This talk about flag design — yes, flag design — by Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible podcast made my day.

Some of these design principles can be directly applied to presentation slide design. Don’t put text on a slide that is hard to read. In most cases a strong, simple, clear image will be more effective than text on a screen, especially if that text is small or redundant or is read word-for-word (no way, right?) by the presenter.

The presentation, of course, is not about the slides, it’s about the interaction of the speaker and the audience resulting in a transformation. Only use slides if they support and enhance that interaction.

Your slides are your flag, your visual symbol of you and your message, but they’re also a tool that should serve your message and not detract from it.

Don’t be like San Francisco or Milwaukee or, holy smokes, Pocatello with their mishmash abominations of design dereliction. Be like Amsterdam, instead, and go for kick-ass.