13 Design Ideas and Tips to Make Professional Presentations
We all have sat through some poorly designed presentations. The distracting, boring, and cluttered elements made these presentations looks highly unprofessional.
Let’s be honest. We have also made such presentations when we are running out of time or ideas. And in some cases, people don’t know how to make professional presentations that are worth their audience’s time!
Making a great presentation may seem like a challenging task, but with a little practice and some tips, you can get the hang of it.
And this is where we come in!
Here are some simple rules you can follow for a professional looking presentation. Following these rules, you will be able to create presentations that will get you a round of applause from your audience. Let’s get straight to these tips so that you can nail every presentation from now onwards.
Work on the Layout
You can play with the layout of your slides to direct the attention of your audience on the key aspects of your presentation. You can also use the layout to decide the visual hierarchy and the flow of your presentation.
Simple tweaks in the layout can make a great difference in how your audience perceives the overall presentation. Alternating fonts and text size can help create a better flow for it. You can also use different font colors and styles.
Structure your presentation in a way that is easy to understand for the audience. This will help them understand and retain the information that you are presenting them.
Don’t Include Long Sentences
Presentation slides should not read like a book. They should be simplified and should read like notecards. Only put the main idea on the slide and use it to deliver the complete thought verbally. You are the speaker and should be delivering the ideas, information, and content to the audience. They shouldn’t have to read it from the slides. A presentation simply loses its effectiveness if the audience is reading your message from the slides rather than listening to you.
Thus, don’t use complete sentences on the slides unless you are quoting someone. Use a headline and then add bullet points underneath with the main ideas.
Leave Some White Space
Putting up too much information on a slide makes it look highly unprofessional. It also makes it difficult for the audience to retain information. Therefore, it is important to leave ample white space on the slides so that the audience can focus on the key points of the presentation.
If you find it difficult to piece a good presentation together, you can get in touch with a creative design agency in London. From the layout to the colours, everything will be taken care of by the experts,
They can also help you put more concise content in the presentation. Your content should be clean looking and as concise as possible. For best results, follow the 6×6 rule. There should be a maximum of six bullets on a slide and only six words under each bullet. Your slides should not look cluttered. Make them as clean as possible and leave white space to make them easy to understand for the audience.
Choose the Right Colours
An expert presentation design agency in London will tell you to keep the colours in your presentation as simple as possible. You need to choose appropriate colours for your slides and text. Choosing very bright colours will make it difficult for the audience to look at your presentation. It also causes eye fatigue. Therefore, choose bright colours only occasionally. The text should be easy to read. Thus, avoid using intense gradients.
The best way to choose a colour scheme is to pick the colours of your brand. This gives the presentation a highly professional look and feel. It will also go perfectly with the brand style and visual identity of your organisation.
Choose the Right Fonts Style and Size
Choose sans-serif fonts if you want to make your presentation look professional. These fonts are easier to read on screens. Thus, stick with fonts like Verdana, Tahoma, Helvetica, etc. These are the safest choices when it comes to presentations.
It is also important not to add too many fonts in the presentation. Stick with a maximum of two font styles. The font style you choose should also match with the content, purpose and tone of your presentation.
In addition to choosing the right font style, choosing the right size is also very important. Remember, people will be looking at your presentation slides from a distance. Therefore, the font size you choose should be big enough to help them read without any difficulty.
As a rule of thumb, creative design agencies in London suggest that the font size should not be less than 30pt. This will make your text easy to read.
Add Relevant Images
No one likes plain boring presentations. You should add some images to the presentation but make sure they are professional and refer to the context. The images you choose should elevate your message and not just support it. The images you choose for the presentation should be relatable, inspirational and authentic. Look for images that tell a story. These should set a mood for your presentation but should not take away the highlight from your message. Look for relatable images that can help you increase the effectiveness of your message. They shouldn’t be too generic or too distracting.
