Presentation Slides: How to Guide

On Monday, we taught you how to create effective presentations. But don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the equally important counterpart of presentations… the physical slides! Designing creative slides will allow you to raise the engagement of your audience immensely! Follow our steps below.

  • Maintain Simplicity: Just as we encouraged you to maintain simplicity in your delivery, we also believe in the power of simple slides. Simple slides entail minimal pictures (used only when relevant) and text per slides, easy to read fonts, and utilization of effective lists.
  • Cohesive Coloring: Colors of slide backgrounds, texts, and bullets should all align with one another and stay consistent. This way, the viewer’s eye will not become confused as it works to interpret each new slide of yours. Keep in mind that loud or bold colors and patterns distract a viewer’s eye. Safe and professional colors always include greys, light pigments, dark blues, or blacks.
  • Limited Animations and Transitions: There is definitely taste in incorporating animations and transitions onto slides throughout your presentation. However, by adding too many transitions, slides will become jumbled and lose cohesion. Make sure that your transition adds to the demonstration instead of distracts. Always avoid having a transition or animation on every single slide! Overwhelming viewers will cause them to lose interest.
  • Clear Photographs: All images on slides must be clear and high quality! There are several free websites that offer stock photos for any user, one of our favorites being Check in with your company to see if there are any stock photos already purchased for your use.
  • Correlated Images: Images must not only be clear but also related to the context of your presentations. If you are struggling to find an image that relates to your slide, you are often better off leaving it without a picture and instead adding an animation or engaging transition.
  • Incorporate Descriptive Charts: … when necessary! Charts must also showcase simplicity so that they are easy for your audience to analyze. Some popular and professional charts include bar charts, histograms, line charts, and, in some instances, pie charts. Your audience should develop further inquiries about your investigations, not clarifying questions because of a chart that is too complex.
    • Extra Tip: Always included a title, axis titles, clear (and differentiated) lines, a trend line when necessary, and any other relevant and explanatory chart elements.
  • Be Aware of Font Choice: Fonts that are too fancy, bold, or quirky will distract your viewer as they will be forced to take extra time to read the text and maintain focus on what you are saying. Fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Georgia are typically safe bets.
    • Extra Note: Just as you would in professional emails, use boldface and italics when appropriate and when you are trying to emphasize certain information. However, be consistent in your choices! What we mean by that is, if you are using boldface to emphasize a certain message, use that when drawing attention to any other information as well.

By following these tips, we are confident that you will soon master your ability to create easily readable and engaging slides for your work presentations!

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Missed our article Monday? Learn how to create effective presentations here!