With all PowerPoint’s graphic capabilities, it can be easy to get ahead of yourself and overload your PowerPoint presentations. However, sometimes less is more, as it can make information more digestible! A clear presentation gives a clear message, without the trouble of unnecessary and distracting elements which can hinder the audience from registering important information. Amélie – a Graphic Project Leader in our design team – gave us her most effective tips and tricks for creating impeccable presentations.
1. Hierarchize information
According to Amélie, the most important thing to remember is to use different levels to break information down for the audience. First of all, decide on the key message you want to convey and prioritize this information. Then, think about how you will compose the slides, as this is essential to delivering a strong presentation. Write short phrases that have impact. The goal of a PowerPoint is to share a message, so make it clear and easy for the audience to read and understand!
2. Use the grid and align your elements
First, activate the grid by ticking the ‘ruler’, ‘guidelines’ and ‘guide’ boxes under the ‘view’ taskbar. Amélie advises that equal spacing and alignment is vital to making presentations easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. It provides a visual aid to work by and helps you create new ways of presenting your slides, so each slide is not the same and keeps the audience engaged. Balanced designs give a fresh, professional feel which will gain your audience’s and potential clients’ trust!
3. Worship margins
Having space in your slides allows the audience to breathe; they will feel less bombarded with information and will be more interested in listening to what you have to say! Do not go over the outside border which appears when you use the grid. Space gives an air of professionalism, and not only does it avoid cluttering the page with useless information, but it forces you to prioritize that information!
4. Use images instead of text
Using images or icons has a simplifying effect; the audience can visualize what you are explaining and it makes slides more visually pleasing than simply using plain text, which can appear daunting and bore audiences. Pictograms are useful when trying to illustrate and explain your point.
5. Limit the use of text
We advise having no more than 3 main ideas per slide, and one sentence for each of these should be enough! This means that the audience will concentrate on you and what you’re saying, and you aren’t distracting with all the information on the screen in front of them. Outline the main ideas that will assist your presentation, but not replace you!
6. Separate sections clearly
Creating zones within a presentation makes it easy to follow and splits up information. This clarifies what you are talking about and allows your audience to stay on track with the presentation. However, it is important to note that creating too many sections within one slide can clutter and confuse a PowerPoint presentation – find a happy medium!
7. Use background and writing colors to full effect
Remember: Opposites attract! Use light writing on a dark background, and dark writing on a light background. Make your information as easy to read as possible so that more time is spent listening to you, rather than decoding and struggling to see what is written on screen!
8. Final words of advice
Everyone is aware of the plethora of animations and word art styles available on PowerPoint, but using too many can just distract the attention from the focus of the presentation and could appear unprofessional When used sparingly, they can add impact, but it is important not to over-do it. Anything that’s not vital, shouldn’t be there. The same goes for using varieties of colors that don’t fit company charters – it could end up diverting attention from the actual essence of the presentation. And when it comes to icons – keep them consistent, changing picture proportions is a no go, and remember the golden rule – never write vertically.
Check out our 10 PowerPoint Productivity Tips & Tricks article which gives broader tips on PowerPoint!