Content might be king in regards to presentations, but design is important as well. A great design makes presentations look more professional and shows viewers that you put the time in to make the presentation look as nice as possible. This shows them that you are serious about the presentation. Images also create an emotional response so people can feel what you’re saying instead of just hearing it. On top of that, various design elements emphasize the main message and enhance communication with the viewers. All of these benefits mean you really need to spend some time working on your design.
While you can get professional help, it’s possible to handle the design yourself. Check out these seven tips and resources so you can create a killer design for your next presentation. Then, you’ll blow your audience away during your pitch.
1. Use of Color
A lot of people pick colors based on what they like. For instance, if you like blue, you might use a lot of blue in your presentation. Instead of picking colors based on what you like, pick them based on what they mean. Each color symbolizes something unique, and picking colors based on those symbols will help you have more success with your presentation.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand that:
- Red is associated with power, energy, strength, desire, and love
- Black symbolizes death, evil, mystery, power, and formality
- White stands for goodness, purity, innocence, safety, and light
- Orange is typically associated with joy and sunshine
- Yellow symbolizes happiness, energy, and intellect
- Purple stands for royalty, power, ambition, and luxury
- Blue is associated with faith, truth, and stability
- Green symbolizes freshness, harmony, growth, and fertility
Think about what you’re trying to convey with your presentation and then pick your colors accordingly. Just make sure you don’t overdo it when it comes to picking your colors. Choose a maximum of three main colors for your presentation. You can also add in some shades of those main colors if needed.
Then, use those same colors throughout the entire presentation. That will pull the presentation together and it will help you with branding. It will also make it easier for people to focus on the content since they won’t be exposed to different colors with each slide.
Think about how your presentation will be displayed. If you’re using a projector, choose colors that are different from one another. If the colors are too similar, they will look the same on the projector.
In addition, if people are going to print out the presentation, leave the background white. Otherwise, they will use up all of their printer ink printing the colored background.
2. Color Schemes
You need to go beyond basic colors and think about color schemes when designing your presentation. Use bright colors to highlight the most important information on the slide so it stands out to the viewer. At the same time, you don’t want to draw attention to less important places on the slide. You can use bright colors sparingly for headlines or other key meesages on your slide but use most of your bright colors to highlight the important information.
If you are looking for some inspiration on what colors to use, check out https://flatuicolors.com/. These flat colors will give your presentation a slick, modern look that will appeal to viewers.
If you already know the one or two main colors you want to use but need to build a color palette, go to http://www.colourlovers.com/. Adobe Kuler https://color.adobe.com/ is another great resource. Both will help you build a color palette that will look great for your presentation.
3. Fixed Slide Layout
Once you have your colors ready, it will be time to think about your slide layout. The best designed presentations used a fixed slide layout. This makes the presentation easy to follow and ensures that your viewers will focus on the content.
A fixed slide layout doesn’t mean you can’t use different layout pages, though. You can still use different layouts for pages with a lot of text, or photos, a main graphic or charts, but they should contain the same elements you’ll find on the other pages. For instance, they should all have the same header style. That way, the entire presentation will look like it’s in the same layout family.
You can create your fixed slide layout using a template. This is the easiest way to get a well-designed presentation started. PowerPoint has various templates you can use for your presentation. You can also pick up some free templates at http://www.slidescarnival.com/.
You can also buy a predesigned template. Check out http://graphicriver.net/category/presentation-templates. To find some beautiful templates that will look great for your presentation.
Design Your Own
If you have some design skills, consider designing your own template. Start with a grid. A grid provides structure to your template by dividing the page into columns and rows. This will bring equilibrium to the page. Go with a 1:2 or a 1:1 grid and get started. Just make sure you use the same fonts and font sizes when designing your template or you will run into trouble. To help you design your template in powerpoint, you can download this image with some grid lines, and paste it on a powerpoint slide to align your elements with.
4. Choose Fonts
You may not realize it, but fonts play a big role in the overall design of a presentation. They communicate their own messages, so you need to choose your fonts deliberately. Use the fonts as a way to share your personality with the viewers. Just make sure the font is clear and easy to read or your viewers will spend more time squinting at the presentation than they will taking in what you have to say.
