Tips for making stunning slides!

As we get deeper into holidays, cash starts running low, laziness kicks in, which are the exact reasons to stay home and watch The Middle re-runs. But anyhow, today, I decided to write about something that I love doing in my very academic life – slides!

Here, I’ll give you my two tips on visuals and fonts that I use myself when I make slides. So, here I’ll show you before and after version of the slides that I have previously made over.

The slides are my own making for my school projects for various modules, and most of the slides are the actual slides that my group mates had sent me for compilation. So, these are really not fabrications to illustrate a stark contrast.

Tip 1: Using visuals effectively

Hague (Before).001 Hague

Before and after slides for Public International Law

*A little background about the slides: this was a PIL project that I did a year ago, and the project was on the dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Temple and one of the issues was that there was a 50 over year gap between the first ICJ judgment and second ICJ judgment. So, this was one of the transition slides for that.

There are three things that you could learn here:

(1) Don’t be lazy in Google search images

The before slide was the first image that came to upon searching “The Hague Court” on Google. So, rather than jumping the gun and using whatever first few that came up, you could expand a little more effort into searching for the after picture that I got of the ICJ, which was perfectly symmetrical, thus, allowing me to half B&W it, to illustrate the passage of time.

(2) Incorporate words into the picture

You can tell the difference between the before and after. Two more below that I’ll be showing. And this is where your “Alpha Tool” for Keynote users and “Remove Background” tool for Powerpoint users come in very very handy.

(3) Use bold fonts for stunning effects. And cut down words.

Here are a few more examples to illustrate my point above.

Talent.001  Talent.002

Before and after Talent Management slides (commissioned work for a prof)

Here, notice how from a blank picture, the words were then incorporated into a space that is within the picture. Always look for white spaces like those. In fact, the white space where I typed out my words was not actually a white space initially, it was failed with charts and diagrams. Use “Alpha” to remove them so that you could get the white sheet. Alternatively, you could use “Mask with Shape” tool to cover up all the words that exist in the space that you wanted to use.

ICCJ.001 ICCJ.002 ICCJ.003 ICCJ.004

Before (first slide) and after (remaining three) slides for International & Comparative Criminal Justice

This was for ICCJ and the project concerns invasion and armed conflict and measures to overcome the issue. Notice how the infamous Title + Bullet points slide was broken down into three slides that could effectively convey the provisional measures through pictures. Rather than showcasing three bullet points at one go, the speaker could also pause and explain at each picture as to the intended aim of the interim measures.

Tip 2: Play with fonts!

This part is pretty simple. Here, the main thing is to be best friends with and to have fun! And when you want to emphasise certain phrases or words, you can play with these three things: (1) different fonts, (2) different font sizes, and (3) different font colours.


As you can see, here all of the three tips that I have shared are at work. The roadmap is of a bigger size because it is the title. The four grounds of ICSID issues – Jurisdiction, Fair & Equitable Treatment, National Treatment, and MFN Treatment are all in different colours and fonts.

Hopefully, all of this helps and I’ll post more tips later on. With this, there’s already enough to learn! Of course, there are a lot more tips than this – using icons, how to present when information cannot be further cut down because you just need to cite the whole judgment on the slide (e.g. citing Lord Hoffmann’s judgment etc.). These are common problems that law students face. This is just a teeny weeny bit of what I have accumulated over the years in uni.

Anyway, lemme know of any burning slide question that you have and I’d be happy to help.

Happy holidays!



Eat, sleep, gym, repeat

Yeah, that’s the way Dec holidays should be spent. 5 am bed time, 1 hour leg day, abundant food – second day of holidays is going so far so good.

Checked out lobster rolls at Boston Seafood Shack at Star Vista with Ronald today. At Mama Joan’s recommendation.




A free book and a meal – a treat for editing Ronald’s book!


Lobster bisque and garlic bread


Lobster rolls, fries, and forsaken salad left out of the picture

The lobster bisque was not bad, one of the better ones I’ve had; then again, I haven’t had many. But the lobster roll was meh, although both Mama joan and Ronald praised about it. Maybe I just don’t like lobster rolls after all, since this is my first ever.

The initial reaction for this pigging out would probably be: ‘Whatever happened to going vegetarian?’ Well, I quit, like a lot of things in my life. I gave up after a month or so of going without meat; it was too much of a struggle and inconvenience when everybody around me (Mom and everyone else) were still very very omnivore. Perhaps maybe one day I’ll try it when I live alone. For now, eating normally, again.

Certainly, a tinge of sadness over Investment still haunts me – like last night when I woke up from a nightmare that I scored As and Cs for this Evidence exam which had 5 – 6 essays to write, marked by Prof Rathna. Ridiculous! And so far from reality. Prof Rathna doesn’t teach evidence for one, and it was IP that required 6 essays, and As and Cs are a mix of what I was probably gonna get for the Investment paper on a whole. An amalgamation of all of these fears I had of all of my modules translated into this mega nightmare. No point mulling over Investment now. 17 more days till the results come out!



Monday: EAL  (ffff)
Tuesday: Evi & Civ Pro  (fingers-crossed!!)
Thursday: Trade & Investment (…)
Saturday: IP (Idc, it’s over!)


– post-hoc –

I can’t stop thinking about it. Every waking moment just reminds me of how much I screwed up the Investment paper. It’s pathetic. Performing mental sums over my possible final grade. Calculating over and over again the possible final GPA. As if that would make any difference.

I’m free, but I’m not really free until results come out on the 19th. Gonna be a really long countdown until then. At least, I could find solace in the fact that this would be the last time I’m agonizing over my grades. Finally free from this semester-ly reminder that I’m not-good-enough after three and a half years.



