How to present with enthusiasm and charisma – again and again

David de Léon

I love watching competent speakers talk enthusiastically about the things that engage them. But when I give my own talks I sometimes find it hard to find that enthusiasm, especially if it’s a talk I have to give repeatedly. Do you have a similar problem? Then you are going to like an old acting technique that I am about to teach you, something that solved this problem for me.

David de Léon at the Amuse conference in Budapest 2017. Photo credit: Istvan Toth‏

I have a talk about applying the principles of stage magic to user experience design. The talk is a labour of love and combines two of my great passions. But, the last time that I was scheduled to give it, my heart wasn’t quite in it. I had given it a dozen times already and as I was looking over my slides and speaker notes everything felt old and worn. My examples seemed dull and my points obvious and trivial. I recalled how enthusiastic I had been when previously giving the talk. What was different now?

The first few times that I gave the talk everything was new to me. After repeated performances it had become overly familiar. Clearly, that is not the case for my audience. They are always hearing the talk for the first time. For them, it is always new. I had also forgotten my initial intentions behind the structure of the talk, my choice of examples, and the points that I was making.

What if I could somehow rekindle the intentions and emotions that I had initially when giving the talk? What if I could talk and act with the same energy and enthusiasm as I did those first few times? I decided to try and reconstruct my initial thoughts and feelings. I started at the beginning. What did I use to think and feel right before I said my opening lines? I came up with the following:


You are all about to see some beautiful and wonderful things, learn some secrets, and look at your own area of UX in unexpected ways.

I wrote this down. Reading it back I could feel some of my original enthusiasm returning.

My powerpoint slide with speaker notes. Note the silent script at the bottom of the picture.

I realised that this was really an old acting technique that I had read about in a magic book on showmanship. The technique is referred to as a ”silent script” (I’ve since also seen it called an “inner script” and “internal monologue”). The basic idea is that an actor uses a script not only for their spoken lines, but also for their thoughts. Silently reciting the inner script helps an actor create convincing observable behaviour; it helps the actor be the character that they are portraying.

I continued to work through the rest of presentation, slide by slide, reconstructing my original intentions and feelings and writing them down.

Here are a couple more examples:

A slide in which I share a profound quote.

An stunning example of a magical experience without a magician present.

Going through my presentation like this, rekindled my enthusiasm and eagerness to give the talk the following day. I was now revved up and ready to go!

If you decide to try this technique you could stop at this stage. I guarantee that you will present with renewed vigour. Or, you could go further and actually perform the silent script during your presentation. Silently, of course. When I gave my talk the following day at the Amuse conference I did a mix of the two. I was still energised from having worked through my deck and notes the night before, and during the talk itself I remembered much of my silent script. I didn’t recall everything, but I didn’t have to: as soon as I had regained my enthusiasm I was on a roll.

If this was a film you would now see me give the talk. You would see the audience cheer and rise to give me a standing ovation. That didn’t quite happen. But I did give my best performance of this talk to date. I had a fantastic and enjoyable time doing so, and lots of people came up to me for the rest of the conference eager to talk about design and magic.

I know that the next time that I need to summon my energy and enthusiasm I have a means of doing so. And now, so do you.

*  *  *

Oh, if you want to see me in action giving this talk (both the inner and outer versions), you could book me (call Jane Murray at +46 736–69 59 68 or mail her at  for more information).

Legendary game designer Kellee Santiago at FBTB18!

Ola Nilsson

She works at Google, she has developed the legendary games Flower and Journey – Kellee Santiago is one of the speakers at From Business to Buttons 2018!

Buy your ticket here – FBTB18!

Flower and Journey are games you must definitly have heard of. 

Flower was one of the first two video games to become part of the permanent collection at The Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her next game, Journey, became one of the fastest-selling games on PlayStation Network and was named Game of the Year.

Kellee Santiago is a video game developer, producer, investor and co-founder of thatgamecompany. We are very happy to have her as a speaker at From Business to Buttons 2018.

She's currently working at Google, bringing games and apps to new platforms for immersive computing, and is co-founder of the angel investment fund Indie Fund. In 2010, she became a TED Fellow and was recognized as one of The Ten Most Influential Women in Games of the Past Decade.

So are you into gaming? Or business? Or tech? Or interested in Google – dont miss Santiago's talk!

Buy your ticket here – FBTB18!


Impact map template – now in Mind Manager format!

Ingrid Domingues

At last! Here is the popular template for Impact Maps also in Mind Manager format.

The Impact Map template supports you in defining the desired impact in a way that can be tested and validated. A template that helps  you describe behaviours and needs, and on desired capabilities of the solution, not to get stuck describing detailed functions.

The new version of the template is in Mind Manager format.

This allows for importing to most other web-based mind mapping tools. Previous – and more good looking – templates exists in:




Or, you can also print the  PDF-version.

Download the format you like, to construct your Impact Map for your project. If you have questions or suggestions for improvement, please post it to the Facebook-group or send an e-mail to  me directly.

Effektkarta® och Effektstyrning® are the swedish names for Impact Map and Impact Management - are registered trademarks. We want as many as possible to use them while developing services that makes impact. Please refer to inUse when explaining the principles behind the models.  

