WordArt – The Devil’s Drawings

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Simon Morton

OK…a little harsh you may feel, but this is a subject that really riles us here at Eyeful.

Why oh why do people use WordArt?  To us, it smacks of 1 of 3, equally sinful, reasons:

  1. They’re lazy
  2. They think it looks good
  3. They’ve run out of time

WordArt polaroidDear Presenter – NONE of these reasons are acceptable (and if you can think of anymore please let us know).  The reason?  They dramatically lower the aesthetic quality of any presentation and can do untold damage to your personal brand.  OK – let’s go through each of the reasons again…

  1. LAZY – if you can’t be bothered then why are you presenting in the first place?  Surely if you’re adding sub standard quality then the whole experience is going to be sub standard for your audience. Time for a hard think about whether you should be presenting.
  2. LOOKING GOOD – if you think WordArt looks good, please please please let someone else critique your slides. We’re not saying you have no taste (alright, maybe we are), but a second (honest) opinion will always be of great help.
  3. LACK OF TIME – OK, this happens to the best of us.  But if this is the case, then just leave it out. Take the time to explain what you wanted to get across, or maybe even do a bit of live drawing. Whilst you may not be Rolf Harris, this gives another opportunity to get interactive with your audience.

For those seeking salvation from the horrors of WordArt, here’s a heartwarming story.  Many moons ago, we started working with a brilliant presenter (and we mean brilliant – this chap gets paid a lot of money to speak all over the World) who had a weird compulsion to use WordArt throughout his presentations.  We won’t name names but rest assured, after some intense Presentation Optimsation therapy, our client has been WordArt-free for the last 24 months.  We’re very proud of him…and his slides.

So in conclusion, WordArt is a presentation design no-no.  Today’s audiences know how much of a cop out using it is and, quite frankly, they deserve better.

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7 Responses to “WordArt – The Devil’s Drawings”

  1. Kevin Heath says:

    I totally agree.
    And can we reprint the entire thing for “Bean People”

  2. Agree and ditto for SmartArt with overly luscious colors. SmartDraw gives better-quality and more elegant images for PowerPoint.

  3. Thank you so much for this article, and of course I agree!
    Let me give you far better advice if you want to be creative in your presentation….look for examples, anecdotes or comparisons to illustrate your point and show images to visualise it!

  4. Sean Keane says:

    Agree! Quite often a symptom of “customised boilerplate” presentations…

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