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The case for slidedoc publishing

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In contrast to the plethora of support available for presentations in PowerPoint, it is near impossible to find a supplier who will assist with 'finishing' of documents created in PowerPoint (what Nancy Duarte refers to as 'slidedocs'). Typostudio specialises in assisting their corporate clients with editing, proofreading and design of slidedocs, at a reasonable cost and with quick turnaround.

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The case for slidedoc publishing

  1. 1. Publishing
  2. 2. In a fast-paced world where time is limited and distractions abound, executives want information in a format that is easy to digest. Pages filled with words hold little interest and get scanned at best. Presentations, on the other hand, when done well, comprise bite- sized chunks of visually-rich information which are impactful, but typically and ideally don’t hold enough detail to constitute a document. In between these two extremes, we get what Nancy Duarte, American thought leader on communication, calls ‘slidedocs’. Slidedocs
  3. 3. After 14 years in management consulting, Typostudio founder Sarah de Villiers has worked extensively with slidedocs, usually in the form of proposals or project status reports. PowerPoint their preferred software, consultants find presentation software more flexible than traditional word processors in presenting one main idea per page, with a combination of visuals and text providing further impact.
  4. 4. Like consultants, executives tend to focus on the content of their documents, quite understandably ignoring aesthetic and other ‘finishing’ considerations. Yet, it is the finishing aspects of a document which often determine whether or not content resonates. This is especially true in professional environments, and in the professional services industry specifically, where products are intangible. When opportunities for differentiation are not determined solely by observable product features or objective performance criteria, social, psychological and emotional factors become more emphasized in stakeholder decisions.
  5. 5. But differentiation extends beyond aesthetic considerations, to quality of writing as well. As Bryan Garner argues “You may think you shouldn’t fuss about your writing – that good enough is good enough. But that mind-set is costly. Supervisors, colleagues, employees, clients, partners, and anyone else you communicate with will form an opinion of you from your writing. If it’s artless and sloppy, they may assume your thinking is the same. And if you fail to convince them that they should care about your message, they won’t care. They may even decide you’re not worth doing business with. The stakes are that high.” Harvard Business Review, 2012
  6. 6. It stands to reason, then, that the slidedocs we present to our clients and prospective clients can serve to set us apart from competitors, or – indeed – lose us the pitch. Realising the value in what she now refers to as slidedoc ‘publishing’, Sarah spent the better part of a year searching both in South Africa and internationally for suppliers to assist her and her colleagues with copy-editing, proofreading, and PowerPoint design. Unable to find a supplier who could offer a turnkey service in this regard, at a reasonable cost and with quick turnaround, Sarah started doing the work herself. Finding a niche for her creativity, academic and editorial skill, as well as commercial and consulting experience, Sarah decided in 2015 to start providing a boutique service in slidedoc publishing to her corporate clients.
  7. 7. The author/s write the ‘story’ that they are wanting to communicate, and email the slidedoc through to Typostudio, together with any relevant information on context, corporate identity requirements, deadline, etc. The process
  8. 8. At Typostudio, the first order of business is to evaluate the storyline, editing copy to ensure maximum impact and persuasiveness. Structure is added if necessary, breaking up content into sections and easily-digestible frameworks. A style guide is used to ensure consistency in spelling and punctuation convention (US vs UK). Taking into account any corporate identity restrictions, the next step is to choose a design style that fits the company and the topic. This may include selection of appropriate stock images, illustrations, or interesting typography. Modern graphic design principles are applied, including ‘flat’ and ‘grid-based’ design. An objective and critical eye picks up typos and other errors in the most unexpected places. Not taking the time to check and correct these, guarantees loss of credibility. 80%
  9. 9. Depending on the amount of time available, there may be some edits and revisions before the document is finalized. Sign off100% Once content is signed off, page numbers, etc. are re-checked. File size is managed by compressing images and cleaning up the master. Document metadata is sanitized, and file name and format are finalized.
  10. 10. Sarah de Villiers, founder of Typostudio MSocSc (Natal 1997), MBA (De Montfort UK, 2003) Following an A aggregate for matric in 1991, Sarah de Villiers originally qualified as a HPCSA registered psychologist, obtaining both her Honours and Master’s degrees from the University of Natal cum laude. Later, based on her GMAT results, Sarah was awarded a full bursary for her MBA degree through De Montfort University. Sarah transitioned from counselling to industrial psychology when she joined MAC Consulting (one of the largest privately owned consulting firms in South Africa) in 2002, first as management consultant, and later as internal support. Although responsible for all MAC’s internal branding, communication and publishing between 2010 and mid-2015 (and their annual magazine since 2007), she has also managed many unrelated internal projects successfully, with project values up to R4m. With a particular interest in communication, Sarah is the recipient of several annual awards from the SA Publication Forum (an industry standard in corporate publishing in South Africa) for ‘MAC Matters’ magazine, including runner-up in 2012 for best once-off publication. Deciding in 2015 to specialise in corporate publishing, Sarah has retained MAC as a client, but is also now freelancing. Founder of Typostudio, Sarah has a network of writers, journalists, graphic designers and photographers, from which she hand-picks suppliers to assist in creating internal and external publications for her corporate clients. She holds a particular interest in slidedoc publishing, a concept and service she has pioneered in South Africa.Click on the image to read one of Sarah’s publications.
  11. 11. Sarah de Villiers +27 (0)83 235 7801 sarah@typostudio.co www.typostudio.co Let’s discuss!