Use Speaker Notes Section
Many of us tend to forget what we thought we would say for each slide. A great way to not look embarrassed up there while delivering the presentation is to use the speaker notes section on each slide. The speaker notes section is present under each slide where you can put notes about whatever you’ll be talking about during the session.
You will be able to view these points while presenting. The audience however will not be able to view these notes.
This helps you keep a track of the important points that you would like to include in the presentation. As you cannot put too much information on the slide itself, it is best to use this space for any extra information you want to convey to your audience.
Another way to make your presentation look more professional is to add graphics. From graphs to charts and numbers to figures, all these things increase the effectiveness of the presentation.
Don’t forcefully insert graphs if they don’t fit and/or are not relevant to the content.
Graphics add emphasis on the important points in a presentation. This can help you bring the attention of your audience to the important information that you are hoping they would retain. These are also the easiest and the quickest way of getting your message across to the audience during a presentation. They help reinforce your point and add a touch of professionalism to the presentation.
Create a Custom Theme
While it is easy to just pick a built-in theme on PowerPoint, it just won’t make your presentation stand out. You can of course use these themes if you are very short on time. However, if you have been given time to work on your presentation and you want to impress your audience, then avoid using them.
Create custom themes, instead.
You can add images to each slide or create a different background for each. Just make sure that these custom themes don’t overpower the message that you are trying to get across to the audience.
Your message is primary and should not be lost in designing custom themes. However, this does not mean that you should not pay attention to the theme at all. You also don’t have to be a designer to create custom themes. Just use your imagination and creativity and you will be good to go.
Again, you need to make the theme look as professional as possible. Opt for subtle colours. It is best to choose the colours of your brand to make the presentation look as professional as possible.
Choose Solid Colours for the Background
If you feel too overwhelmed by creating custom themes, then the simple way to go is to choose solid colours for the background. This will not only create a simple yet effective custom theme for you but will also give your presentation a professional look.
You can either opt for a single colour for all the slides or pick different colours for each. Make sure the colours you choose for each slide don’t make the text hard to read. The text should be the centre of attraction. All other things are secondary. You can use tools such as Kuler, Piknik and 0to255 to create amazing colour schemes for your presentation.
Improve the Readability of the Text
Whatever you do, make sure the text on each slide is easily readable. Many of us spend so much time and effort creating backgrounds for our presentations. However, all the effort goes to vain when you put your text on these slides. The images you choose seem to overpower the text or simply make it unreadable for the audience.
You can try increasing or decreasing the transparency of the background to improve the readability and visibility of the text. Or, if you don’t want to change the image, simply add a block of solid colour behind your text. This will make the text easily readable without having to work around too much on the background.
Animations are another great feature offered by PowerPoint. However, if you want to keep your presentation professional, we suggest you to not overdo animations. You don’t have to add an animated element to each line of the text. It makes the presentation look too childish.
Instead, aim to add animation to the important features or messages that you want to bring the audience’s attention to. Add them to graphs, stats and quotes. You can also add animation to when you change a slide. Again, remember to not overdo it!
Keep It Simple
Last but not least, try to keep things as simple as you can. Your slides should be clean and should send a clear message across to the audience. They should not be filled with too much text, images or colours. Keep it clean and make sure that there is enough white space left on each slide.
Don’t add long sentences and limit the text to bullet points only. Choose easy to read fonts and make sure the font size is big enough that even the last person in the room can read the slides easily. Create a proper hierarchy with headings so that the audience understands and follows you easily and effortlessly.
Creating a professional presentation is not something that only designers can do. PowerPoint is an easy to use program and offers many simple and easy to use tools that can help you create a great presentation. Just make sure you keep the main idea and the audience in mind so that you can create a presentation that delivers the results you expected.
Don’t be afraid to be creative when creating professional presentations. However, make sure that the tone, style and overall look of the presentation matches the message and the audience that it is intended for. Follow these simple guidelines and you will create some applause-worthy presentations.