Ten Insider Tips to Design Effective F&F Presentations
TIP #1: RESPECT YOUR BRAND
Consistency creates familiarity and is a vital step in designing an effective presentation. Avoid prebuilt templates. Instead, create custom templates. Use master pages to maintain consistency for visual elements including color, fonts, logo, headers, footers, and page numbers from slide to slide.
TIP #2: COLOR CUES
Color can evoke emotions and engage your audience. Respect approved primary and secondary brand colors when building your presentation. To save time and for quick access later, save your colors in PowerPoint. For inspiration, reference a color wheel or try an online color tool with prebuilt color schemes.
TIP #3: TELL A STORY
Everyone loves a good story. Have an introduction, clear section breaks, and a conclusion. Write a script or outline to organize information and ensure a logical flow. Memorize key points and use the ‘presenter notes’ function within PowerPoint as a quick reference. Always include a conclusion slide as a wrap-up.
TIP #4: LESS IS MORE
Simplicity is the key to an effective presentation. Avoid chaotic digital environments and distractions. Create a framework and design clear and concise content. Don’t make your audience read slides. Try to remove unnecessary information. Slides should support your presentation, not be the focus.
TIP #5: PICTURE PERFECT
A picture’s worth a thousand words. Avoid low-res photos, watermarked images, and clip art. Use high-res imagery only. Images should be large enough for your audience to see. When resizing, ensure that you ‘lock the aspect ratio’ to avoid distortion. Images don’t always need to be square or rectangular. For example; try cropping them into organic shapes, removing backgrounds, or ‘bleeding’ them off one or more of the sides.
TIP #6: FONTASTIC
Follow the rule of 3 for fonts. Ensure they’re complementary and choose one for headlines, another for subheads, and one for body copy. Sans serif fonts are best viewed on-screen. Serif fonts are better when printed. If your organization has approved fonts, use them. Otherwise, there are a plethora of free fonts available online. No matter what fonts you choose, legibility is paramount.
TIP #7: CHARTED TERRITORY
Use charts as visual aids to communicate information and break up content-heavy slides. Keep them large, clean, and easy to understand. Remove borders and backgrounds and don’t overuse arrows. Avoid special effects like shadows, reflections, and outlined text.
TIP #8: ANIMATION IN MODERATION
Animation should be used to complement the presentation, not distract the audience. Use simple transitions and customize timing and duration. To prevent the audience from reading ahead, reveal body copy in sections as you speak to the various points. Avoid gimmicky slide transitions and sound effects.
TIP #9: REMOTE CONTROL
Invest in a presentation remote or see if your mobile phone supports an app that can be synced with your computer. Controlling your presentation in this manner rather than using a mouse allows you to interact with your audience and avoids you being tethered to your computer.
TIP #10: SHARING IS CARING
A portable document format (PDF) is compatible with most operating systems and allows you to digitally share your presentation. A PDF will retain fonts and graphics in their current state and allows anyone to view your presentation on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Some versions of Acrobat allow file size optimization when exporting. This is especially helpful for sharing content that’s graphic heavy.