Successful and interesting presentations are always supported by well-designed and informative slides. When something wrong with your presentation design, such as screaming colors, it will be problematic and unsuccessful. That’s why you should know the basics of designing the best presentation because even subtle details can make a huge difference:
- Understanding the right visual hierarchy and how to use it effectively in your presentation;
- The basics of color theory;
- Turning visual hierarchy principles into effective designs;
- The extras that can make your presentation excellent;
- Choosing the best typefaces.
Look into the process of how to apply all the above-mentioned principles while working on presentations.
Fundamental principles behind a successful presentation
To end up with a brilliant presentation, learn the fundamental principles that will help you succeed. First, any design starts with its visual hierarchy. What does it mean? Basically, it’s all about arranging the necessary elements in a way that implies their importance. By designing the ones with a stronger contrast, you’ll impact how people perceive what they see. This theory can help you determine the best structure of your presentation slides because their perfect visual hierarchy guarantees that the right elements catch attention. You can achieve this goal through different design techniques, such as:
- Using contrasting colors to make particular elements be more visible;
- Playing with the size of your pictures and text to make something specific stand out more.
If you use visual hierarchy techniques correctly, some content will seem more important than the other one. Use this fundamental principle to your advantage and determine something that must stand out in your next presentation. For instance, when designing any financial presentation, you may need viewers to recall that the third quarter of the year performed badly due to the lack of marketing efforts. It’s unrealistic to believe that they will recall a full list of marketing activities, the exact amount of sales, or who performed badly. A presentation is designed to provide the audience with a lot if information within a short period of time, and people’s attention is quite brief. That’s why you need to use visual hierarchy and focus on important messages to make the main ideas stick out.
Slide layout designs
Based on how the above-mentioned principle works, it’s possible to apply your knowledge to create interesting slide designs. For every slide, the main trick is to determine the most important message that must be spread. Next, you should assure that it will be the content remembered by people through the best design. This fundamental technique goes further than simply designing a single slide. As an example, you may have several slides in a row devoted to the same subject, but the final one with a significant conclusion should be the slide with its extra visual weight to be noticed by viewers. You can make your text bigger than usual and add images for the first time to apply visual hierarchy to slide layouts. Using less is better in most cases, so take into account this effective design trick. If you have crucial stats, including percentages, consider the following design solution:
- Display a graph with the context of key numbers;
- Display the most important percentage on a separate slide with no further elements to force the audience to pay attention to it.
The main trick is to provide your content and design with a hidden order, and the use of repetitions is another effective method to emphasize the main message. Feel free to display the graph followed by a single statistic on separate slides.
The best choice of typography
It goes a long way in making the design of your presentation better. The rule of thumb is that bad typography choices are noticed at once and good fonts are invisible. If you choose Comic Sans as your presentation font, people will notice it. That’s why traditional and standard font choices are your effective design solutions. Use regular versions for the text and the bold ones for a title. Ensure that the chosen font size is big enough to improve readability and make a title bigger. To keep your typography choices solid, stick only to basic fonts.
You can mix different fonts, but this technique is more suitable for people with enough experience in designing presentations. Try to look for excellent font presentation to avoid messing up. There are many online sources that can be helpful if you’re interested in typography. It’s a great way to make a presentation more unique while customizing its design. Another important choice is determining how much text you should use in slides. In most cases, you should avoid writing full sentences in your presentation. Use bullet list of important facts to ensure that people will pay attention to them.
Understanding color basics
A good understanding of color basics can help you improve a presentation considerably, so you should realize that colors express specific feelings. Bright and vibrant shades are perceived as more playful, while the dark and cool ones are felt more professional. The colors of your presentation depend on its context a lot. When creating the professional one, it’s quite likely that you must work with your brand colors, and this means that the entire process is easier.
In other cases, it’s necessary to choose the right colors, and working with a single primary shade is the most effective way to select the right color palette. Besides, try working with grey shades as supporting colors. Use 2 colors while keeping the rest of your presentation simple to succeed. Don’t forget that you have contrasting and complimentary shades when studying color theory.
How to get all details right
Getting details right is one of the most interesting and effective ways to improve the design of your presentations. You’ll be surprised how some minor elements can improve them visually.
The importance of photography
Your presentation isn’t complete without using photography, which is a simple way to support it visually. An effective trick to improve its design is to avoid stock websites that use the pictures that feel different from the necessary message. Look for the most suitable solutions for your next presentation.
Why you should use icons
Using icons is another easy way to enhance your presentation visually. They offer the best solution if it doesn’t contain a lot of text and you don’t want to use many pictures in it. Ideally, you need to use icons from a single kit to guarantee that they all have the same style. The good news is that many available presentation themes include a special icon kit. Alternatively, you can find them for free or buy the necessary kits online.
How to add charts
When working with any significant data, adding charts can help you end up with a great presentation design. Pay attention to this important design element because the audience can be easily overwhelmed with a lot of data. How to use charts to your advantage? Consider the following helpful suggestions:
- Avoid using too many of them at once because charts should be used sparingly to add more value to your message;
- Have the follow-up slides to explain the main takeaway of charts;
- Your information should be legible, so avoid fancy animations.
Add some multimedia
Adding some multimedia to a presentation turns out to be helpful in many ways. This is how you make it more interactive to explain something that pictures and words can’t. For instance, when having such digital products as mobile apps, display a special video where you demonstrate their unique features because it’s an intriguing technique to improve your presentation.
