Special Effects!

Once you've seen the many special effects in Dr. Debby's samples, you may want to learn how to make them yourself. If you want to be contacted in the future about new announcements regarding Dr. Debby's upcoming "Ultimate How-to Tips," please sign up below.

Presentation Design

PowerPoint® Classes




Presentations with Pizzazz

Business presentations, scientific or medical talks, engineering diagrams, vacation and family photo albums, special celebrations, art portfolios – Dr. Debby does it all!


Customized classes for all skill levels and ages (including children and grandparents). Topics include PowerPoint Presentation Design, PowerPoint Photo Album, Drawing with PowerPoint and Creating Charts. Classes can range from one-on-one to large workshops. Not in the San Francisco Bay area? Talk to Dr. Debby about a live online remote class!

Samples & Information



“Debby has been an excellent source in helping my boss and me with a last minute presentation. She is an excellent instructor, has a great deal of patience and perseverance. She rearranged her schedule to do whatever it took to get the project done. I would recommend Debby to anyone who needs a presentation to be revised, or start from the beginning to the end. If you want the PowerPoint Princess to save the day you need to contact her. Thanks again Debby!”

--K. W. (an Accountant and Sales Manager)

“I want to express my gratitude for the masterful job Deborah Gilden did developing my PowerPoint presentation. I am very appreciative not only of her technical expertise and incredible breadth of knowledge but of her creativity as well…. very enjoyable working with her. She is extremely patient, courteous and hard working. ...She possesses a truly impressive knowledge of PowerPoint….”

--S. R. (an attorney mediator and seminar speaker)

"Twenty-four hours ago I did not know you and now my presentation is not only finished—it looks great." 

-- SMS, Consultant

"Hi Debby,
Thanks again for the class …. You are really patient, but mostly you teach in such a way that it's easy to follow.  … when I was thinking what a know-it-all I am, you had something new to show. So, kudos to that. This is a great program and thank you again.  [A useful online course I like a lot is] not even close to your competition. It's not charming like you are or interactive."

-- E. D. (a Web designer)

“Debby’s technical skill with PowerPoint is versatile and complete, and the use of color, action, sound, and highly illustrative graphics on the slides [resulted in] a terrific improvement from [our previous version]. … [She has] the ability to [present] difficult …concepts …graphically in a manner that is simple, original, witty, and most important easy to grasp….”

-- A. N. (a businessman)

“Dr. Deborah Gilden…delivers extraordinary presentation designs…. Microsoft itself does not realize the self-developed, innovative techniques Debby has [invented]. She works quickly, communicates well with her clients, and delivers a quality product.”

-- H. M. (a university administrator)

"I highly recommend Debby Gilden ...if you would like a polished, multimedia presentation... Debby can do in a few hours what it might take you and your staff several days to do.... She really knows her stuff, and is an absolute wiz with PowerPoint... I give her my highest recommendation."

-- R. E. C. (an attorney)

“…Debby Gilden’s artistic work is creative, humorous and informative. She maintains the viewer’s attention by the entertaining manner of her presentations…. Her attention to detail is presented in a professional and effective matter….Debby [has the] ability to use PowerPoint computer graphics beyond its expected limits."

-- I. S. (an engineer/computer consultant)

“The quality of presentations Dr. Gilden (has designed) for me is the highest I have seen in any context….her materials give me an edge over my peers in terms of freshness and communication.”

-- M. K. (a research scientist)

“Dear Deborah, It has been a long time since Pacific…Foundation had [such a] thorough, clear and well-delivered presentation.”

-- J. B. (the Executive Director of a non-profit organization)

“[Instead of the mechanical slide sequence] I envisioned…Debby Gilden…[created] a multimedia happening that exceeded all expectation…. Debby paid attention to detail from beginning to end… The phrase “Goes the extra mile” definitely applies to Debby….” Her consistent response to my repeated questions asking “if she could do something on a slide…was ‘sure!’”

-- H.R. (a husband who hired Dr. Debby to design a surprise presentation for his wife's special birthday party)

“[Dr. Debby Gilden] is fast & excellent”

-- P. F. (a businesswoman)

The Ten Commandments of Powerpoint® Presentation Design©

Are you ready to design PowerPoint® presentations that are a cut above? Follow these ten "commandments” to avoid the amateurish ho-hum look that has given PowerPoint a bad reputation, and you will look like a pro!

Ever wonder why everybody thinks “bullet points” when they hear “PowerPoint”?  It’s because Microsoft® made the default layout for new slides automatically create a bullet-point list of text.

Don’t be lured into the bullet point trap.  Experiment with different slide layouts – especially with “Blank”—and with placing text and graphics in different locations.  Your slides are actually blank canvasses on which you can put anything any place.  If you find that scary – like too much freedom – gain some confidence by learning some elements of good design.  An excellent source of ideas for color combinations, as well as for the density and placement of text and graphics, is magazine ads, and even billboards.  The subject matter is irrelevant.  Simply identify ads that you find pleasing and effective, note their color schemes and structure, and you will soon discover some common characteristics, e.g. simple, uncluttered layouts; easy-to-read text; etc.

