Hey! I'm Nadine Hanafi. I'm the presentation nerd behind this website. Or as I like to say, I'm an entrepre-nerd who loves presentations.
So, what qualifies me to teach you how to create awesome presentations?
Well, in 2013, I founded the award-winning presentation design agency, We Are Visual. And for the past three years, my team and I have been designing presentations for clients ranging from best-selling authors to Fortune 100 executives and TED speakers. We’ve also worked with and coached marketers, professors, engineers, doctors, startups & professional speakers helping them give the best presentations of their careers. Presentations that generated a combined $30M in revenue for our clients, national and international media exposure for some of them and new business opportunities for others. Some of our clients have even credited their improved presentation skills for their job promotions, bonus checks and salary increases.
All this to say that I know a thing or two about making great presentations that produce real results, in the REAL world.
I LOVE designing presentations, but what I love even more is teaching YOU how to make amazing presentations for yourself.
I'm determined to help folks like you, who may not have the $5K to $50K budget to hire a professional designer, learn how to create their own awesome presentations.
In my time as a presentation designer, I have developed and perfected a set of best practices, methods and techniques that we’ve used to create hundreds of winning presentations for our clients.
And now I am putting those best practices and techniques IN YOUR HANDS so you can save your hard-earned money and create presentations like a pro, for life.
THE STORY OF HOW I became a presentation nerd
Ugh, PowerPoint. More like PowerPain-in-the-butt, right?
PowerPoint has caused so much frustration in the world that it has unleashed movements, inspired books and acquired a universal reputation for being the single biggest productivity killer in the business world. Followed closely by email and cat videos.
Which is why I always get funny looks when people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I design PowerPoint presentations.
It’s a look of confusion, doused in pity.
That is until I show them the “stuff” I make in PowerPoint at which point they utter a colorful exclamation followed by “there’s no way you made that in PowerPoint!”
(PS: this, below, is the "stuff" I show them.)
(Ahem) They don’t call me the “PowerPoint Whisperer” for nothing, I say.
Just kidding. I don't actually say that.
I guess you could say I am a PowerPoint PowerUser.
But I didn't start out that way. Far from it. In fact, I used to be really bad at presentations. I used to hate presenting. And, between you and me, I've faked more than one cold to get out of giving presentations. Yes, I know, shameful.
When I look at the old slide decks I made years ago, it's almost embarrassing how artistically challenged I was. I mean, they were B-A-D, bad.
But that all changed one sunny afternoon in 2010 when I came across a SlideShare presentation called "You Suck at PowerPoint". To which I replied: "Omg, yes I do!". After going through this witty, colorful and eye-opening SlideShare, something inside of me shifted. I realized that my presentations could be so much better and this guy showed me exactly what a great presentation should look like. The advice Jesse Desjardins shared in his presentation gave me the push and inspiration to learn more.
And so I googled my little heart out, learning everything I could about presentation design, visual communication, PowerPoint, speaking, storytelling, etc.
I pulled all-nighters making presentations and, despite my bloodshot eyes and over-caffeinated brain, I loved every minute of it. I loved that I could create these beautiful visual stories. I loved the fact that I was so much more confident in delivering my presentations. And I especially loved the reactions I got from the people who attended my presentations. I stopped dreading presentations and started getting excited about them.
Six years have gone by and I’ve now logged in over 10,000 hours in PowerPoint. Malcom Gladwell says that makes me an expert. I say that makes me a presentation nerd.
Three years ago, I decided to capitalize on this weird, nerdy skill I had developed in college and sharpened in the corporate world. I had always dreamed of running my own business and so I did what so many people dream of doing: I turned my passion into a business.
And then amazing things happened. I got interviewed by Fast Company. I got to work with TED speakers, best-selling authors, and CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. I received several awards. It was all very surreal. And the whole time I was pinching myself, thinking "I can't believe this all started with a PowerPoint".
Over the past three years since I started my design agency, We Are Visual, I continued my self-education reading over a hundred books on visual communication, human psychology and cognitive science. I used everything I learned along the way to help create even better presentations for my clients.
I became passionate about sharing all the stuff I had learned about presentation design with the world. I wanted to help people improve their presentations just like I had. So I published my own SlideShares on presentation design which have gotten over half a million views.
I also became a fervent promoter of PowerPoint telling anyone who cared to listen what an awesome tool it actually is. (No, I am not on Microsoft's payroll… but I should be!)
And then, one morning, I woke up to the realization that if I really wanted to help people make better presentations, I needed to do it on a bigger scale.
Working with clients one-on-one was great but it also meant that I could only help one person at a time. Plus, at an average cost of $5K to $15K per presentation, not very many people had the budget to hire my agency.
I knew that the stuff I had to teach could serve more people if only I could package it up in a "do-it-yourself" format that was more affordable for more people. And that's how the idea for Create Awesome Presentations started and it's why I created this website and all the educational material it contains.
The end! Actually, I'm hoping this is only the beginning. The beginning of your journey with me and one that will take you to a better place where you make awesome presentations too.
LET'S GET PERSONAL!
Wow! You've read this far. You must really like me! I really like you too! I guess I feel comfortable sharing some more about me now. So here are a few random facts about me. Let me know if you relate to any of them!
- I speak five languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian & Spanish
- I grew up in Morocco where my family is from. Yes, our food is the best in the world. No, I didn't ride a camel to school.
- I was born in Minnesota on one of the coldest days of the year. Ufdah!
- My first college job was bagging groceries at Ralphs. I was really good at it. I had the fastest hands in Orange County.
- I’m a Sagittarius. My birthday is December 8th. And I only believe in horoscopes when they tell me something good is going to happen. I call it selectively positive superstition.
- I’m super restless and easily bored. I love traveling and anything that takes me outside the range of my normal experiences.
- I dream of starting a nonprofit organization to help support and empower young girls in impoverished areas of Morocco.
- My motto is: Dream big. Start small.
- 8 is my lucky number. Which is why this list contains 8 bullet points. Wait I guess this makes it 9… Darn it.