How often have you sat through a dull PowerPoint presentation?
PowerPoint gets a bad name as so many of us have experienced boring slideshows, featuring ugly, cluttered slides that belong (and should stay) in the 90s. The aim of this post is to give you some practical tips for creating better looking and more professional slides. Whether you’re pitching new clients, presenting to business associates, colleagues or your boss, make sure your next presentation is engaging and visually striking.
10 tips to create an effective and attractive presentation…
1. Keep it simple.
Don’t try to cram in every piece of information you have. Think of your slides as visual aids; use them to outline the most important facts, the ones you want your audience to retain. When creating your presentation aim is to deliver a clear and powerful visual message to back up your words.
Tip: Aim to convey one idea per slide.
2. Use images wisely.
Let your images tell a story and reinforce what you are talking about. This will help your audience remember and understand what you’re telling them. Spend some time searching for quality photography to give your deck a professional edge. Avoid low resolution and cheesy images.
If you’re using text over an image then make sure it really stands out. You want your words to pop, not fade into the background. So, if your background image features a lot of variation and detail, try using a block of colour or a stylish bar of colour to create a contrast.
Resource: Find great stock images free at pexels.com and freeimages.com
3. Use white space.
White space adds emphasis to the content on the slide and creates a clean fresh feeling. It’s tempting to fill up every slide with as much information as you can- resist the urge!
If you feel that too many of yours slides are white, then try a block coloured background.
4. Easy on the bullets.
Try not to overuse bullet points in your presentation. While bullets are great for organising and adding structure to content, they are not very interesting when it comes to presenting content. There are other ways to structure you ideas. Clean, simple icons will emphasise your text and make it easier for the audience to take in.
Another option is highlighting key words within your text with a bright colour. You can also divide your text up into blocks or shapes or even use a tab layout.
5. Avoid stock templates.
They often look dated, boring and each slide ends up looking the same. Below are a couple examples of default themes in PowerPoint. Instead of using these, create your own template starting from scratch. Not only will you have a cleaner presentation that’s completely original, you’ll also be polishing up you PowerPoint skills. Start by creating a basic layout and choose your fonts and a colour scheme.
Create a master slide and decide on the position of your heading, main content and image or graphic. Once you have a master slide in place, you can use this as a guide. When deciding on a basic layout you’ll need to consider hierarchy. Most Western languages read left to right and top to bottom so use this as your guide, starting with the heading at the top, followed by the main content and a graphic to support the content.
Explore Google fonts to add some typographic personality to your deck. It’s best to stick to one or two fonts, otherwise the design can become too busy. If you’re unsure about how to combine two fonts then you can get some inspiration from this article about combining web fonts. Select fonts that suit the tone of your presentation. Consider whether your presentation is formal or fun, tough or playful. If you’re struggling to find suitable fonts then stick to something standard-looking. It’s better that your presentation is clean and professional, so choose legibility over fun.
Resource: A great tool for exploring font combinations is fontpair.co. This site helps you pair different fonts together.
Tip: Use sans serif fonts as these are easier to read on screen.
8. Colour scheme.
Colour plays a massive role in presentations. Just like the fonts you choose, your colours need to enforce the mood of your design. Think about whether your presentation’s topic is serious or fun. Choose two main colours; one light the other dark. Avoid using a very bright colour for text as this can be too hard to read. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will ensure your slides are readable. You can also select three secondary colours to use sparingly throughout the presentation. Secondary colours are great for adding a pop of colour and they helps give emphasis to important points.
Inspiration: This is a really handy article that should help you decide on a colour scheme 100 Brilliant Colour Combinations
9. Branded slides.
If you are creating a presentation for your company you’ll need to make sure you encapsulate your company’s identity. You will need a copy of their brand guide to ensure you use all the elements of their visual identity correctly, such as; logo, tagline, colours, fonts, illustration, photography style and graphic theme. If your company doesn’t yet have a brand guide, then you can take inspiration from their website such as the logo and colour scheme and even the style of images used.
10. Cover, dividers and end slide.
Using a cover slide, dividers and an end slide will help give your presentation structure. An opening or cover slide is a great way to grab your audiences attention. Divider slides help you pause and switch to the next section of you presentation. Your last slide will be the last visual your audience sees, so it needs to be effective. If you’re unsure how to end your slideshow then a simple thank you slide works well.
This guide’s not comprehensive, but by adopting these simple design tips you’ll certainly improve your deck design and deliver a clear, powerful visual message the next time you need to present.
Do you need a professional PowerPoint template created? Or help supercharging your next sales presentation? Get in touch