Presentation slideshows often get a bad rap and for good reason. All too often, presenters throw tons of data onto slides and read it verbatim to their audience. These long-winded speakers and terrible slides completely undermine the point of using visuals in a presentation. Visual aids can be a fantastic way to enhance your presentation, make it easier for audiences to follow along, and to make your presentation more memorable. That’s IF they are designed properly. The images you should can greatly impact your presentation, either adding to or detracting from your overall message. Whether you are using PowerPoint, KeyNote, or any other presentation software, these tips will help you design a visual presentation that will capture audience attention while effectively getting your point across.
Avoid Stock Templates
Sure, it may be convenient to use those stock templates that are included in your presentation software, but that’s also a surefire way to bore your audience. They have seen those same stock templates over and over and there is nothing memorable about them. Instead, create a clean presentation starting from scratch. Use simple fonts, colors, and backgrounds for a unique and streamlined presentation.
Keep Text to a Minimum
Overloading your presentation slides with too much text is a common mistake. The audience does not want to read paragraphs of information, as that is way too much to process. Chances are, they will take one look at all that text and immediately tune you out. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 6 lines of text in any given slide. Avoid complete sentences and keep text clear, simple, and to the point. Remember that the text on the slide is only meant to enhance or reiterate what you are speaking.
Use the Right Font and Size
When it comes to choosing a font for your presentation, always choose legibility over fun. All of these fancy scripts and funky texts are way too hard for audiences to read. Instead, stick with clean, traditional fonts that are easy to read. Likewise, make sure your font is the appropriate size. When sizing fonts, make sure the text is large enough to be read by someone sitting in the back of the room.
Don’t Overdo it with Colors
A clean and harmonious palette can enhance the overall look of your entire presentation. Avoid using an entire rainbow of colors. Rather, choose 3-5 colors that you can incorporate into the entire presentation. For example, white text on a black background is more visually appealing than using a different color for every slide. Think of it like a theme for a party. You wouldn’t have multiple color schemes going on, but rather one coordinated look that pulls the whole thing together.
Use Single Images
Images are a great way to add visual interest to your presentation but don’t get too carried away. Remember this is a presentation, not a scrapbook so there should be no more than one image on each slide. Choose one powerful image that represents your message rather than a collage of images.
Avoid Fancy Transitions
There are plenty of fun and clever transitions built into today’s presentation software but a quality presentation does not require the use of such transitions. They tend to be more distracting than anything and they can also make a presentation appear less professional. Instead, opt for your basic transition as you move from one slide to the next.
Create Visual Consistency
When designing your slides, remember that they should all fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Rather than each slide having its own individual design, the entire slideshow should have a consistent design and theme. For example, use the same background, the same font, the same color scheme, and the same patterns to keep things cohesive. When it comes to designing a beautiful slideshow, consistency is key.