Essential Elements of a Perfectly Designed Presentation
Designing a presentation in PowerPoint, Prezi or any other platform can look rather easy. However, once we start we begin to doubt ourselves, questioning whether we’ve used the right layout. This is the point when we decide to use a template and play it safe. Of course, it is important to keep the presentation simple and clear, but it must never be dull. Be creative and make sure your design stands out. Think of yourself as being part of the audience and ask yourself – do you like the presentation you are creating – is it eye catching or simply uninteresting? In order to present certain topics or facts you’ll definitely need an engaging audience.
A perfectly designed presentation will help you achieve your goal.
- Educate and entertain
The purpose of every presentation is to educate the audience or to bring certain topics closer to them. Take care of your audience and make sure you have their attention. In order to make this happen you may want to incorporate humor and an interesting story at the beginning of the presentation. Don’t be afraid to tell your personal anecdote, however, keep it professional and topic related.Bear in mind that slides are not there to tell a full story but to help you point out the important and clear points. The slides are a powerful tool and they help you visualize the entire concept of your presentation. This is the main reason why you should create simple and concise slides, but also the interesting ones, which will add to the success of your delivery.
- Templates – the arch enemy of creativity
Even if you are just creating a few simple slides, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use the existing templates. It’s true that they are often simple and save time, but they are certainly not the best option. How many times have you witnessed boring and predictable presentations, just sitting there and wondering when it will all be over? Nobody wants to see the same thing over and over again, regardless of how good your oral skills are. Moreover, using a template will look like you didn’t spend enough time preparing the presentation, and that you aren’t really concerned with the topic. If you haven’t bothered to invest time in your presentation, why should they. Be creative and unique – stand out from the rest.
- Consistency is the key
Each slide tells a different story but that doesn’t mean that one should be completely different from the other. Think of them as a composition and make sure they are well connected. One of the biggest mistakes is poor color choice. In order to make it more interesting, some people choose a different color for every slide. This will not only distract your audience, but also confuse them.
You need to be consistent with the use of colors and fonts.
- Color – choose the color for your entire design, not only for a slide. Avoid low contrast colors as it will be difficult for the audience to see it. High contrast is a perfect color scheme for your presentation, as it can be easily seen on the projector.
- Font type – it’s not unusual to see people simply overlooking the importance of font size and type. The most common mistake is the use of a fancy font in order to avoid regular ones such as Times New Roman, Ariel or Calibri. This doesn’t mean that you need to stick to those three, but choose a font which is easy to read and won’t distract the audience. Clear communication is an essential part of every presentation and you don’t want to ruin it with a poor font choice. The same goes for the colors, limit the fonts and use no more than two throughout the whole presentation.
- Font size – besides the type, font size is also a very important aspect. Make it big enough to be easy to read from the last row.
- Emphasizing the words – never use caps lock for this. It will look like you are yelling at the audience so you need to find an alternative for emphasizing the words. For the same reason, avoid using exclamations marks. Instead, use either a bigger font or bold/italics. Choose an appropriate way to highlight the important words and use it the entire time. If you had one type of emphasizing in the first slide, it would be confusing to change it in the next one.
Be unique and create the perfect presentation, but don’t forget that the design won’t mean anything if your content and your presentation skills aren’t good enough. Write good content and practice the presentation in order to avoid using fillers and other bad speech habits.
I would also add that delivery of the presentation is also key for its success. There is no doubt that no matter how great the content is designed, if the presenter doesn’t engage the audience in the right way, it will all be in vain.