12 Professional PowerPoint Tips to Make Your Presentation Look Stunning
Want to make a great impression? PowerPoint is, without a doubt, one of the most popular and easiest presentation tools, but it’s also one that gets used in a way that makes presentations look cluttered and dull.
For years, the modern way to present a business proposal has been to use PowerPoint. When done professionally, it can be an effective way to persuade an audience to take a specific action or to retain key information.
This guide explains how to give your presentations that professional finish with thoughtful slide content and design.
First, write; then design
Writing content first allows you to concentrate on what information is important and what isn’t when you design the slide. Writing content first will also help prevent you from filling your slides with unnecessary visuals that distract the viewer from the most important parts of your message.
When writing content and designing content, keep in mind that visualising words is not always how you want to communicate your ideas; some concepts can only be conveyed through words and nothing more. When communicating, you want to ensure that your audience gets the message of your presentation.
Select a good “theme” or create your own
Themes are the standard PowerPoint templates that display predesigned colour schemes (background colour, font colour, and font style) and graphic layouts for individual elements in a presentation. By selecting a theme when you start a new presentation file, you can give your slide deck uniformity of appearance through all of its elements as well.
Every presentation you create should have one or more themes/themes. The theme in PowerPoint is very important because it is what catches and holds the audience’s attention.
A good theme for a presentation will save you time and effort in the long run. It will help you avoid making mistakes such as overcompensating for poor colour choice or choosing design elements that don’t fit together well.
Start with a title slide that captures attention
First impressions are important, especially when it comes to PowerPoint. The initial impression you make with your very first slide is the one that potential clients, colleagues, and friends will have of you as a presenter. Use an attention-grabbing title slide that gets people energised about your topic to establish your credibility and engage them in what you have to say.
Remember: Every PowerPoint slide is a piece of a puzzle that, combined with everything else in your presentation, gives your audience the full picture. An effective design approach helps you guide audience attention through the presentation and associate each individual slide with the content being presented… In short, an approach that starts with a title slide that piques interest will create a positive impression.
A simple design is better
Unnecessary elements break the design and distract the viewers’ attention. If you want to create an engaging presentation, then stick to simple designs that incorporate white space, alignment and hierarchy. These three elements of design will help you create PowerPoint slides that are easy to understand and memorable.
…For colours too
Sometimes simplicity can be one of the hardest rules to follow. Many PowerPoint design presentations include several colours or effects, and instead of providing clarity, it ends up being hard for the viewer to take it all in. The design is probably too busy and looks cluttered.
When it’s time to give a presentation, you should only use as many colours or effects as required to create the right amount of emphasis needed to convey your message. You should keep the number of fonts used limited as well. Too many fonts can be distracting in a PowerPoint design presentation.
Focus on one point per slide
Make one point per slide to create a presentation with a laser beam of focus. And although it’s good to briefly restate that point on the next page, don’t just repeat what you’ve already said. This is better than ideas blurted out all over the place.
The reality is that highlighting several different elements in one slide can end up diluting that point you’re trying to make. Highlighting one point per slide allows you to combine emphasis and variety in your design presentation.
If you want to create an engaging presentation, then stick to simple designs that incorporate white space, alignment and hierarchy.
Don’t make it text-heavy
Keep text to a minimum in PowerPoint. People may be using a projector, so make sure that the white background of your presentation is clear and readable. Remember to present text vertically (like the slides), rather than horizontally with large amounts of text (like a book).
Create a strong PowerPoint design presentation using text sparingly and relying on imagery, colours, and fonts to get your message across.
Sans-serif fonts work best
When creating a PowerPoint design presentation, one of the crucial aspects to keep in mind is the choice of typography. There are plenty of different fonts available, and choosing one may seem like an easy job — however, it’s not as simple as you might think.
While serif fonts have an elegant, bookish feel, sans-serif fonts (i.e., text without small lines jutting out of the letters) are a more modern choice. They use little or no embellishments.
In writing, san serif fonts are often associated with a more professional, less formal tone, appropriate to both business and academic documents. In PowerPoint design, sans-serif types crisply convey key information, focusing the viewer’s attention upon your message.
When you must place emphasis upon a particular word, choose a sans serif font to give a more precise meaning to its intended sense and idea. They are usually reserved for advertising and create a sense of playfulness in design. After all, they are the font of choice on Twitter and Facebook.
Make the fonts 24pt or larger
Make fonts 24pt or larger so that your slides are easy to read even from the back of the room. This is especially true if it is a slide with a title that you want people to read. Choosing the correct font to display a specific dimension of your idea is an important part of creating a successful, persuasive PowerPoint design presentation.
One way to dramatically increase the impact of your design is to choose a font size that is larger than normal: 30pt for body text and 24pt or larger for subheaders. Most people are seduced by visual stimuli, so using large fonts can subconsciously convince your audience of the importance of your topic.
Choose images for impact
A good photograph will make the layout more creative and interesting. Choose an image that has a visual impact for the page you are using it with.
When you insert images into your PowerPoint design, don’t forget to resize them so that they do occupy a significant visual area. This is the main reason why you should always use large-resolution pictures while creating a PowerPoint design presentation.
End with a persuasive call to action
Ending with a call to action makes your audience think, and leaves them with something to say. It’s a surefire way to drive home the point you want to make while engaging with your audience.
Each point in your presentation should have an argument, and each point or visual illustration should certainly contain a call to action. Without an alluring appeal, your audience may simply read through your slideshow without actually absorbing any of the content. As a result, you could fail to get what you want out of your presentation design.
Lastly, explore the power of PowerPoint
PowerPoint is a great tool that most people underestimate at first. PowerPoint can really make your presentations more effective since you have a lot of freedom to design things and experiment with different styles.
More importantly, PowerPoint allows you to easily translate your ideas into visual representations that are easier to understand for the viewers. Overall, if you need to create really compelling PowerPoint presentations, then just use some creativity and design skills!