How to make great wireframes in Sketch

Alexander Skogberg

In recent years, Sketch has risen to one of the top vector graphics editors among designers. I use it several times a week at work and I love it! Here are my tips for making great wireframes in Sketch.

When I started working as an IT consultant in 2011, my designer colleagues all used different vector graphics editors. Today, almost everyone of them uses Sketch exclusively. If you're making wireframes, creating a style guide or drawing illustrations Sketch is the perfect tool! It's popular, not overburdened with features and costs much less than editors like Photoshop. Here are my best pieces of advice when making wireframes in Sketch.

Organize your screens with Pages and Artboards

As your wireframes grow, keeping all screens organized is essential for staying efficient. Hence, you should make use of Pages and Artboards.

Create a Page for each set of related screens

In Sketch, a Page offers a new blank canvas. There's no reason to put all of your screens on the same Page. Instead, create a Page for each set of related screens of the app or website your making wireframes for. If I was making wireframes for a website where you buy stuffed animals, I'd create the following Pages:

  • Assets (for logos, photos and so on)
  • Text Styles (for just my Text Styles)
  • Symbols (automatically created by Sketch)
  • Home page (for latest offers and news)
  • Category page (for different categories of stuffed animals)
  • Product page (for a specific stuffed animal)
  • Checkout page (for entering address and payment information)
  • Purchase confirmation page (for confirming the purchase)

The list of Pages. The Artboards for the Selected Page are listed in the bottom.

The list of Pages. The Artboards for the Selected Page are listed in the bottom.

On a Page, create one Artboard for each screen variant

Since each screen is likely to have multiple variants, I'd recommend creating one Artboard for each of them. All the Artboards you create are automatically placed on the selected Page. When you create a new Artboard you can set its width and height how you like, but Sketch also offers presets based on popular devices and screen resolutions. What a screen variant is, is up to you. I usually make variants for different screen sizes and for showing how the interaction design is supposed to work in detail. For the checkout page for the stuffed animals website, I'd create Artboards for the following screen variants:

  • No address or payment information entered
    • For small screens
    • For large screens
  • Correctly entered address and payment information
    • For small screens
    • For large screens
  • Incorrectly entered address and payment information
    • For small screens
    • For large screens

The Artboards for the selected Page are placed on the main canvas

When it comes to naming the Artboards, I recommend using the naming pattern name-number-modifier-size.jpg. Using this pattern, your team members are more likely to be able to identify the content of an exported Artboard without having to open it. Here are some examples:

  • checkout-01-default-small.jpg
  • checkout-02-delivery-address-search-small.jpg
  • checkout-03-correct-payment-information-small.jpg
  • checkout-04-incorrect-payment-information-small.jpg
Tip: Make sure an exported Artboard is identifiable by its name. A name like checkout-03-correct-payment-information-small.jpg is great, a name like screen21.jpg is terrible.

Make use of Text Styles

You'll be using text to some extent in you wireframes and when need to adjust the font size or change the typeface altogether, it's an enormous waste of time and energy having to do it on each and every screen. Luckily, Sketch offers the ability to save and reuse your design choices using Text Styles. Once a Text Style is saved it can be applied to new pieces of text. If you change a Text Style, it will affect all pieces of text using that Text Style. Whenever I start working on a new project, I create Text Styles for common pieces of text like:

  • H1 headline
  • H2 headline
  • H3 headline
  • Body text
  • Meta text (for dates, timestamps, input hints and so on)
  • Input labels (for input fields and groups of radio buttons and checkboxes)

I always put my Text Styles on a Page of their own so I can see them all at once.

Set up a naming convention

Just like web developers (hopefully) have a set of rules for naming their CSS classes, you should set up a naming convention for the Pages, Artboards, Symbols and Text Styles you'll be using. It's a good idea to use the same (or a very similar) naming convention that the developers are using. If you share your wireframes with them using tools like Zeplin, there will be less confusion and second-guessing if you all use the same names for the same components. For example, if your development team have named the CSS class for styling a website's primary buttons "button-primary" you should use that name instead of something like "call-to-action".

Tip: Imagine that your creating a naming convention for someone else and not just for yourself. Ask someone else if your terminology makes sense.

If you're looking for a real life example of a naming convention, have a look at the Trello CSS Guide or BEM.

Master the power of Symbols

Symbols is probably the best feature in Sketch. It's like Text Styles, but for all combinations of shapes and pieces of text. It's powerful and will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Tip: Save logos and icons as Symbols too.

For example, let's say you create an input field with a label and an input hint and want to reuse it on more screens. By saving these three elements as one Symbol, it's now stored in your library and can be used anytime you want. If your Symbol contains text, you can override the pieces of text for all instances of that Symbol. Changing the text (not its design) will not affect the other instances.

A Symbol of an input field with a label and an input hint. The pieces of text can be overridden for every instance of this Symbol.

If you later edit this Symbol, the changes will affect all instances of it.

