Right from grocery shopping to board meetings, people have become fond of Powerpoint Presentations. To make it attractive and engaging, you need to add some design elements. Ace the design tips to create some amazing presentation that can grab people’s attention.
Before getting on to the blog, answer these questions to yourself. During these situations, which is your obvious go-to tool?
To support your speech?
Showing your company’s sales growth in a board meeting?
Making your online classes easy, peasy?
The top answer would be ‘Presentations.’
That’s how essential PowerPoint presentations have become in our lives. But, it doesn’t stop with putting all your information into the white space and giving it to your audience. We all have sat through some boring presentations. The main problem was it was badly designed. It was cluttered and distracting, making us lose interest.
Even though we loathe others’ presentations, what do we do when it’s our turn? But there is good news for you. You don’t need to be a professional designer to come up with an amazing presentation. You just have to follow a few simple rules and tips for creating a professional yet creatively designed deck.
First, let’s look at the key benefits of presentations.
Advantages of Powerpoint Presentation:
Microsoft Powerpoint is a user-friendly program and a powerful tool for creating presentations. Whether you need a visual appeal or a tool for collaboration, easy access, or the ability to share the information after meeting, Powerpoint is the best option. It also has the power to reduce your speaking anxiety by drawing your eyes away from the speaker and towards the screen.
If you make your presentation more engaging by using multimedia, it can boost the audience’s focus. Powerpoint lest you use images, audio, video, and even funny gifs, to get a huge visual impact. These visual and audio also helps the presenter to be more interactive and improvisation with the audience. However, don’t over-rely on these elements, as your message can get lost in the clutter.
Powerpoint has a collaboration feature that lets you work with others in a collaborative manner. This is absolutely useful in office environments where teamwork is the key. Multiple people can collaborate and work together for a presentation. By going to the “Review” tab, you can click “New comment,” and leave notes and reposition them on the screen for your teammates to view. Comments are the beneficial tool for clarification.
Did someone miss your presentation? Get them to view it at the time it’s convenient for them. You can upload your presentation to websites like youtube with all the slides, commentary, and transitions. All you have to do is navigate to the File menu, click save and send and create a video. This will be saved in WMV format, which can be played on Windows Media Player.
Powerpoint is the best and most effective way to communicate with your audience. Slides of PowerPoint are totally customizable to fit your needs. Depending on that approach, you can have a text-heavy or image-heavy or a combination of both. Text-heavy works best if you are giving a presentation lecture. Image heavy presentations are generally conversational as they only contain images. Combining them give the audience visual cues and notes.
How to make your presentation effective?
Make good use of layouts:
Most of the western languages read right to left or top to bottom. With this reading order, you can direct people’s vision in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to explain. Using the layout is the most simple and effective way to control the flow and the visual hierarchy of the information.
You can guide your audience through simple tweaks in the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to differentiate headlines from body text. Its placement matters too. There are many ideal ways to structure a slide, but most of the audience will take only a few moments to consume the information– that’s precious is better spent on listening to your delivery and retaining the information.
Say ‘No’ to sentences:
Slides should be simplified visual vote cards that can capture and reinforce main ideas and not complete thoughts. As a speaker, you should be giving the content and other information, not just merely put it in slides for everyone to read (or ignore). If your audience is reading through your presentation instead of listening to you, you have already lost the effectiveness. Just cut down your core message into keywords to convey it. You should avoid complete sentences unless you are quoting someone or something.
Follow the 6 x 6 rule:
One of the biggest faults of a bad PowerPoint is crashing too many details and ideas in one slide, which makes it difficult for people to remember the information. Leaving a lot of white space helps people focus on the key points.
Try incorporating the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. This rule means a maximum of 6 bullet points per slide and a maximum of 6 words per point. In fact, it’s a common thought among people to limit it to 6 words per slide. Just be aware of ‘Orphans’ ( When the last word of a sentence falls in the next line). This could look cluttered, so either fit them in a line or add another word to the second line.
Use simple colors:
Stick to simple dark and light colors. An exceptionally bright font can only cause eye fatigue, so use colors carefully. Dark text on a light background or light text on dark background. Also, please avoid intense gradients, which can make the text hard to read.
If you are doing a presentation on behalf of your brand, check your company’s brand guidelines. Companies have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color, and it’s a good idea to use that in your presentation to coincide with your company’s brand identity and style.
Use Sans Serif Fonts:
Serif fonts are traditionally used for printed pages, and San Serif fonts are easier to read on-screen. They are always safe choices, but if you wish to add your desired typographic personality, explore them. Just keep in mind that your font’s legibility is what is going to make or break your presentation. Try to stick to one font type or choose two at most. Different fonts have different personalities and emotional turbulence, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.
Use font larger than 30pt:
Many experts have agreed that your font size should be at least 30pt. Not only it ensures your text is readable, but it also forces you to include the most important points of your message and explain it effectively due to limited space.
Avoid too much text over-styling:
Three easy ways to draw your audience’s attention to your text are :
- A change in color
Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but we also use these changes sparingly. Over styling makes your slide look distracting and busy.
