Being a non-designer is no excuse for mediocre-looking slides. Anyone persistent enough can develop an eye for design, especially with the help of web-based tools that grant access to many professionally-designed templates.
If you’re planning to use a presentation tool to engage today’s audience, you should learn how to make your slides look fresh and contemporary.
One way to leave a good impression is to nail your slide design.
If your audience sees that your first few slides pack a lot of punch, they’ll perk up intuitively and start directing most of their energy on you.
Visual appeal is important for presentations, and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand how it works.
Keeping that in mind, there are a handful of simple and surefire tricks and strategies that you can use to make your slide deck more appealing. Here are five that you’ll be able to apply quickly and easily:
1. One idea per slide
Let’s face it, attention spans are getting shorter. In fact, a Microsoft report on consumer insights revealed that the average human attention span was at just 8 seconds in 2013. For that reason, you need to make sure that you put only one idea in each slide and use not more than ten words to present it. Keeping your message short and direct will keep your audience at the edge of their seats.
2. Easy-to-read fonts
People appreciate minimalism. They don’t need fancy decorations to draw their attention. That’s why when you’re torn between pizzazz and practicality, always go with practicality. This principle applies most especially to fonts. Choose a font style, color, and size that your audience will be able to read. Make sure that even those at the back of the room can see what’s written in each slide.
Check out the below presentation for a typography primer.
3. Generous use of white space
White space or negative space refers to the unused sections of a slide. It doesn’t necessarily have to be white. If its primary function is to highlight the main points in each slide, then it’s considered white space. Again, what you’re targeting here is minimalism.White space is like oxygen for your slides, it gives your audience a chance to breathe in between.Click To Tweet
See the below where Gary Vaynerchuk adds slides with a ton of white space to balance out his presentation.
4. Selective color scheme
As much as the audience will appreciate minimalism, they’ll also like a rich and saturated palette. This doesn’t mean you have to use all the colors in the color wheel. Just choose a maximum of three and stick with them. You can work around your chosen colors’ hues and tones if you need variety.
See below for an example of a presentation with a consistent color scheme.
5. Large and hi-res images
Small images look old-fashioned while large images look clean, bold, and modern. For your deck to look contemporary, you should put an image against the edges of a slide so that it occupies the entire space. This will leave out unnecessary spaces that will only make your deck look unprofessional.
See below for an example of a presentation with large and sharp image use.
Ready to apply these tips to your next presentation? Piktochart has a number of templates you can work with, whatever the occasion.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Feeling particularly nautical? This dreamy presentation could work.
- Styling! This fashion-forward template is fun and fearless.
- This template is for you techies out there.