Name your Symbols with slashes

Since you probably will create lots of Symbols, you should put slashes (/) in their names for organizing them neatly. When you put a slash in names of Symbols, Sketch will automatically create subgroups of them making it easier to find the ones you're looking for. I'd recommend using these two naming patterns:

  1. category/type/state
  2. category/type/variation-state
Tip: Stick to a maximum of two slashes so you only have a depth of three layers (that has worked best for me so far).

Here are some examples of named symbols based on these two patterns:

  • button/primary/default
  • button/primary/disabled
  • button/secondary/default
  • button/secondary/disabled
  • input/label/default
  • input/label/focus
  • input/label/disabled
  • input/labelandhint/default
  • input/labelandhint/focus
  • input/labelandhint/disabled

The subfolders Sketch creates when you put slashes (/) in the names of the Symbols you create.​

Create a library of common Symbols

Sketch offers common shapes like rectangles, circles, triangles and arrows. There's no need to redraw these, but you should use them to create common interface components like buttons, input fields, date pickers and modal windows. For example, I always create Symbols of common components in different states such as:

  • Primary (Default and disabled)
  • Secondar (Default and disabled)
  • Checkboxes with text labels (Checked and not checked)
  • Radio buttons with text labels (Checked and not checked)
  • Expandable blocks (Expanded and not expanded)
  • Input fields with  a label  (Disabled, in focus and default)
  • Input fields with both a label and an input hint (Default, in focus and disabled).

There are lots of ready-made interface components you can download and use for free, but I'd recommend creating your own library. You'll learn more about using Sketch and end up with less unused Symbols.

The Symbols Page Sketch creates automatically when you start creating and saving Symbols.

Make your symbols responsive

When making wireframes today, you'll probably need to create different variants of your screens for different screen sizes. One variant for small screens, one for large screens and perhaps one for medium sized screens. This means you should set up your Symbols so that their layout don't break when you stretch them horizontally or vertically. Luckily, Sketch handles this excellently! For each element included in a Symbol, you can set up how it will behave when the Symbol is stretched using a control in the properties column to the right. Here are some of the settings you can make for a selected element in a Symbol:

Will stretch in any direction.

Will keep it size, but move with the same proportions to the sides, to the top and to the bottom.

Pinned to the top. Will stretch its width, but keep the same height.

Pinned to the top left corner. Will keep its size.

Presenting the wireframes

Some developers prefer having a look in the Sketch file directly, others prefer having your screens exported to images and some prefer tools for making clickable prototypes like inVision.

Tip: Treat the developers in your team like users. Serve them your wireframes the way they prefer.

If inVision sound interesting, please read my post Prototype like a pro with inVision.

Don't use layers in your Sketch files

Based on my experience working with developers, you shouldn't use layers on your screens in Sketch. I think this way of working used to be the norm when Photoshop reigned supreme. Most developers I've worked with find it annoying having to hide and show lots of (often poorly named) layers to learn how a screen looks and behaves. Instead, just use more Artboards for presenting the different screen variants.

Further reading

A lot of great articles have already been written about using Sketch. Here are my favorites:

Is there anything you think I should add, remove or change in this post? Let me know in the comment section.


96 % want to come back to FBTB

Sara Doltz

The speakers, the attention to details and the surprises, this is what you appreciated the most about FBTB 2017.

The most common feedback we get in the evaluation is that you love the speakers. We couldn’t agree more. Our conference chair handpicks all of the speakers; it’s truly their knowledge and inspirational talks that make the conference what it is to day. Here are some of the comments from last year:

Well organised as usual. Alexander Osterwald and Katie were best speakers. Magic performance by David de Leon was awesome too!

Very inspiring talks – themes like our responsibility as designers to create GOOD in this world was very inspiring.

Many good speakers. I especially liked Osterwald and the business perspective.

The variation of high flying and hands on speakers.

The speakers is the thing that makes the conference rock.


The details

We love how you pay attention to the smallest of details, because it’s nice for us to know that some of our smallest efforts are appreciated.  We like to treat you with some classic Swedish fika. Last year, instead of a gift to the speakers, we donated money to the Red Cross that financed a doctor in Syria. We also promise to keep our vegetarian lunch for this year’s conference. Here are some of the comments from 2017:

Big plus for vegetarian food as the default!

The fact that you gave doctor-gift to the speakers.

I loved the notebook :-)

Equal gender division amongst the speaker

For two years in a row From Business to Buttons has been held at Munchenbryggeriet. But last year some of you commented that the venue was crowded and the logistics didn’t work out perfectly – so we listened. For the first time FBTB will be at Cirkus in Stockholm. We are super exited about the venue and hope you are as well.


As always we try to incorporate a little bit of extra excitement throughout the day. Last year you got a handful of magic as David de Leon, part-time magican, co-hosted the conference with Emma Estborn.

We also like to share some giveaways with the attendants; last year it was the Design Critique Card Deck and a branded Leuchtturm1917 notebook.

Afterwards, 96.1 percent of those who attended said they would like to come back again. Thank you all! We hope to see you again on May 15. Heads up: Get your tickets before February 28 and you'll save 1000 SEK.