There are some essential tips to consider the next time you build a presentation deck, whether in PowerPoint or Keynote, to ensure it’s a success. Some tips may be obvious to some, but others, perhaps not. Things like consistency, use of color, and storytelling.
You may want to think twice about industry jargon or anything else that may distract from the topic at hand. At the end of the day, you want to remain top of mind long after you depart the conference room, so be creative and stand out!
Here are 7 Tips:
1. Be Consistent
Once you’ve designed a template or framework for your presentation deck, take a close look and ensure it’s the most meaningful and compelling way to showcase your product, service, or technology. Don’t detract from it. Once you’ve decided on the most exciting visual aesthetic, stick to it, and remain consistent throughout your presentation deck. Consistency and placement are the keys to strong branding so be cognizant of where your logo lives, your style, color and font choices, headers, and footers. If your company has an official style guide, as they should, use it.
CCG Pro Tip: You need 5 core slides — title, table of contents, content, chapter, and closing slides.
2. Don’t Fear Color
One of the easiest ways to keep a presentation exciting is by using clever color combinations. Fueled by color theory, some colors can actually manifest different emotions from your audience. And you want those to be positive ones. Be sure to select a small palette of 3 to 4 colors and stick to them throughout your presentation deck. You want to stay on-brand and avoid potential audience confusion. Did you know you can save custom colors in Powerpoint for quick access later?
CCG Pro Tip: Reference an online color wheel to experiment with prebuilt color schemes or create your own at color.adobe.com
3. Use Charts, Graphics & Infographics
A great way to break down content-heavy slides is by distilling them into charts, graphs or infographics. A visual representation of information will make your slides more easily digestible and certainly more fun! Avoid low-res photos, watermarked images, and clip art. Use high-res photos only as 4K displays are becoming more prevalent. Avoid excessive use of effects like shadows, reflections, arrows, and slide animations. These can distract your audience from the substance of your presentation deck.
CCG Pro Tip: If you don’t have a stock photo subscription, consider searching Google Images in high-res. The setting is under tools/size/large.
4. Tell A Story
It’s vital to write copy using an introduction, body, and conclusion. Take your audience on a journey and tell a story. Having a clear start and stop between topics will allow for a cleaner, more logical flow of information.
CCG Pro Tip: Use section/chapter breaks to allow for reflective pauses and allow your audience to shift gears.
5. Keep it Simple
Avoid overly crowded slides in your presentation. Simplicity is the optimal way to present an effective idea. Excessive use of text, imagery, and animation will distract your viewers from what’s really important. Less is more so don’t use your slides as a brain dump. The last thing you want is your audience reading. Keep your content top-level and at the most use bullet points.
CCG Pro Tip: Remove unnecessary information or redundant slides; they distract your audience from the central purpose of your presentation deck. Remember, short and sweet.
6. Use the Rule of 3
Be consistent with typefaces and fonts from slide to slide. Choose a font for headers (1), a complimentary one for subheads (2), and another for body copy (3). That’s it! Be consistent with the placement of your text. Don’t forget that legibility is paramount. For unique fonts, try browsing some websites for a large selection of fonts that you can download absolutely free. If we need to discuss Comic Sans or Papyrus, then all hope is lost.
CCG Pro Tip: Use sans serif fonts as they are best viewed on-screen. (Serif fonts are better for print applications).
7. Share It!
A portable document format (PDF) is compatible with most operating systems and are easily viewed on all devices. This is the best way for you to digitally share your presentation deck as it will maintain fonts and graphics the same way you input them regardless of the end users device.
CCG Pro Tip: If you use Adobe Acrobat® to create PDF’s it will allow you to optimize your file size when exporting.
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HOW WE CAN HELP
My team and I at Costello Creative Group have been helping businesses solve communication challenges since 2012. Prior to starting my firm, I spent eight years gaining powerful insights as an Art Director supporting global Marketing & Account teams for one of the largest Flavor & Fragrance organizations in the world. CCG’s focus in the F&F sector came naturally, but we continue to work cross-industry to maintain our diversity in both our thinking and creative approach. We partner long-term with clients to support them with everything from ad campaigns, digital marketing, branding and visual identity initiatives, to sales collateral, packaging, sales kits, and trade show materials.