Designing presentations that effectively communicate your message has long been an important skill in the modern workplace. From presenting business updates to pitching to potential clients, a well-designed slide deck can enhance your chances of accomplishing your business objective.
Here are some design principles to keep in mind while creating your next presentation. You can also check out Show’s collection of professionally designed slide templates if you wish to get a head start.
1). Design slides with your purpose in mind
The first step is to determine the purpose of your presentation. Ask yourself a couple of questions before you start the design process: Who is my target audience? What type of content am I planning to present?
Once you figure out the purpose of your presentation, you can then finalize the type of slide design you want to use in your presentation.
For instance, if you are presenting the quarterly financial results of your company, adding fancy visuals to the slides or choosing pastel colors like pink might not be in sync with the theme. Choosing a color in line with your brand and using a minimalist design will help maintain consistency and give a professional look to your presentation.
2). Focus on readability
We have all seen slides that are so cluttered or full of text that the audience loses interest midway through the presentation. Adding long paragraphs of text to your slides can be overwhelming to your audience, and including too many visual elements around or behind your text can make it hard to read. Try to ensure there is sufficient white space and leave enough margin around your text to ensure it does not look cramped in the slides.
For instance, let’s look at the two slides above. In the slide on the left, there is a lot of content for the viewer to process, which can make them lose interest in the presentation. In comparison, the slide on the right contains minimal content with the right use of white space, helping your audience to stay engaged and understand the point you’re making.
3). Use color consistently
One of the common mistakes made by presenters while creating visuals is to not plan out the colors they’ll use in advance. There is generally a tendency to choose a color at random or choose a personal favorite while designing a deck. Color choice and the way colors are used together are important, as they can increase audience engagement and information retention.
For example, in this presentation above, blue is consistently used as the primary color, making it easier for the audience to make a connection with the business. To learn more about the use of colors in presentations, check out our post about color theory and its use in presentations.
4). Use animations sparingly
While it is important to make your presentations visually appealing, animation effects should not be overused in slides. They can be distracting and often detract rather than add value to your slides. Similar to how we choose the color, animations should be chosen based on the situation and the type of your presentation.
For example, imagine there are five points you wish to convey to the audience in a slide. If all the points are up on the slide at the same time, viewers may read ahead and not listen to what you have to add to these main points. You can use animations here to reveal your points individually in turn to ensure the audience focuses only on the points you’re currently discussing.
5). Maintain visual consistency
Complementary colors and backgrounds have been used in this template to make the slides look uniform.
Sometimes, you can create appealing slides that look great individually but don’t work well together as a cohesive presentation. Use similar or complementary backgrounds across all your slides to add consistency to the slides. Using templates is also an effective way to make your slides look uniform with minimal effort. Try using Show’s collection of free templates to create a presentation that maintains visual consistency in minutes.
Regardless of the topic presented in your slides, ensure that you focus on your design as well as your content. Wear the “audience hat” while you’re designing your slides to see your presentation from their perspective and make corrections wherever necessary. Evaluate your content and visual elements to make sure they complement the topic. Keep these design tips in mind while you are creating slides from the mobile or the web app to maximize the effectiveness of your next presentation.