To give you a quick start on how to design presentations with a bit of polish and pizzazz, I’ve developed the Ten Commandments of PowerPoint® Presentation Design.  Following them is the first step to designing presentations that are heavenly.

  1. Thou shalt not place more than 6 lines of bullet points on a slide.
  2. Thou shalt use text and graphics colors that have high contrast with the background.
  3. Thou shalt ensure that text is large enough to be read by those sitting in the back of the room.
  4. Thou shalt never use animations gratuitously.
  5. Thou shalt choose transitions that reveal slides in logical ways.
  6. Thou shalt design only uncluttered, balanced slides with white space to ensure aesthetic composition.
  7. Thou shalt use graphics rather than bullet points if it more clearly transmits information.
  8. Thou shalt design slides that are pleasing to look at.
  9. Thou shalt never need to say “I know you can’t read this but…”.
  10. Thou shalt honor thy audience by designing presentations that  
      are interesting, engaging, and serve a purpose.


Powerpoint® for Attorneys


PowerPoint® is an effective tool in the courtroom. I have created powerful, persuasive presentations for attorneys that have helped them win large settlements.

Let's fact it, being on a jury can be boring. Even if the case itself is interesting, the verbiage is often technical, confusing, rambling, monotonous, and/or redundant. The talk, talk, talk can seem to go on forever.

If evidence, such as a police report, is being passed around, those examining it tune our whoever is speaking, thereby possibly missing important information.

Well-designed, attractive, PowerPoint® presentations that help clarify information, can address these problems.

PowerPoint® is a blank canvas just waiting to display your visual information. What's more, it can be shown on a large screen, making it easy for all to see. Thus everyone can see the same information at the same time, ensuring that all are on the same page as the presenter. In addition, a well-prepared presentation can help the attorney pace his or her presentation, as well as guarantee that no points are forgotten.

As a freelance PowerPoint® designer, I have created presentations for attorneys that have been extremely persuasive and helped win larger settlements.

Examples of what I included in these presentations are:

  • before and after photos of accident victims
  • digital photos of accident scenes and of surgical procedures performed on the victim of malpractice
  • scans of x-rays, police reports, and medical records
  • videos showing how difficult life has become for an accident victim as a result of the accident
  • animations of the illustrations of medical procedures
  • charts showing everything from fever records to lost potential earnings
  • audio recordings of an attorney interviewing a surgeon

If you are very skilled in PowerPoint® animation, you can even make diagrammatic simulations of accidents, such as the one I designed showing a car crash.

It is clear that PowerPoint® is a very useful tool in the courtroom.

Analog People in a Digital World: Designers - Can You Hear Us?


With all the time and money spent on designing products that are "user friendly," why is it that tried and true features that have worked perfectly well for decades are being replaced with ones that don't? Wing windows in cars (sorry if you're too young to know what I'm talking about) were great. You could angle those little triangles to direct the flow of air where you wished. Better yet, you knew that if your pooch stuck her nose out that little space, there was absolutely no danger of her falling out. I'm told that the electric window (yes, children – we used to have to crank them open and closed) caused the demise of the wing window – but I don't believe it. Surely they don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Lest you think I'm an old fuddy duddy, let me assure you I'm not. I love the latest gadgets – if they serve a purpose. And I'm so into computers that I even own (and occasionally wear) a heather gray tee shirt that says "" in powder blue. And speaking of computers – here is another example of replacing what works with what doesn't. All my old laptop computers all had a wonderful thumb wheel switch to control the audio intensity (or as they erroneously say, the "volume"). What a concept – an analog device to control an analog feature! In no time my thumb learned just how far to turn the switch to achieve the perfect loudness level, and it only took one little motion. In contrast, to adjust sound intensity in my current laptop computer I have to press either an increase loudness button or a decrease loudness button. And pressing these once usually does not do the job, so I press one over and over and over – oops – too loud; now press the other button once –- oops – too soft. Well, you get the picture.

This obsession with digital is being taken to absurd extremes. It's now invaded household appliances. We have a new dishwasher. Unlike the old one, it has no dials – just buttons you can press either on or off. All you can do with this machine is turn it on, pause it, make it resume, or stop it. It's supposed to save on energy, yet its shortest cycle (rinse only) is 90 minutes – and there is nothing you can do to shorten it! Who needs to rinse dishes for 90 minutes? How can this possibly save energy? I am told that all new dishwashers are like this, and that washing machines and driers are close behind.

As they say, it's time to get real. People are real. Besides, we were here first. Hey all you designers – please give us some people-friendly technology before things get even worse.



MAP Winner

Most Accomplished Presenter

MAP Award winner uses PowerPoint to bring accessibility to visually impaired student read more