We’ve been providing you with plenty of ideas on how you can improve the design of your PowerPoint slides. There are so many ways to make unique and creative PowerPoint slides but the most important thing is to make sure your audience can easily understand the information you’re presenting.
And doing that boils down to making sure you hit these three essential things: concise content, powerful visuals, and a logical structure.
Take note of this three-step approach to ensure your PowerPoint slides effectively translates your core message:
1.) Write content that is concise and complete
Keep your text minimal in each slide. As we’ve covered before in our review of Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule, your PowerPoint deck shouldn’t serve as a teleprompter. If you add everything you want to say in your slides, you might be tempted to read from it. Even worse, your audience might just read ahead without listening to the rest of your lecture.
What you should do instead is to figure out the take-home points in each slide. Organize your points in a way that single concepts appear in only one slide at a time. Write these points in a manner that’s similar to writing a headline—in short but complete and discernible sentences.
2.) Add visuals that make a point
Visuals help make your PowerPoint slides attractive, but that’s not enough for an effective presentation. According to Penn State’s Michael Alley, when adding visual elements to your PowerPoint slides, you should also think about what purpose they can serve. Don’t just add a pretty picture because your slides look too bare.
Make sure that the images and illustrations you include serve as evidence to the important points you want to make.
3.) Create a structure with a logical flow
While your PowerPoint slides might look great individually, they won’t make much sense together without any structure. Creating a logical flow to your PowerPoint slides is important.
Before you even start working on your slides, create a rough outline and a storyboard.
Look out how your main points play side by side and re-arrange slides if you have to. You’ll find that your PowerPoint presentation will make a narrative pattern that your audience can easily follow.
Your slides should act as a guide, not a complete rundown of your points and details. Give yourself some space to elaborate on each objective, and to interact with your audience outside the PowerPoint. As much as you’ll want visually engaging slides, keep your text down to a minimum.
Keep your content compact and simple, elaborate enough for the audience to understand, but short enough to let you speak. Instead of walls of text, go with visually interesting graphics, like diagrams or pictures. Connect all these points together with a logical flow that ties in all your points neatly.
Alley, Michael. “Rethinking Presentation Slides: The Assertion-Evidence Approach.” Scientific Presentations. Accessed August 1, 2014.
“The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. 2005. Accessed August 1, 2014.
Featured Image: Matt Wynn via Flickr