Contest: The Four Slide Sales Pitch

[Update: the final entries are here.]

In the spirit of Chicago Graduate School of Business’ recent announcement, we’d like to see how well you can sell yourself in four (4) picture-only slides. No audio, no video, no hyperlinks, no multimedia miscellany. Just pictures and text. Make us want you. You have a week.


  • Design your slides. Use Keynote, PowerPoint, Photoshop, a discarded tray liner from Whitecastle, whatever. Just keep the size below 1920×1080, a constraint which will affect none but the most diehard designers.
  • E-mail your name and blog address (if applicable), to dan [at] mrmeyer [dot] com. Attach your slides.
  • Post any reflections on the process in the comments below.


  • Friday, August 10, 23h59, Pacific Standard Time




  • You own your slides, though we’ll post them here (attributed) and, in all likelihood, pick several apart.

How We Got Here

  1. The Dizzying Chasm, Michael McVey
  2. Misunderstanding Chicago, Dan Meyer
I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Design-smisign. It’s about standards and content and you sitting there taking notes from my bullet points, buddy-boy!

    This is CRAZY business.

    A contest? To demonstrate that teachers have design instincts? That the aesthetic/content mash-up on a PPt slide actually matters when we force our kids to look at our best work, or are forced to review what they submit, too?

    What are you going to do next? Suggest that our ‘teaching style’ matters also?

    Absolutely crazy business, Dan. You oughta be drawn-n-quartered for pushing beyond the 2.0 rim shot and the content-is-king battering ram.

    I got content. I got bullet points. And you gotta sit there and take notes. That’s the arrangement. For hundreds of years. And made better by bullet points on PPt slides, in my opinion.

    And now you want me to be a designer? I shop at Target. Let them be designers.

    You’re a crazy man, Dan. Absolutely 100% crazy.

    How this design fru-fru business helps your kids learn the Asquared + Bsquared = Csquared detail is beyond me.

    Maybe I’ll bullet point my argument on a Microsoft template slide and tell you just how crazy you are.


    (psst, Dan.

    Seems awfully quiet after the announcement of your contest.

    Must be the weekend. Sure it’ll pick up a frenzy of steam come Monday.)

  2. Hey, I have another question are we selling ourselves to employers, or to our students?

    Here is what I mean…
    Look at this from Mr. Moses video (I know it does fit the format, but it makes you ponder the idea of audience):

    Whereas mine ( was saying “Hey, here’s why you use technology in the classroom!”

    I’m getting LOTS of ideas from this.

  3. Perhaps the reason for it being quiet is that everyone is concentrating on design. Personally, I feel you’re a tough act to follow Dan.

    Sadly, I’ve put more thought into this “assignment” than I did for many of my papers for my ed. program — and I haven’t even begun creating anything.

  4. Like Mercer, I’m wondering about audience and purpose. For the CGBS applicants, the goal was admission. What’s ours? We need more constraints!

  5. The goal here is acceptance to a second-round interview at whatever college/job you want. If you want to angle this towards a business college, we’ll adapt. If you want to angle this towards a teaching college, we’ll adapt. If you want to angle this towards a school where you’d like employment, we’ll adapt.

  6. Hi
    Thanks for doing this. I also wondered about audience but just figured I was making a pitch to my students to let them know who I am. I know that isn’t quite what you had in mind, but I did find it interesting to limit the slide format to the bare essentials.

  7. The example slide above would be referred to as a”quad chart” in the Pentagon. You can ask for ten’s of millions of dollar with a single quad chart.

  8. I’ve joined the competition!

    I’m glad I found out about this (thanks Scott!) – it was fun. It gave me a chance to practice using my ‘new’ technology. I switched from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu) a little while ago and spent some time this evening playing with different programs in an attempt to make something fancy.

    I opted to go for the traditional slide show since there’s only a day before the deadline!

    Here it is:


  9. These things always make me wish I was more talented… Ah well, at least it’s given me a lesson plan for some of the classes I’m teaching next year!


  10. Curses… foiled again! I can’t enter because dan’s mailbox is full! Looks like there’s been a mass entry at the last minute – which is just soooo like the kids in school do – you’d think we’d learn!

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