Choose the right images:
The images which you choose for your presentation are as important as your message that you are trying to convey. You have to choose images that not only support your message but also elevate it. But what is the right image? Actually, there is no direct answer as it is conceptual, like an almost mystical subject. But we can get some strategies which will help you in your image selection.
The ideal images for the presentation should be relatable, authentic, and inspirational.
These may look like vague qualities, but the idea is to go beyond the ordinary. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they are trying to convey. Think about the composition and colors in an image and the distinct mood it will set to your presentation. With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for images.
Here are some guidelines to follow while choosing your images:
They should be illustrative and not generic:
If your slide is about collaborating as a team, you naturally look for board room images, right? Though it’s perfectly fine to go literal, sometimes these images may fall flat. What’s literal might not connect to your audience emotionally.
In the absence of a photo of your team, you can go with any image that can directly illustrate the subject at hand. Look for images that convince a sense of realism and humanity that can capture the idea of your message. Doing so connects with your audience, allowing them to connect with your message directly.
Supportive, yet not distractive:
Since we have told you to be creative with your image selection, the next step will be to rein that in. Though there are limitless choices for imagery, there is a limit on what makes sense in your presentation.
To find the exact supporting image, try searching terms on the periphery of your message. You will find images that complement your message rather than distracting from it.
Inspiring and Engaging:
A widespread misconception is that presentations are just merely for delivering information. Actually, a great PowerPoint is inspirational. Inspiration is about the engagement- the questions it makes your audience ask. You can drive a lot of engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images also play a role.
When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will be able to connect with it. This means not only are they paying attention, but are also engaging and retaining your message. To find the right kind of imagery, search terms that are related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like the overhead shots and aerials, long exposures that are taken over a period of time, images on nature, and so on.
Editing the Powerpoint Images:
Though you can drag and drop images in Powerpoint, you can tweak the resolution they are displayed within the file. To control your file size and fine-tune your presentation, you should want to increase or decrease the resolution. Simply click File> Compress pictures on the main menu.
If your presentation file size is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down on the screen, then check the Apply to All pictures in the file box and rest assured the quality will be uniform.
For getting a higher resolution in printed form, use the HD setting since enlarging to that scale will only show deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution not only distracts your message, but the low quality also reflects on the presenter. If the size is not an issue, you can use high fidelity (maximum PPI) and only reduce the file size. Use the highest quality images you can and then let PowerPoint scale the resolution for you by reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.
Resizing, editing, and adding effects
Powerpoint offers an array of tools to work with images. When a picture is selected, the picture format menu is activated, and Format Picture is opened on the right side.
The Format Picture Menu dialog box on the right has four sections, and each of these sections expands to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:
- Paint Bucket tool: Has options for the box’s colors, patterns, background fills, gradients, along with options for its outline
- Pentagon icon: Contains reflection, shadows, glow, soft edges, 3D format and rotation, and artistic effects.
- Dimensional icon: Size, position, and text box allows you to control the physical size and placement of image or text boxes.
- Mountain icon: Color, transparency, and picture corrections gives you control over how your image looks. Under crop, you can change the box’s size containing the image instead of the entire image as in size and properties above.
The top menu is expansive and contains menu presets for corrections, effects, animation and color, and much more. This section is where you can crop more correctly than just choosing the dimensions from the picture pane.
The simple way to crop a picture is by using the picture pane in the format picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the picture position controls to move the picture inside the box or use the crop position control tool to manipulate the box’s dimensions. To expert more advanced control or use shapes, select the image you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu.
Hit the crop button and use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, which includes changing the shape of the box and using the preset aspect ratios for a more clean presentation of images.
Whenever you design in Powerpoint, remember that simplicity is the key, and less is more. These design tips will help you deliver the most powerful message to your audience.
Now that we have learnt the tips for making a Powerpoint presentation let’s get to know what can make our presentation awesome and stand alone.
Keep slide building at last:
You could easily be tempted to start monkeying with your slides while you are still in the process of speech writing. But don’t do that. It’s like constructing a road without knowing where it is leading to. Your slides are for coming out with a well-designed presentation, so do not replace it.
Do not try to replace you:
People want to listen to you, your thoughts, insights, and interpretations. Fancy transitions, clips from YouTube, and tons of textual content is going to steal your content and delivery.
Remember, every time you hit the clicker, the viewers leave you and go to the screen.
Use a uniform theme:
A uniform theme pulls together the variety in your images and the message you are trying to convey as you move step by step from the problem to solve. You can use the baked-in themes which were supplied in Powerpoint. But stick to a simple and unique look.
You can even create your customized themes with titles, consistent white backgrounds, your client logos, or anything else too.
More Image less text:
If you want to quickly improve a tired slide deck, make your images larger, and reduce the text. Remember that the theme in the post should relate to your speech and just distract your audience.
We all know that our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, and using larger images gets your audience to the point quickly without any distractions. And a quick shortlist in the bullet points helps the audience follow the argument and nothing more.
One story per slide:
For a 60 minutes speech, you can have 30-35 slides, depending on the message’s story or complexity. Each slide represents a complete story. If you are talking about statistics, recall an experience that leads to a lesson or teach a lesson.
