Category: four slide sales pitch

Total 14 Posts

Second Place (tie): Paul Williams

[Important: see the retraction.]

Paul Williams. Tied for second place. The decision as explained by judge Christian Long:

Given the wide open nature of the contest’s focus on topic, slide sets that immediately won you over at first glance set the bar for all other submissions. Paul William’s opening slide — “I wasn’t born perfect” — showcased 2 vital elements for the judges:

  1. It was graphically sophisticated while
  2. turning upside down the “highlight your strengths” tendency that most admission directors tend to be flooded by (reference to the U. of Chicago 4-slide project that Dan’s contest grew out of).

As a judge, I was pulled into Paul’s story from the get-go, loving his irony and design aesthetic. Simultaneously, we were pleased to see the ‘story’ Paul hinted at unfolding slide-by-slide while being playful about the slide layouts at each turn. When themes are maintained while offering slight variations in techniques, the audiences’ interest remains piqued and confirmed: a great combination.

After much discussion, the only constructive critique the judges would offer to Paul would be that the content only hinted at his real story (and risked being too anonymous for an admissions team to take seriously) and that the color scheme of the last slide did not match the previous 3. We would suggest that each slide’s content could be sharpened in terms of a tangible detail and that ‘red’ could show up in the final slide, while ‘green’ could play a subtle role in slides 1-3. Beyond that, this was a first-class example of intentional design with an eye on pulling the audience forward into the story.

The judges invite Paul to deliver an acceptance speech here, perhaps correcting our speculation and explaining his design. Congratulations are in order either way.


  1. The Contest Announcement
  2. The Final Entries

Announcement Schedule:

  1. Second Place (tie): 09h00 PST
  2. Second Place (tie): 12h00 PST
  3. First Place: 15h00 PST

Four Slide Sales Pitch: Final Entries

The judges will now spend the better part of a day deliberating within a smoke-filled room. We’ll get back to you Monday morning (Pacific Standard Time, again) but until then, feel free to issue your own top three or perhaps your own analysis of the ambitions and successes of the candidates.

The work is good. Enjoy the work. The three of us certainly have.


Seventeen Hours Left!

Gotta say, I’m impressed with both the turnout and the quality of submissions so far. If I had a free week here at the end of summer, I’d definitely spend it deconstructing the choices some entrants made in cracking this particularly tough design nut.

Here’s the current list. Add your name before 23h59 Pacific Standard Time tonight. We’ll announce winners Monday morning.

Alice Mercer
Diane Cordell
Dave Stacey
Colette Cassinelli
John Pederson
Marcie Hull
Chris Duke
Ethan Bodner
Nancy Bosch
Glenn Moses
Carolyn Foote
Kevin Hodgson
Graham Wegner
Paul Williams
Tracy Rosen
Jeffrey Pierce
Gail Desler
Ms. H.
Mr. H.
Neil Winton
Mindy Jurus