A Short Guide To Making An Outstanding Visual Presentation
The easiest way to get your message through to your audience and have your brand stand out from the rest is to have an amazing slide deck.
We’ve all been through one of those presentations that you just wish it will end already. So let’s learn how to avoid situations like that.
The purpose of a PowerPoint presentation is to, well, make your point powerfully. And how do you do that? By being visually compelling.
Why Are Visuals The Stepping Stone For An Impactful Presentation?
Visuals Are Attention-Grabbers 👀
We all know the saying—Show, don’t tell. Carefully selected imagery is the key to engaging with your public. Sometimes, it’s significantly easier to explain complex concepts through a short video or an infographic.
The graphics that you choose to use aren’t there to undermine your point. Their purpose is to make your audience attentive and to emphasize what you have to say.
Images Are Action-Inspiring 🙌🏽
Using visuals will make your audience react. You can use them to raise awareness about a certain topic or to inspire your public to take a specific action. More often than not, messages delivered visually receive a more powerful reaction from people.
So How Can You Make The Most Of Your Presentation?
Is All That Text Necessary? 🧐
As a general rule, you can try to follow the 6 x 6 guidelines for one slide. This means you should have a maximum of 6 key points, each with 6 words. This way you can keep everything succinct, organized, and easy to understand.
Having no more than 140 characters on your slide will leave you with a lot of white space. This will make your presentation look more clean and organized. But also, it will help your audience focus on the key points you’re trying to make.
Use Straightforward and Precise Fonts 𝘼𝙖
While you might be tempted to break the mold with your presentation, fonts are not the place to do this. Try to use standard sans serif fonts, like Open Sans, Tahoma, Verdana. These are easily recognizable and look good on the screen.
Try not to use more than 2 or 3 different fonts in your presentation. The key to having an outstanding slide deck is organization and consistency. Using too many different elements will distract and confuse your audience.
Say No to Poor Quality Images 🙅🏽♂️
Needless to say, high-quality images will make your presentation look professional. Try as much as possible to color-coordinate your visuals with the color scheme you’ve chosen for your slide deck. Their purpose is to enhance and underline, not to overwhelm the slide.
Another thing you should keep in mind: not using too many images. Generally, it’s good to try and use a single image—or 2, if they’re relevant. Your presentation isn’t a photo album.
Use Contrast for Emphasis and Grabbing Attention 💁🏻♀️
You can use contrast cleverly in your presentation. First of all, it can help your message “pop” with a high-level contrast between your background and your text. You can also add a bar of color behind your text—to make it more legible and bring it to the center of attention.
Contrast can also be used to highlight your key points. Choose a color from your palette to emphasize important text on your slide. Nevertheless, if you use this trick too often, it will lose its power. So use it wisely.
Limit Your Color Palette 👈🏽
Yes, rainbows are really pretty. But not in your presentation. Be mindful of what colors you chose and if they come together harmoniously. There’s no need to go overboard—you can grab attention without using complex textures or gradients.
Additionally, if you want to do this right, you can even look up some tips on color theory to see how your palette can influence the emotions of your audience.
Data Visualization is Your Salvation 📊
Project management presentations or anything with a lot of numbers and data to present can be dreadful. Luckily, you can use a lot of elements to make your life easier—charts, graphs, radials, and more.
Additionally, for showcasing progress or presumptions, you can always look online for some free timeline templates. The key is taking all the data and putting it into a visual form that is easy to remember and understand.
Skip the Bullet Points 📝
Ideally, you should focus on a single idea for each slide. This means that instead of having 5 bullet points, you should have 5 slides focusing on each key point. This way you can make sure that people remember what you say.
Also, bullet points are kind of old, aren’t they? Surely you can find more attractive ways to structure information within a slide. Try content boxes, bubbles, all sorts of frames—just don’t go overboard with your elements.
Mind the Visual Hierarchy 🎨
Even if you’re not a graphic designer, you can still organize elements on your slide depending on their importance. You do this to let your audience know where their eyes should go first, and then second, and so forth.
You can do this by making use of size, white space in between elements, or proximity between elements. Another smart thing to do is to use repetition to your advantage. Having only one element on your slide stand out will make it pop—so your audience will know that is the main point.
Audio and Video Elements 🎙📹
Using video and audio elements can help you explain complex concepts so much easier. They’re also a great way to create interaction with your public. Using these gives you a break from talking and your audience a new point of focus. Embedding a video into a PowerPoint presentation is not hard, if you decide to go this route.
However, make sure not to pick a 10-minute video. You should use these items as a short, fresh breath of air—not let them have the presentation for you. Additionally, make sure this content is relevant both to your content but to the audience as well—or you will lose their attention.
What Do You Think About Interactivity? 👨🏾💻
No matter how good your presentation is, there is always be a low-energy moment. A good way to recover from this is directly interacting with your audience. You can make them vote on something, stand up for some reason, or conduct a short quiz.
To make this more interesting, you can add links to your presentation—either between slides or elements. This way, when they choose and answer, something happens. Creating a unique slideshow can help you keep your audience attentive.
Transitions and Animations
You either love transitions or you hate them. There’s no in-between. The safest route is to go all static and grab attention through colors, textures, and so forth. This way nobody gets distracted and we all remember something at the end of your presentation.
However, if you want some pizzaz on your slides, you can use animations and transitions to become memorable. However, keep them consistent and don’t get too excited. Not every element on your slide has to move. Use motion as an emphasis, not as a distraction.
Have An Interesting Cover Style 😍
The cover slide should be the one to grab your public’s attention and curiosity. It should say something about the subject, but still, be mysterious. You can think of it as a movie trailer—you give people a taste of what’s to come, but without spoiling the whole thing.
These slides are your chance of being creative and inventive. You can’t afford to be boring on this one.
However, as with any part of your presentation—don’t go overboard. Using too many elements or too many colors can put your whole slide deck in a bad light.
Reserve a couple of slides at the end for summarizing your main points. By doing this, you emphasize them and make sure that they will be remembered. You don’t have to go through everything once more. Just some keywords to jolt the memory of your public.
However, be careful. If your presentation is already quite lengthy—you might want to skip this one or make it short. If your speech is too long, the only thing your public will want is to escape and go home as fast as possible.
Take Away 💁🏻♂️
It might sound easy, but building a visually compelling presentation is not that simple. There are a lot of factors and small details that can either make or break your whole work.
For example—using colors, but too many of them, using the right type of font, but at the wrong sizes, and so forth.
However, if you check all the points made in the article—and maybe do a little research on your own, you’ll be just fine. Most rules are basic common sense for anyone who has seen a presentation before.
The most important thing here is to feel comfortable with your presentation. If you’re happy about it—and passionate about the subject you’re talking about, then you can’t go wrong. Feelings are contagious, so your audience will sense your happiness.