Bill and TED’s excellent adventure.

Here are all 28 slides used in Bill Gates’ “Innovating to Zero” talk at TED on February 12, 2010.
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Why are they so good?

  • They tell the story, even without his narration.
  • No chart junk.
  • Exactly the right amount of information. No more, no less.
  • Every graphic element has been considered, and has a purpose. Every graphic element works.
  • Color, emotion, drama. Human faces.
  • Most of the slides have 10 words or less. The most powerful slide has one number. The second most powerful slide has two words.
  • Only 28 slides.

Don’t hesitate to watch the talk itself. But also consider how the visuals have been carefully constructed and choreographed to help a powerful man deliver a critical message (some say the most important climate change message you’ll hear this year). I plan on returning to these graphics again and again to remind myself, and my clients, how slides are really supposed to work.
Ironically, from the man who made chart junk such a problem in the first place.

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