visual, a company dedicated to turning mediocre PowerPoint decks into visual experiences that persuade, inspire and engage. How cool is that?!

Not only determined to rid the world of mediocre presentations, Nadine also aims to ’empower people to become visual leaders and thinkers’ through her work.

She believes that a good idea alone won’t save a weak presentation. Having strong visuals can not only boost your presentation, but can also ignite passion, inspire others and get YOUR message across, just as you intended!


In this episode you will discover:

  • Nadine’s “Two Things” about Slideshare:
    1. Be remarkable
    2. Show it, don’t just tell it
  • Tips for creating a great Slideshare presentation, and how to get noticed.
  • Two things about visuals:
    1. Visuals aren’t necessary for a great presentation, but you need to be a rockstar storyteller!
    2. Good visuals alone won’t save you – you also need great content
  • How great use of visuals can take your presentation to the next level
  • Why simple and clear is much better than too many images or focal points
  • How to tell a story using just pictures
  • How to use an image as the punchline of a joke, or the answer to a question
  • Creative ways of using text in your presentation
  • When should you use white text on black, or black text on white?
  • When should you use capitals or lowercase text?
  • The #1 thing Nadine struggled with when giving presentations at university, and how she overcame it
  • …and plenty more!

Get in touch with Nadine:

Website: http://www.wearevisual.com/
Give her some Facebook love: https://www.facebook.com/thevisualedge
Follow her and We Are Visual on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheVisualTeam https://twitter.com/naydeene

Challenge of the Week:

Check out Slideshare! It’s an amazing resource and a great way to share your own work, practice creating a great slideshow, and receive feedback from other users. (Bonus tip: Slideshare is strongly integrated with LinkedIn, meaning your work is easily sharable with your professional network. Think about the potential exposure!)

Still not convinced? See below for the Slideshare presentation I made for Nadine. So far it’s had almost 3oo views, plus I made the ‘Hot on Facebook’ section within 2 days of uploading it. This I was NOT expecting! If I can do it, so can you :)


  1. Bastien Houllé says:

    Very interesting Congrats

  2. Very informative and dynamic interview, so thanks for sharing. (Nice to hear an Aussie accent, too! I’ve lived in Aus for 20+ years.)

    A couple of Nadine’s examples may have struck me the wrong way though. That’s because one of the worst webinars I’ve seen was by a guy who used only picture slides (some of them with just a few words). He also spent the first 5 minutes talking about his personal life, and showing photos to match, which was of absolutely no value to the audience. So some of what Nadine said reminded me too much of that bad experience.

    Still, I really liked how she said that so much about slide content and design depends on context. So in a business meeting, typically you’d use less photos and more data or diagrams. Gotta love it when a presenter’s flexible and gives the specific audience what they need!

    I’d say having lots of slides of the same type is what makes most presentations boring. So to me, it matters little whether the slides all contain bullets or they all contain photos. Better to mix it up by using audience interaction, video clips, a flipchart (projected if necessary), black slides (like when telling a story or answering a question), charts, quotes, diagrams, etc.

    For more about the bad webinar I mentioned, and how to fix it, please see:

    Anyway, your niche of presentation skills for design students is a great idea. Have you seen the 3-Minute Thesis talks given at Uni of Melbourne? They’re a really neat way to share ideas in academia.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

What are your thoughts?