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10 PowerPoint Design Tips to Revive Your Slides

Have your presentations been lackluster lately? Do you also find an impressive deck taking too much time and effort to make?

We’ve compiled a list to make it easier for you to achieve your desired deck. All you have to do is apply these simple changes to bring it back to life:

1. Keep Text to a Minimum

There’s absolutely no need to swamp your audience with text. They’ll only get ahead of you if you make all your talking points available for them to read. It also makes them tune out once they’ve read and understood everything.

Write down key points and save the details for your speech. Less text means you don’t have to keep going back to your slides to make corrections. It also means you have more room.

2. Connect with a Narrative

The most natural way of engaging in a conversation is with a story. If you’re struggling to turn your presentation into a narrative, follow a simple structure with a beginning, middle, and end.

Failing to meet one of these three conditions weakens the structure of your presentation. If you fail to reach a conclusion, the listener won’t know what to do with the information provided. The middle contains the meat of your presentation and not giving it enough attention is like skimming through your main points. Finally, because it provides context, skipping an introduction will make you hard to follow. Create a seamless pitch with a narrative structure for a powerful story format.

3. Hit Up PowerPoint Last

Prioritize content. Plan your speech outline and rehearse all your talking points. You’re the center of the presentation, and the program is only there to support you. Don’t make the mistake of becoming an accessory to your slides.

Take a break from crafting your deck to focus on rehearsing your speech. An engaging enough story and message might not need the support of an elaborate PowerPoint.

4. Storyboard Your Presentation

Before you even think of touching PowerPoint, build the structure of your story visually. Don’t jump ahead to slide creation without a plan of action. You’ll waste a lot of effort editing out slides that don’t fit your message. Lay out your ideas on paper so you can move them around freely.

5. Support Your Message Visually

Your image shouldn’t just be relatable to your topic. Since our first point emphasized text reduction, this point will emphasize balancing text with imagery. Hit two birds with one stone by choosing a high-quality stock image that looks good and visually supports your message.

For example, the stock image in the previous section, obtained freely from Kaboompics, is meant to depict the act of storyboarding ideas. This reflects the message of that section, which talks about storyboarding.

Although some sources provide images are free, always give credit where it’s due.

6. Cut Back on Animation Transitions

It’s better to stick to a simple but memorable presentation than be remembered for a convoluted one. Use simple slide transitions like cut, fade, and wipe since these are the least distracting of the bunch. These have been used for years in film editing. Your deck can benefit from these techniques as well. The cut transition is the most subtle, often over in a blink of an eye. Alternately, direct your viewer’s gaze specifically with the fade and wipe transitions.

These simple transitions are effective enough to deliver your points without becoming a distraction.

7. Limit Bullet Points

Use bullet points judiciously. They’re a simple and effective way to list down your key points.

In the example above, the list on the left is much easier to remember and understand than the one on the right since the points are kept to the essentials.

Format your list for consistency of style and content to avoid confusing your audience. Create a logical flow of ideas when using bullet points and keep each key point short.

Your audience can only remember a few key points during your presentation, so don’t add too much to the mix.

8. Choose Your Fonts Wisely

Your font choice plays a big role in PowerPoint design. Instead of plunging deep into the meaning and history behind every font type, we’ve narrowed it all down so you can choose the perfect font in five minutes or less. The fonts we recommend are already in your Microsoft or Apple computer so there’s no need to download anything.

For example, Bodoni is an elegant font that’s suitable for both headers and subheaders. Speed up the process further by plugging in your text and headline in Font Pair to view your text combination immediately.

9. Customize Templates with Slide Master

The Slide Master is your friend. It looks like a complicated feature, but if you have a clear brand identity and message, it’s simpler to use since it applies your formatting changes to your entire presentation.

Fonts and even color schemes can be standardized to give your deck a more consistent look. This makes it more comfortable for clients to view. This tool further customizes your deck. For example, you can append your company logo to all of your slides using Slide Master, and your logo will appear automatically on every slide.

10. Pick the Appropriate Chart

Complex data is difficult to translate visually. How do you know which chart to use for your presentation?

Dr. Andrew Abela, a professor of marketing and renowned presentation design consultant, developed the Chart Chooser for your convenience. Chart Chooser is a flowchart that guides you on how to present with the appropriate chart. Use your judgement to present your data appropriately and attractively.

Conclusion

These PowerPoint Design tips cover vital aspects of your presentation design with a heavy focus on keeping things clear and simple.

Draft your speech outline first before embarking on the design process of your slides. Manage the appearance of your slides later so that you won’t compromise your content by giving it the short end of the stick. Choose which elements go well in your slides. Every part of your slide must contribute to your entire message. Don’t use distracting animation, inappropriate bullet points, or the wrong chart to present your data.

 

References

Abela, Andrew. “Choosing a Good Chart.” The Extreme Presentation(tm) Method. September 6, 2006. www.extremepresentation.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/choosing_a_good.html
Reynolds, Garr. “10 Slide Design Tips for Producing Powerful and Effective Presentations.” TechRepublic. September 19, 2006. www.techrepublic.com/article/10-slide-design-tips-for-producing-powerful-and-effective-presentations/6117178
Teti, Gianluca. “Bodoni: A Typeface for (almost) Any Occasion.” Gianluca Teti – Web Graphic Designer. July 30, 2014. www.gianlucateti.com/bodoni-a-typeface-for-almost-any-occasion

 

Featured Image: by Jeremy Goldberg on unsplash.com

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