159. That’s the exact number of days left till graduation. I’m not even counting towards end of this sem’s exams.

Last Friday of Y4S1. Spent the whole day binging on salad and cupcakes from Plain Vanilla that eediot Pong surprised me with. Threw mini-tantrums, formatted Pong’s report many times over by drawing squiggly ribbons and green circles, got infatuated with Champagne & Limousines font, continued editing Pong’s report till we had to take last trains home.

When you’re a nerd, there’s so much bliss in mugging till last train. HA. We need help.


                        Shazam! Cupcakes from eediot

Didn’t much like the red velvet but salted caramel was awesome. I know I know I have an insatiable sweet tooth, but four cupcakes is a little excessive and you don’t have to get four just because you wanted all packed in a pretty box. Typical Pong.


I’m telling you, look at the camera! -__-

 Reading week and one week of exams and that’s it for Y4S1. Push on, everybody!


Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore


Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

- image from Amazon

Finished this book – a gift from Pong (again) recently and what do I make of it? Well, I must say I was hooked to it from the very first chapter. The book opened with this character, Clay, who recently lost his job as a designer, searching desperately for some sort of meaningful employment. Desperate, he stumbled upon a local bookstore, in a shady part of town – and well, surprise, surprise, that bookstore was of course Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It happened that the bookstore was looking for help and Clay cluelessly went into the bookshop, only to find the strange Mr. Penumbra asking him ‘What do you seek in those shelves?’ Through the workings of fate and luck, Clay then ended up getting employed at the bookstore. Then, as the book progressed, Clay discovered eccentricities of the bookstore and its visitors, which led him to decoding a 500-year-old code, which the visitors of the bookstores had always been trying to solve for centuries.

I know right, it sounds bad, like something out of a young adult section. Well, I must admit the language is a little childish at times, but I got hooked to it and I just had to finish it because I wanted to know the answer to that 500-year-old code. The answer was a little of a surprise, and it was kinda genius how everything connected together: think secret messages embedded within typefaces only observable when zoomed in at a bajillion times. Yep, to a typography fanatic like me, it was pretty cool. I wouldn’t recommend for much more serious readers though, ‘cos of the one-dimensional characters with I guess pretty predictable behaviour, but the plot was pretty much of a surprise.

Anyhow, it’s week 12 of the semester already! One more week to end of school. Yeah!


Photo 23-10-14 2 47 23 am

Amidst all the craziness that end of term is snowballing into, this picture that Pong randomly sent me today makes me feel so happy and warm inside. Imma proud recipient of perfect attendance audience award for Guitarissimo’s concerts since 2011.


WOOHOO! IP RP down – close to 5,000 words written, could you believe it? At least to me, it’s my longest individual submission ever. Hey, cut me some slack, I’m only an average law student.

Stuff coming up in what’s left of the semester (WOOTWOOT!):
Week 10: Trade midterm + IP presentation
Week 11: EAL presentation
Week 12: Prep for Investment presentation
Week 13: Investment presentation
Week 14: EAL RP
Week 15: EXAMS

So fast! To think I was doing a similar list less than five weeks ago – I love love love crossing things out.


Recess week is coming to an end; fleeted by way too fast. Spent the whole week just trying to meet all the deadlines. On the bright side, five more weeks to end of the term (not counting the exams in).

Why do we spend so much time on something that makes us all so miserable inside?

‘She was the girl with the broader shoulders
But she would die before I crawled over them
She is taller than I am
She knew I wouldn’t mind the view there
Or the altitude with a mouth full of air
She let me down the doubt came out until the now became later’

Gotta be a warrior to carry on with the rest of the term. Feels like my recent entries have been centred around school (and just whining). Bleh.



22 on Wednesday last week – exactly a week ago, expecting nothing from anybody except maybe from Pong and family; I had evi presentation anyways. First October has always coincided with either exams or mid-terms or whatever that I had learnt to expect nothing when this time of the year rolls around. In this day and age, who really bothers remembering your birthday, unless Facebook notifies you, isn’t it?

Our generation – we grow up in an age when networking is made so easy, and sometimes it’s so hard to discern what is genuine or otherwise. This is exactly the reason why I had shied away from social media like Facebook and Instagram since the start of this year.

Being friended is not the same as having friends. And this year, in my recluse, I was expecting close to nothing on Wednesday last week but had pretty pleasant surprises when Wednesday rolled around last week. It’s a pleasant feeling to be surrounded by a handful of real-life well-wishers (sincere or otherwise) this year. Pong, with two cakes (one including my favourite carrot cake) and a flower, followed by nice drinks and bar bites at CHIJMES’s Here & There; family, waiting up with my ‘surprise’ cake until the nerd me got home from after a long day at school; Pong’s friend with the brownie; law school kids with cake; Sam with her rather ‘unique’ birthday card; and evi group mates’ yummy carrot cake and all. And my constant two – Klam and Nana – celebrated two days after as well.

Plus, we did well for evi presentation that day; what more could I ask for? :)

Photo 8-10-14 12 47 37 am

Happy birthday me!



In an attempt to feel slightly chirpier and not look like crap when going to school, whipped out my yellow clothing out of wardrobe today. IMG_5573.JPG Not that it feels any better. Recess week faster come already. I’m so sick of reading over and over again about expert witness opinions and hearsay and crap. Gosh, almost half the sem down. Can’t wait for HK in December. And after my presentation on Wednesday, I need to get back my fitness on track; I’ve been binge-eating and not exercising at all. And losing all my gains. I need help. Five more days until Wednesday. Just faster come already.