After PowerPoint, What's Next - Message and Communication- Haiku Deck

After PowerPoint, What’s Next? HaikuDeck.

When you think about your actual experience, the consensus of opinion is that you are surrounded on all sides by ugly PowerPoint. Like basic fundamentals, advance planning, my personal opinion and true facts, I am absolutely certain that ugly PowerPoint has become a redundant expression.*

There’s enough of them around that inFocus ran a competition for the worlds ugliest slide.

Since there’s a large number of presentations out there, that’s a lot of ugliness in the world. Microsoft has a lot to answer for. Many point out that the root of the problem is human, not software, but there’s no doubt PowerPoint enables certain destructive tendencies in preparing and presenting material: Presenters Monologuing to an audience, Disconnected thinking and Ugly slides.

In previous posts SlideKlowd took on monologuing, Prezi connects thinking, now it’s the turn of HaikuDeck and ugly slides.



Beautiful presentations are few and far between. You can find some examples on slideshare, and Note&Point. The best ones are usually well crafted visual stories made by professionals. Microsoft and PowerPoint have never really helped the rash of ugly or the epidemic of appalling. The problem lies in the increasing functionality of PowerPoint and the limited time/skill/eye of the average PowerPoint user. It’s just too easy to cut and paste a paragraph, insert clipart, slap in a dropshadow and pixelate an image. Et voila another ugly PowerPoint deck is born. Thanks Microsoft, thanks PowerPoint (ab)user.

The basic premise of HaikuDeck — take away much of the functionality that’s available in PowerPoint, you’ll get a prettier deck. Think bowling with the guardrails up. You’ll to get a higher score. What HaikuDeck produces really well is a billboard slide. Essentially a great picture with a line or two of well laid out typography. It’s very easy to do: Pick a style template (HaikuDeck comes with a limited number of free templates) type in your first line of text. HaikuDeck searches creative commons licensed images and suggests ones related to your text. Pick one, search with other terms, or load your own photographs. A couple more taps and you’re done. Rinse and repeat a few times, and you have a very polished looking deck in minutes. All you need is something to say.

Did I give the impression it’s very easy? It is. Idiot-proof? Almost. So HaikuDeck will give you great looking presentations simply and easily. There is a big downside. If you don’t own an iPad, there’s no HaikuDeck for you, at least not for a couple of months. The good news is the HaikuEngineers and HaikuDesigners are busy working on it. In the meantime, if you do have an iPad, give it a whirl.

Great for:

Putting together a great looking deck quickly and easily. Hardly any learning curve. Good for the Inventors and Coordinator presenter types.

Watch out for:

No iPad, No HaikuDeck.

*That’s a pleonasm to you wordanistas.

Gavin_Animated-GifGavin is a founding partner at fassforward consulting group. He blogs about PowerPoint, Presenting, Communication and Message Discipline at You can follow him on twitter @powerfulpoint.

More at Google+Facebook and Pinterest. Comments are welcome, links are appreciated. If you’re interested in writing guest posts for this blog, please contact me.


  1. Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. | March 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Love, love, love Haiku Deck! I use it for presentations, slide casts, and getting the perfect image for my blog. I’m excited for this next release. There was talk about being able to show data.

  2. nickskellon2013 | March 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I’m old enough to remember the days of overhead projectors and hand-written transparencies, and Powerpoint was an awesome, brilliant product .I think criticizing Powerpoint is like criticizing the English language. Some people use it beautifully while some mangle it horrifically. But that’s the user’s fault,not the language’s itself. That said … Haiku Deck looks awesome. I can’t wait to have a play on it. Anything that ‘enforces’ simplicity and eliminates the typical Powerpoint ‘data dump’ gets the thumbs up from me.

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