ACGME 2014 Slide Redesign Competition Results

Hello everyone,

As I mentioned in the prior post, Stacey Poznanski, Nathan Allen, and I gave a workshop at the 2014 ACGME national meeting in National Harbor, MD. We offered the participants a chance to submit 3 of their old “before” slides and then 3 “after” slides for a chance to win either Nancy Duarte’s Slide:ology or Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen.

We only had 3 submissions, but there were all great!

Participant #1


Participant #2


Participant #3


This was a hard decision, but the final winner is participant #3, Dr. Chasnovitz. Congratulations!

Amazing workshop indeed…

…thanks to the thirty EM physician educators from around the world who participated in our workshop at The Teaching Course with gusto and made revolutionary changes to their slide design practice, as you can see on the ALiEM site.

In follow-up to Tyson’s post below, here are key take home points from our talk:


“The Lecture is dead, but the Presentation is alive.” Being a good PRESENTER is about becoming a star speaker and having a stellar slide soundtrack  ( 2010).  

Creating that amazing slide soundtrack starts with storyboarding in analog, as described by both Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte, (i.e. on a whiteboard or with pen and paper…gasp!) and also avoids two common bad habits:

  1. Content Overload = teaching your learner too much information.                           It’s best to stick with 3-4 points at max. Remember: The NNT is 4…number needed to  TEACH!
  2. Cognitive Overload = slide design that competes with your spoken message. Avoid making your learners multitask with excessive stimuli on the slide that requires cognitive processing power. Multitasking can lead to traumatic brain injury! Instead, slides should be in the background and provide a powerful emotional and visual message, just like the auditory message of your favorite soundtrack. One of my all-time favs is Braveheart. Imagine capturing that power and emotion the next time you design a presentation.

To avoid cognitive overload, it is best to follow those principles of multimedia design. In upcoming posts, we will provide practical tips on HOW you do this in your slide design software. Be on the lookout for our new series: Slide Studio 101.

Until then…what’s your favorite soundtrack and how does it inspire you?

A special thanks to Michelle Lin and the faculty and participants of The International Faculty Development and Teaching Course. #IEMTC13

The next course is just around the corner!
April 28-May 2, 2014
Registration open Friday, Nov 8th.


Unfortunately, I missed the International EM Teaching course held in Baltimore, Maryland this past week. I hear that Michelle Lin and Stacey Poznanski held an amazing workshop on Resuscitating Powerpoint Slides.

They held a competition for the most improved slides based on some of Mayer’s principles of multimedia learning. You can see the “before and after” slides at:

Fortunately, I will get a chance to work with them and Dr. Robert Tubbs to do a Presentation Design Bootcamp at the 2014 CORD meeting in New Orleans.

Still jealous though…

Before and After – Headache in the ED

I have been reading and developing this presentation design niche for about 5 years now. Sometimes, I come across some of my old presentations and compare them to the newer presentations. It’s interesting to see some of the development and progression across time.

Here is the “before” of a presentation about headache in the ED:

Here is the “after” version. I consider this an early stage of my development:

Good times…