Slideshow presentations often receive a bad rap and for good reason. We have all sat through those dull and boring slideshows that are anything but engaging. All too often PowerPoint presentations are cluttered, text heavy, and full of distracting animations and transitions. A PowerPoint presentation is intended to help you make your point by infusing visual interest. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to be a professional designer to create a beautiful presentation. The following tips will help anyone create visually appealing and compelling slides for their next presentation.
Be Strategic About Layout
Since people read from left to right top to bottom, you can design your slides according to this natural reading order. You can strategically place text and pictures to direct people’s eyes to certain parts of the slide. Layout is a simple yet effective way to control the flow of your information.
Do Not Use Full Sentences
Paragraphs on each slide is the death of PowerPoint. Any text on your slides should be short and simple and you should never have full sentences. For one, you don’t want your audience reading slides instead of listening to you. Secondly, all of that text becomes exhausting for the audience and is the fastest way for them to lose interest. If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.
Less is More
As stated above, slides should never be packed with information. Try sticking to the 6×6 rule, meaning you have a maximum of 6 bullet points per slide with no more than 6 words per bullet point. Some people even recommend having no more than 6 words per slide! The point is, when it comes to effective slide presentations, less is more!
Choose a Simple Color Palette
It can be tempting to choose lots of light and bright colors to make our presentation “stand out” but this actually causes eye fatigue for the viewer. Instead, stick with simple light and dark colors such as black text on a gray or white background. The best way to make your message pop is to use a high level of contrast between your text and the background. Once you have selected a color palette, stick with this same color scheme throughout your slide presentation.
Easy and Readable Fonts
Stay away from fancy fonts and keep things simple with standard serif fonts. Ser Fonts such as Verdana, Tahoma, and Open Sans are easy to read and appealing on screen. Make sure your fonts are also big enough to be seen and match the overall tone of your presentation.
Use High Quality Images
Images and photographs can make your presentation look more professional and visually appealing. Be sure to use only high-resolution images that are relevant to your theme and coordinate well with your color scheme.