Show one bullet at a time:
While presenting a text, the trick is showing a shortlist of bullets that takes your point to the audience without losing interest. One trick is revealing one bullet at a time. In PowerPoint, right-click on your text box, select custom animation> add entrance effect and from there, choose the effect you want.
You are not Disney**:**
It feels amazing to show how you turn text into flames or make an image spin, but let that be the job of Disney and not you! Your job is to make you a star. Stick to simple transitions, clean fonts, and large, attractive graphics triumphs every time.
Remember the 2/4/8 rule:
It’s nothing but to have a new slide every 2 minutes, not more than four bullets per slide, and not more than eight words per bullet. Just like you remember a recipe, the 2/4/8 rule is a guide where you can vary the ingredients as required.
Fade to black while speaking:
Remember that your slides are not your point- you are!. When you are fading to black, it’s to regain your audience’s attention. For example, after one solution, fade to black, talk them back to the next slide. It’s nothing different from a close up in a movie, where the director wants you to focus only on the one speaking.
If you doubt it, just dump it!:
If you are doing a presentation on CO2 emission, your slides can make or break your message. If you feel you don’t need a particular concept slide, don’t use one then. Just dump it.
Nobody is going to miss what is not there.
Tips to make your business presentation work:
Grab the first impression:
The first impression is what matters. If you want off on your right foot, you need to develop an opening slide that creates interest. Less is more when it comes to designing your opening slide. It’s better to come up with a spoken statement that captures your audience’s attention from the beginning and then loads up on the opening slide.
Introduce your team:
The audience can connect easily with the individuals behind the products. If you visit a start-up or any small company, they universally feature a “Team” page that showcases a company’s members. When you are doing a presentation for your investors, your team can be considered an essential element as your product concept.
Modern marketing is more about the connections made than merely portraying your company as some global superpower. People love to invest in companies that have a cool team with interesting stories and experience.
Share your SWOT analysis:
Now that you are done introducing your tea, you can start moving towards revealing your big product. One of the most intelligent ways is to use SWOT analysis where you list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This can help your audience to understand why you have come up with this product and how it is a good fit than other products in the niche. Basically, considering what needs your product fills that hasn’t already been met?
Reveal your product:
We have been hinting about our product for so long, so now it’s time to unveil it. This would be the great time to use a screenshot or a video to show off your product.
Walkthrough your product roadmap:
A product road map is basically sharing your plan’s features that you want to add to your product. Apps or services launch theirs with just the basics, so you want to give the audience a version for the future.
Give your audience “one more thing.”
Feel free to borrow creative presentation ideas from the famous Steve Jobs technique. Steve Jobs has always vowed the audience by saving a key feature for the very end of his presentation. For this purpose, you can use a simple slide design with just a text box.
Last but not least, keep these points in mind!
Start with a strong title slide:
If it’s difficult to start your presentation with some strong points, but the title slide can help you set the tone appropriately. For a creative presentation, you need to find ways to build a title slide that shows your audience that it isn’t an ordinary presentation!
Make your presentation interactive:
Slide off from the normal format where the speaker stands up in front of the audience and speaks to them, and the audience just listens to them until they are finished.
Use Infographics to make data talk:
Data and quantitative facts are the ones that make you strong. The problem is that people find them a bit overwhelming. That’s why you can use infographics in your presentation to make it creative. Infographics let you combine data with visuals and bridges that gap, making data understandable to practically anyone.
Animate key elements:
Animation has the ability to bring the key elements on to your creative Powerpoint slide in a way to make an impact. Instead of showing everything on a slide in on ego, animation adds an extra bit of flair to your presentation.
Come up with a strong close:
Your audience will quickly forget most presentations; that’s why it’s so important to set yourself apart with a strong close. By using a combination of slide designs and speaking techniques, it’s possible to leave your audience with a memorable conclusion.
Keep it simple:
Powerpoint is the classic tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means it should support you and not be your entire presentation. Your slides, no matter how attractive it is, shouldn’t be the show’s topper. Keep the images and text clear and concise, and use them only to support your message and authority. If your slides contain dense and cluttered information, it will distract your audience and make them lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be super amazing. Keep it persuasive yet clean.
There are pretty few methods to do this:
- Limit the bullet points and text
- Avoid paragraphs and long quotations
- Maintain a good level of negative spacing
- Keep the percentages, graphs, and data very basic
Use colors well:
Colors evoke feelings and are emotional. The right colors persuade and motivate. Studies have shown that colors can streamline interests and improve learning comprehension and retention. You do not need to be an expert in color theory, but it’s good to know at least a bit. Warm colors are the ones you should go for in the foreground, such as they appear compelling. It’s nothing to be surprised as the most ubiquitous Powerpoint slide includes a blue background with yellow font. You aren’t forced to use this, but you can use simple variations.
If you are presenting in a dark room such as a hall, then go for a dark background with white or light text. But if you plan to keep most of the lights on, then white background dark text works wonders.
With your style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can play a lot more with Powerpoint than just presentations for your clients. Powerpoint and similar slide applications are some flexible tools that should never be forgotten. Choose the great templates and build on your slides, and you are sure to wow your audience.