Animations and transitions
A smooth transition between slides and their animations is another important element in the design of successful presentations. It’s quite simple for people to overdo the use of transitions and animations to the point that will only distract the audience. A good rule to use is that a big part of your presentation doesn’t require any transition between animations and slides. Use them only when needed (when you must assure that people will remember everything you’re saying) and apply visual hierarchy principles too.
Helpful tips for designing presentations
Once you learn the main principles of designing impressive presentations, you need to apply all of them in practice. First, plan your content before you start designing the next presentation. Focus on it to determine how your design can support it. Before you work on the design of all slides, it’s quite productive to think about their content and key messages. Find out what other people must remember after viewing your presentation to optimize slides and let them support important messages and ensure that your content stands out. When sharing the main message, use interesting animations to highlight it. In general, it’s advisable to start with a key message.
Using design basics and collecting photography
Once you figure out the content of your presentation, define the foundations of its slide design. Your choice of typography and color can help you make the right decision. Select a primary shade and the most suitable font to get started. You need to use photography or other imagery when designing a presentation, so start collecting matching images in advance. After taking these simple steps, you’re ready to start with your actual design.
Defining the layout of your slides
Work on the layout of every slide in your presentation. Some variety is helpful, but it’s not required to create the unique one. Your chosen layout can be very simple, such as the slide that contains a relevant picture. In some cases, a layout should be complex, like a combination of graphs and bullet points. The main trick is to create enough layouts for your slides and focus on their design individually. After designing the necessary layouts, it’s possible to put the entire presentation together to see how it flows. You need to practice it a few times to fine-tune and revise everything.
Design rules that matter a lot
There are certain principles that have a major impact on the design of presentation and make people either like or dislike a particular graphic composition or image. They work on a subconscious level as people perceive the visible world.
Harmony and unity
The ultimate goal of any graphic composition is to speak with a unique visual voice. This means is that different graphic elements in your presentation must be consistent and coherent throughout its design. You can achieve the necessary harmony and unity through a number of methods, such as using a consistent color palette on different media outputs or sticking to a few font tops. Unity is a must when establishing your corporate identity because each company should speak with its unique voice.
Ensure that there’s an intended order in which the entire graphic composition is read, and it must be clear to the audience. That’s why establishing the visual hierarchy of your presentation is important. Otherwise, viewers will feel lost, become overwhelmed, lost their interest fast, and leave. Conveying visual hierarchy is achieved not only by placing all elements in a well-thought and intended order, but you can also establish it by using different shapes, colors, text, and a relationship in a distribution and size of each element.
What are focal points? They are specific areas of interest or differences within your presentation that can help you both capture and hold people’s attention. Use the ones that really stand out to achieve this goal easily, but not all areas of your design have the same relevance. If you emphasize specific elements, you’ll make your presentation easy to read and catchy while keeping viewers more interested in its content. If you arrange everything in a flat and uniform layout, you’ll fail to succeed.
Contrasts and similarities
Contrasts and similarities coexist in the right balance within any graphical space. Similarities are the intentional repetitions of specific elements to let the audience become familiar with a particular characteristic. For instance, when all book chapters start on right-side pages, the best thing is that people don’t need to figure out whether they’re reading a new chapter. On the other hand, contrasts are all about breaking similarities to draw attention.
Useful ideas for designing impressive presentations
Try to use only easy-to-read fonts and avoid getting too fancy with them when designing the next presentation. A simple rule is that sans serif fonts are more reasonable for a presentation platform, while the larger ones can help people at the back see and read your key messages. Before you start designing anything, determine the goal and purpose of your presentation. What should it achieve? Your answer will guide its content and guarantee that it’s worth sharing and viewing.
Slide ideas and quality images
Keep all presentation slides simple and include only one idea in each one (express it in up to 10 words). That’s because viewers shouldn’t either read along with a speaker or be distracted by your slides. Keep your text brief and catchy to deliver new highlights with your presentation. To make it look professional, include only top-quality images and high-resolution photos that match the chosen color scheme. Avoid using any uninteresting and fake pictures in your design. Make the most of your negative or white space to make your text flow.
Selective color schemes
Don’t choose too many colors when designing presentations because they’ll be quite distracting. Pick a few colors for different accents, background bases, and foreground tones. Use the pictures that harmonize with the chosen color palette. Don’t hesitate to adjust saturation and contrast and add special filters to make them fit your presentation. If your text is laid over picture, use a complementary or contrasting color to make it easy-to-read.
How to stay consistent
The design of all slides should remain consistent, and this means that color schemes, images, layouts, fonts, and other important elements of your presentation must follow the same style. Make them interesting for the audience by using the following consistency tips:
- Use consistent fonts;
- Use the same title font and frame throughout your presentation;
- Use the same background.
Create a single fantastic slide, save it, and use as a future template.
Creating a compelling cover and using filters
Use a title slide as a calling card for the entire presentation. It should grab people’s attention and cover its main topic and feeling, so provide the audience with a valid reason to focus on your key message. Engage viewers with the first slide by using effective techniques and tools. Use filters to improve the mood of all pictures and create the best backdrop. They can help you unify images with different color values and brightness levels.
Include a call to action
Make your closing slide powerful and interesting to make a final impression. Include a call to action to make the audience remember your presentation.
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