There are a lot of bad presentation slides out there. More often than not, they’re boring, ugly, unclear, pointless or some combination of all the above.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
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The whole point of using slides with your presentation is to enhance what you’re saying, to bring your story to life. And anyone, even if you have zero design skills, can create slides that do just that – without spending tedious hours in PowerPoint.
Here are five secrets to stunning slide design for all my non-designer friends out there:
1. Start with a template.
Seriously, why start from scratch when someone has already done the hard work for you? According to research by Venngage, 45% of presenters spend eight hours or more designing slides. With a template, that time is cut down to two hours or less!
A good template has all building blocks you need to quickly create a captivating and professional looking presentation. But steer clear of PowerPoint templates. They look generic and for some reason no matter what version of PowerPoint you have, they always look outdated. They also don’t provide the range of layouts you’ll need.
2. Keep it simple (and use more slides).
Presenters say their top challenge when it comes to creating slides is summarizing information and condensing points.
The first solution to this challenge is to hone your presentation so you’re only focusing on one core theme. A presentation should flow like a story with an introduction, climax, and resolution. No one is going to listen to a rambling, incohesive narrative with too many asides, footnotes, or detours.
The second solution is simply to use more slides – especially when it comes to webinars. No one wants to stare at the same slide for 10 minutes or even five minutes. Without a steady flow of new imagery, your webinar audience will surely move on to checking their email or doing other work while they “listen” to your presentation in the background.
The key is to limit yourself to one topic per slide. While topics may be connected, they can be broken down into simpler points that will be easier for your audience to digest.
Look at the example below from Velocity Partners. See how they keep the slides simple, with high-contrasting colors and very little text. I also love how their slides build on one another, each slide leading to the next. This helps build anticipation and keeps the audience attentive.
3. Stick with a slide design style.
The presenter isn’t the only one speaking to the audience – the slides speak volumes. A distinct slide design style communicates personality and signals a lot about how someone should respond to your presentation. So choose a style wisely.
Some styles are minimalistic and communicate trustworthiness, others can quirky and playful, some can be provocative and compelling, while others are cool and modern. Take a look at the examples below and see what their styles communicate:
When choosing a slide template, images, and color palette, think about what you want to convey to your audience and how you want your business to be perceived. Choose a distinct style that will help establish a personality and message. Then stick with that style.
4. Use quality imagery.
Our brains process images far faster than text. So imagery can be a presenter’s best friend. When choosing an image ask yourself:
- Does it tell a story?
- Does it help explain or clarify a point?
- Is it unique and captivating?
- Does it strike an emotional chord?
- Does it complement my branding and/or slide style?
- Is it high-quality?
5. Strategically use text and color.
How many slides have you seen that look like this:
There’s nothing wrong a standard headline and a few succinct bullet points. But if this is your go-to format, you’re missing a huge opportunity to engage and impact your audience.
Forget the over-used, safe layouts. Instead, play with the position of your text, or try using dynamic typography to make a point like this slide:
Or use color strategically to send a message or draw attention:
How are you feeling? Ready to tackle your slides like a pro? If you want even more helpful tips and tricks, download our new ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Webinar Visuals: How to Design Presentations to Captivate Your Online Audience!