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PowerPoint Slide Design Lessons from Outdoor Advertising

August 26, 2015 / Blog Advertising, Effective outdoor advertising, making presentations, outdoor Advertising, ppt slide design, professional presentation design, professional presentation design partner

According to creativity mentor, Luke Sullivan, there’s one requirement to great outdoor advertising, specifically billboards: It needs to be easy for a passing motorist to understand. This minimalist approach is a perfect fit for designing your PowerPoint slides. Reducing your deck to its basic idea gives you more room for creativity, letting you focus on impressing your audience.

Here are three things presenters can learn from outdoor ads:

Billboards Demand Simplicity

Advertising professionals recommend starting with outdoor advertising when planning a campaign. This is because of a recommended length of three to seven words for the whole layout.  The sparseness of text is because that’s all a passing motorist can read. You can make your PowerPoint slide design more understandable if you strip down your message to its core idea. If you do it right, your clients should be able to understand your message within the first two seconds of seeing it.

The short time frame saves you time explaining your content. This lets you get your point across faster and connect with your audience better.

Outdoor Ads Give Creative Opportunities

Depending on how you use them, presentation slide designs can give viewers new perspectives of ordinary stories or creative opportunities for interaction. The limited opportunity for explanation drives advertisers towards more creative ways to demonstrate key product benefits.

One example for this is 3M’s security glass ad, which featured stacks of money protected by the shatterproof glass. This gave pedestrians a chance to test how tough the glass is. As cited by brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, this kind of interaction was also used when Steve Jobs distributed samples of the new MacBook’s unibody enclosure frame for his audience to see and touch for themselves.

Another example of outdoor ads giving a new perspective was the ambient ad campaign for MINI Cooper. Among the executions, the two themes (its small size and large carrying capacity) were highlighted with elevator stickers, airport luggage ads, and roadside ads.

Your Work Must Entertain Clients

As we said before, making presentations into a story keeps your audience attracted. This approach mirrors how advertisers strive for attention-grabbing installations. If you can apply this to your business or sales presentation, you can keep your clients entertained and avoid a boring pitch.

Doing this from a creative perspective requires you to look to your product, and sometimes, other competitors.  This is similar to how Volkswagen showed the benefits of its cruise control function. If you’re an industry leader or an upstart with a game-changing product, this is a good route to take.

Summing It Up

All these three tips rely on one thing, they need to be simple enough to be understood. Effective outdoor advertising uses as little words as possible to cater for motorists. This limit on text also helps inspire novel and unique ways to explain features and benefits.

To know more about getting great presentation ideas, take a few minutes to talk to a professional presentation design partner for free!



Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 15, 2015. Accessed August 26, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.