You need to use the same fonts throughout the entire presentation, but you can use complimentary fonts that work well together. For instance, you can go with a serif font for your headers and a sans serif font for your sub headers since they work well together. Just make sure your contrasting fonts go together so they transition nicely. Also, do not use more than two contrasting fonts.
When it comes to choosing your typeface, you have six categories to select from, with each category having its own set of typefaces. Select from:
- Geometric typefaces, which are based on geometric forms
- Humanist typefaces that are developed from handwriting
- Old style typefaces that come from the oldest typefaces
- Transitional typefaces that transition from the old style to the modern period
- Modern typefaces, which contrast thick and thin strokes
- Slab serif typefaces that typically consist of simple forms and can convey authority and friendliness
Can Others Print Your Fonts?
After you pick your fonts, you have to determine if other people will be able to print them out if they print your presentation. Check this list of standard fonts:
If your font isn’t on the list, send out your presentation in PDF form so everyone can print it without any problems, even if they don’t have your font.
5. Don’t Use More Than 6 Lines of Text
Your slides aren’t a script. They are there to support your story, not to act as a substitution for it. If your slides contain your entire story, a couple of things will happen. First, you will lose trust with your audience. They won’t look at you as an expert. They will assume that you have to write everything down since you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Second, people will automatically start reading the slides during your presentation. If they’re reading, they can’t listen, so the presentation will be lost on them. They won’t catch any additional information you throw their way during the presentation.
Keep people’s attention and showcase yourself as an expert by keeping your slides to a minimum of six lines of text. If you can, it’s even better to keep them within five lines of text. Use a few keywords and support those keywords with an icon. Don’t even include bullet points. Just keep it simple.
6. Use Icons
You want your presentation to be visually appealing, and you can accomplish that with icons. Not only do icons spice up the presentation, but they make it easier for people to understand abstract topics.
When it comes to icons, you can go with literal icons or you can use them as a metaphor. For example, if you want to talk about the outlook of a specific topic, you can include a weather icon. Weather icons are associated with outlook.
Just as you choose between the literal and the metaphoric, you also choose between icon styles. As with fonts, it’s important that you stay within the same style for your entire presentation. For instance, if you choose a drawn icon for your first slide, you need to use that same type of icons for the remainder of your slides. The easiest ways to do this is to get an icon pack. Then, all of the icons inside of the pack will be similar so you can use them throughout your presentation.
Awesome Font is a great font of icons. One of the best things about a icon font is you can scale up without losing quality. You can also adjust colors on the various icons.
If you want to install Awesome Font, go to https://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/.
Flaticon is another top choice to find icons. Be sure to check icons packs, so when you use different icons they will have the same look: http://www.flaticon.com/packs.
7. Include Photos
Finally, you need to add photos to your presentation. If you do this correctly, your presentation will be much more dynamic and will help you explain things quickly. A lot of businesses fill their slides with one photo after the next, but we recommend using one large photo per slide. Avoid using gutters and margins when placing your photos on the slides. This will create an overflow effect that will resonate with your viewers.
Consider adding photos of someone holding your product and smiling. When people see the photo, they will automatically think that your product makes customers happy. In this case, a photo really is worth a thousand words, and all of those words are positive.
You have a lot of different options to get photos. The best way is to hire a professional photographer and have him photograph your subjects and your products. Of course, that costs money and if you don’t have enough money to hire someone, there are some other options out there.
If you want to get free photos, you can use http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/. You’ll find free stock photos on this site. Just search by keyword to find the photos that you want.
You can also use Google to find images. Don’t just take any image off Google, though. You need to make sure you have the right to use the image. Filter the results by usage rights to make sure you can use them. In addition, use the “Search Tools” feature to filter your results by size, color, type, and more. This will make it easier to find the right images for your presentation.
If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money, you can buy some photos. These are usually of a higher quality, so it’s at least worth looking into when designing your presentation. Check out http://www.istockphoto.com/ and https://stock.adobe.com/ if you want to buy stock images.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to design a killer presentation that will wow your audience and get them excited about what you have to offer. You might not have the time to put into the process, though. If that’s the case, you can still have a killer presentation with our help. Contact us and we will get to work so you can have a presentation that will impress everyone the next time you pitch your prospects.