Design for a Presentation – How to Create a New One
Presentations are often criticized for being bland, uninteresting, and uninspiring. This critique is quite truthful at times. We’ve all had experiences where we listened to a boring speech with a messy deck of slides to boot. A big part of making presentations interesting, be it in PowerPoint or KeyNote, is creating an engaging design. So, how to make an interesting and unique design for that presentation you’re preparing? Some professionals decide to utilize special KeyNote and PowerPoint services, where specialists make presentation designs and notes for you. Others prefer to get bogged down in the tools that the presentation software they use offers.
It’s never recommended to create the design for a presentation before your approximate notes are ready. Suppose you have no idea how to approach creating the design for any deck of slides. Here are these initial steps:
Design for a Presentation – Structure Your Deck
Before you begin to create various designs, you must have a clear idea of what you’ll be saying. Beginning with a sketched structure gives you an idea of what you’ll be putting on slides and how many you’ll have. From the slide contents, you can start figuring which visual aids you’ll end up using. If you have no idea what you’ll be presenting, it’s quite hard to choose specific design parts to support your deck. So, spend some time thinking about your main points—you don’t need to get everything down, but make sure that you cover at least three main ideas for your presentation.
Consider the Mood of Your Presentation
The mood of your presentation should have a strong impact on your design choices. If you’re talking about some heavy topic, you don’t want to use a design with flowers and soft pastel colors. Instead, you’ll want to use more neutral tones with no apparent geometry in the design. A business presentation requires neutral tones, but you can use sharp geometry to make a psychological impact on the listener. So, think about your main message and which imagery would suit it the most.
Design for a Presentation – Decide on a Set of Colors
With your structure and mode figured out, you can now start thinking about the design. First, you’ll want to choose a set of colors. Choose one or two main shades and two or three secondary ones to use in your deck of slides. Basic colour theory knowledge is not a must, but it’s useful knowledge to have. You can use special online tools to input one or two shades, and several pleasant color pallets are generated. Of course, keep in mind throughout this process the mood of your presentation.
Ensure the Visuals and Design Match
Getting through to the audience is always best done with the help of pictures. However, you must remember that pictures are a visual instrument, just like the design of your deck of slides. You don’t want to have the pictures in your presentation, not match the overall design. If the pictures you’re using in your deck have similar colors, you can create a palette for the design by taking the pictures’ colours. If you’re using lots of distinct and varied imagery, you might have to settle down on a more neutral design, even if it doesn’t match the presentation’s mood.
Practical Tips for Slide Deck Design
Want more direct pieces of advice? No problem, we have compiled in the list below the top design tips that you should follow when designing your next presentation deck. The tips are in no particular order, and we recommend you go over all of them to ensure that you create the best presentations you can.
Design for a Presentation – Avoid Standard Templates
Standard templates are not custom, not unique, and almost always unsuitable for the deck of slides you’re creating. The standard designs are so bad in both PowerPoint and KeyNote that some became an inside joke on the internet. You’ll be much better off by starting with the default template and modifying it along the way.
Don’t Put Your Notes Into the Slides.
One of the worst design mistakes that you can make is covering the whole slide-in text. Firstly, don’t put over 6 lines of text on a single, and still, that’s quite a lot. Keep the text as short as possible to let your design become an important part of the presentation deck.
Design for a Presentation – Forget About the Bullet Points
Time and time again, you see presentations being full of bullet points. We have nothing against them, but not when each slide in the deck has one. In this case, the bullet points aren’t impactful whatsoever. Use your deck of slides to build up your argument gradually, not just to tell unrelated facts.
Vary the Font Size but Not Too Much
When creating a design for a presentation, you must remember that your monitor and the screen where you’ll be giving your presentation are of very different sizes. Even if you can read the small font on your monitor, it might be too small for the real-life audience. It would help if you also didn’t make a one-word span the whole slide – it’ll be hard to read.
Don’t Let the Text and Background Blend
When creating the design using colour palettes, remember to use different colours for the background and text. You don’t want your listeners to spend their time figuring out what is written on each slide. Choose contrasting colours, and you’ll do just fine.
Utilize Contrasting Colors to Highlight Things
A small tip – you can change the colour of some words to emphasize them. It’s a great trick and always makes the audience remember those highlighted points.
One Slide – One Image
Don’t spread your slides too thin. For each separate point, have a different slide – simple as that. It’ll keep the audience engaged with new visuals. If you try to include more than one point on one slide of the deck, then it’ll become cluttered and tiring to look at.
Stop With the Transitions
Lastly, although you can add transitions with such software as PowerPoint or KeyNote, we don’t recommend doing that. In any setting, it’s considered amateurish and unprofessional. Additionally, transitions take the attention of listeners away from what you’re talking about.
Design for a Presentation – Design the Best Deck of Slides
Disregarding the presentation’s content, you can create the best design to support your ideas with our tips. Utilize our tips and improve your presentations right away!