Once you’ve got your word count under control, bullets to a minimum and decent colors and images (see Beginner’s Guide to Presentation Design) you’re on your way to a solid presentation. But a righteous presentation design requires a bit more consideration, so here are 10 ways to take it to the next level:
Intermediate Presentation Design
It may be time to consider techniques that enhance your presentation (e.g., animations), add more types of content to broaden the appeal of your presentations (e.g., recorded demos), and explore more sophisticated ways to present different types of data (e.g., charts and graphs).
Recommended Presentation Design Techniques
A simple, yet underused, way to select your color palette is to use your presentation tool’s “color picker”. Just add your images to the slide and use the picker to match your background, font colors and any shapes to colors in your images.
Rather than just pasting images on your slides, take a moment to add effects by inserting a frame, border or adjust the color of your images using the hue, contrast, saturation and brightness sliders found in your presentation software.
Animations, when used sparingly and with definite purpose, can help bring your presentation to life. A well-placed Fade, Fly or Page Turn animation can wake up your audience and help you make your point.
For certain presentations, adding music to the background can really enhance the experience for viewers, particularly if they’re watching it online in a “self-serve” manner. And voiceover is a great way to help deliver your message and spare yourself from the urge to put too many words on your slides.
Compelling Presentation Content
Presentations can be used to present at conferences, on sales calls, webinars and a number of other venues. A screencast of a product demo is a great way to make your pitch in tried and true fashion minus the stress that often accompanies a live demo.
A short video can be an effective addition to your presentation design. Also, use video as a break to get your thoughts together and read the reaction of the audience.
Charts and graphs are often an afterthought in presentation design. A necessary evil. Yet, if you take the time to tease out the key messages you’ll be richly rewarded with audience engagement.
Not everything you want to present will fit nicely in a presentation. Use hyperlinks to bring up a webpage or other external content. Or use hyperlinks for navigation within your presentation to link to backup slides or sections.
Be sure to check out our other helpful presentation guides: