How to do an agenda slide like Garr Reynolds

by Olivia Mitchell

Garr Reynolds’ slides from his recent webcast are now online. Garr has an innovative agenda slide. He’s transformed what is normally a boring bullet-point slide into something beautiful and effective. Check out slides 7 to 12 for the agenda slide sequence:

Slides (in PDF) from Safari Webcast

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: japan zen)

Here’s what I like about it:

  1. It’s a visual representation of the presentation timeline. I can see how much time is going to be spent on each section of the presentation.
  2. It reinforces the main theme of the presentation. I can immediately grasp that the most important part of the presentation is “How design thinking can help”.  Garr uses both size and colour to achieve this.
  3. It looks beautiful. Notice in particular the trademark Garr colour scheme – varying shades of the same colour plus one stand-out colour for the most important section.
  4. It’s an elegant solution. Horizontal timelines are intuitive but it’s sometimes difficult to fit the words in horizontally. By putting some above and and some below the line Garr has elegantly solved this problem.

It’s easy to make an agenda slide like this. Create one for your next presentation and your audience will find it both innovative and useful.

UPDATE: Ellen Finkelstein has posted a fantastic step-by-step tutorial on how to create this agenda slide. See “Create a timeline agenda in PresentationZen style”.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzannah January 8, 2009 at 9:23 am

“It’s easy to make an agenda slide like this.” Hmm…not so easy if you’re not a powerpoint expert. Is this available in Powerpoint, and if so, can you provide a step-by-step on how to make a slide like this? Thanks.


Olivia Mitchell January 8, 2009 at 10:05 am

Hi Suzannah

Yes, I did make an assumption there – you’re quite right. Yes you can do it in PowerPoint. What you need to do is create an Autoshape and then use Custom Animation to animate it. Here are some links I found to tutorials that tell you how to do it:
How to create an autoshape
how to use custom animation to bring in each autoshape
You will find lots of other step-by-step tutorials by searching google for “PowerPoint tutorial autoshape” and “PowerPoint tutorial custom animation”. These were just the first two that I found that described how to do it.

Hope this helps.


Olivia Mitchell January 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Update – I’ve asked Ellen Finkelstein – PowerPoint tutorial expert – to create a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Olivia


Olivia Mitchell January 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

Ellen Finkelstein has now posted a tutorial on how to create this agenda slide See


Daniel Kuperman May 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

Garr Reynolds rocks! Thanks for sharing the excellent presentation. Interesting that many presenters don’t think much of the agenda slide, it’s usually the slide that’s left to the intern to create and never taken seriously. Often times I can tell how good a presentation will be based on what is in the Agenda slide and how it was designed.

BTW, good tutorial by Ellen on creating that nice agenda slide Gary uses.


Olivia Mitchell May 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

Hi Daniel
Yes, the agenda slide is part of the impression we create at the beginning of a presentation. It can either help build anticipation in the audience as to what they’re about to hear, or have them sink down into their seats.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: