8 Presentation Design Tips for Smooth Communication
Here are some easy tips for you to follow. Check these out!
Many people spent so much time on their material that they forgot to pay attention to the presentation design. At the same time, it is understandable that editing the material to fit into the slides can be a headache. But also keep in mind that during a presentation, people will look at the slides, not the presenter.
Using presentations to communicate is mainly a one-way communication. The slides are expected to say a lot more than the presenter. With this in mind, you should think about what kind of presentation design will get the point across efficiently.
How the presentation design could help
Many people overlook the design because they think that the material and delivery are more important. They forgot that most often, at a presentation, the presenter will be in the shadow. The central point is the slides being presented. Having a good delivery is not enough when the presentation is not eye-catching.
The most important thing from a good presentation design is how the presentation can have and keep the audience's attention. Catching their attention is easy, but keeping them engaged can be another matter.
A good engagement is necessary for the presentation to get the point across. When you are creating a presentation design, you must think of how the audience will receive the information. Take their point of view once in a while to make sure that the presentation will work.
Important reminders to build your presentation design
Having a good presentation starts with the design. You need to have clear ideas on what you are about to say, and the rest is about how to make the delivery engaging. Designing a presentation is not as complicated as people make it sounds like. You only need to instill several ideas on what to include in the presentation design.
1. Saying more with less
When people are saying that less is more, you know that they are telling the truth. You can get more points across when you are presenting in short, succinct sentences. Remember, the presentation is only meant to help you deliver your points. It still depends on how good you are at presenting it.
Another thing to remember is how the presentation should be clean and clear to get the point across. Do not overstuff the slide with so many words and pictures so people will have a hard time understanding the presentation. You want to get the point across, not to confuse them.
Make sure to avoid dragging the presentations into too many slides. If needed, you can start by having a clear index of presentation, so the audience knows what you are on to. This index also works as your guideline to keep your focus. It is easy to go off when you think that you have so many things to say.
You also can add a summary at the end of the presentation. This is a way to emphasize several points you made over the slides. The presentation is considered a success when the points are well communicated, and the audience is abuzz with the hype from how good the presentation was.
Most people's attention lasts for the first five to ten seconds. That is your time window to engage the audience. Therefore, do not oversaturate a slide with so many pictures that can take their focus away from what matters most.
Efficiency is easy to attain when you know the tricks. What you need to do is having a single focus and build your idea around the said idea. It doesn't mean that your idea has to be small or minimalize its impact. You can have a big idea and a minimum effort on delivery.
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2. Implement the Golden Ratio
To put it simply, the golden ratio is the phi number. But how to implement phi into the presentation design. Almost everyone correlates the phi with a circle or a circular form. Does that mean you have to include anything circular in the design?
Thankfully implementing this ratio does not mean that you have to do a calculation for every slide you make. Neither do you have to include anything circular or start by drawing a fractal design.
The easiest way to calculate the golden ratio is to have the whole length divided by the largest section length to equal the phi number or 1.618. The golden ratio is a natural proportion. You don't have to do much about it. And even if you disagree at the start, you will see that the golden ratio works.
When you are used to using the golden ratio in your presentation design, you will be naturally aware of how your attention flows from the sections and notice how effective it is. You don't have to calculate anymore as you will know which section is the golden section and which is not.
Another best part about implementing the golden ratio is that you can efficiently control the audience by having a specific image or text on the golden section. This golden section can vary for each slide. But you don't have to worry since the audience's eyes will quickly be drawn to the section right away.
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3. Choose the color that pops
Having a burst of color is always a pleasant surprise. Even on a serious presentation, having slides presented in colorful detail will naturally draw people in. You will get more attention when you use the right colors.
Using popping colors does not mean you have to include all the bright rainbow colors in your slides. Or use a high contrast color combination, such as having pink text on a dark background. That color combination may work on a very specific occasion and still difficult to pull off.
An easy way to do this is by choosing a unique color and work on the presentation design based on that color palette. For example, if you were using lavender as your focal presentation color, there are many shades of purple and blue that you can use to complement the color lavender as well as many other colors such as green and even silver and dark gray.
Having a focal color point on a presentation design will help you on seeing which color that works and which combination that you must avoid.
However, sometimes a shocking color combination can work. You can design the slides with colors as the base idea by limiting the presentation to only use a specific number of colors that you hardly used. For example, you can restrict yourself by only using black, grey, green, and white for the whole presentation in a project.
When you keep challenging yourself to use more colors that you never explored before, you will find yourself being abundant with ideas about the designs. There are thousands of colors in the world that are waiting to be used in a presentation.
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4. Utilize the grids
Grids are there to help you on planning how the presentation design should be. Many people took grids for granted because they think it's only about lines and boxes and tables.
Use the grids as the guide, not the main placeholders. You don't have to make your presentation to suit the grids completely. It is best to mix and match the ideas and let the grids guide you.
Think about how the presentation will flow. Utilizing the grids to create the golden ratio, you can direct the audience's attention from the main point to the explanations that followed. And this type of unconscious engagement may have a more lasting impact because it comes naturally.
A lot of templates on presentation design rely heavily on a lot of images and oversaturating the slides with some sort of visual feast. While there is no denying how important a visual engagement is, but it also needs to be noted that too many images can take away the presentation from delivering a great pitch.
A grid represents a space that you can use for text or image. However, don't be too focused on that idea. You can put an image or text over several grids. As mentioned above, use the grid as the placeholder to guide you, not the other way around.
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5. Have the audience in mind
The group of people you are presenting for come from various backgrounds. Having multiple angles to consider will make you more aware of how to make a presentation that will be accepted by a multitude of people.
A survey stated that people dislike a presentation that has too much text and data. And even more so when the presentation is dragging for a long time. To tackle this issue, you need to think about the audience as well when creating the presentation design. Both the client and audience are important factors when on how the presentation should go.
The media format also matters when you build a presentation. You must know what the audiences like to see and what will engage them. Make sure that your slides are not heavy on the text or images, even when there are a lot of things to say.
Finding the balance between the text and image is what is often lost in a presentation design. Many people choose to let their ideas got lost over the images and by trying too hard to be visually appealing.
When the audience has previous knowledge about what the presentation is about. You are expected to deliver a presentation design that will not only reiterate the information but also adding more points to emphasize—at the same time encouraging them to know more about the pitch.
But when the presentation is meant for the general population, your challenge is how to deliver a presentation that both engaging and informative. This can be quite a challenge since you have to find the right balance between images and text.
6. Make it unique
It is easier said than done. But when you have looked at the presentations from various angles, you will have more ideas on how to make them unique. After all, unique doesn't have to be eccentric or being out of touch.
A unique presentation design means using a combination that people hardly consider. You can build your presentation around a central topic and have it presented as if it's a movie instead of a slideshow. Take the audience on a journey to get the point across.
There are a lot of ways for a presentation to be engaging. Even when there is a lot of information and data, how the slides are presented will communicate that information better than having someone read the data out loud.
Anyhow, you still need to focus on the end game of the presentation. Ask yourself how to stand out and still get the point across. Many people forgot that and tended to be heavy on either data and information or pictures and images.
Being unique means that you know how to control the narrative throughout the engagement. The idea is to have your presentation deliver the message with a high engagement rate. That is what it means to be unique, keeping the audience engaged.
You can have a look at various videos and see how they go. Sometimes you can take the ideas from still images too. Do not restrict yourself to a specific idea about being unique. Remember, one of the definitions of unique is being something unusual and not ordinary.
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7. Have thorough and out-of-the-box planning
You must have heard the quote about planning means halfway to success. The same idea works on presentation design as well. Planning can take a lot of time, but it can assure you of how successful and engaging the presentation will be.
Thorough planning is necessary to help you see and think in detail. You will be able to utilize the ideas from current or past presentations for another design, so you won't ever be running out of ideas.
Keep in mind that thorough planning does not necessarily mean spending the majority of your time compressing the material to fit the slides. Thorough planning can start when you have finished a project or even when you are in the middle of one. You don't have to wait to be on a project to start planning a presentation.
You can start by having a folder or notes where you can write down your ideas on how the presentation design should be. You also can take notes from other people's presentations and think about what you can do to improve them. That way, you will be ready with many outlines and ideas when you start a new presentation.
8. Don't stop learning to stay interesting
You must inevitably stay updated with the latest trend as well as always learning a new program to build and present the slides. Mastering the program will give you a plus point as you are no longer obligated to rely on others.
It is best if you can stay updated with the latest technology as well. Even when it is not possible to keep up, you should find a way to figure out how to create a similar effect with the programs that you have at the moment.
Stay curious about how the new program works. Take a look at the various presentation templates to see what is currently preferred by the market. Take notes of the colors and the combination. Challenge yourself to make a presentation design with a similar impact.
Remember that you can always include your personality in the presentation design. A lot of people have been doing that. You can tell who created which presentation based on the color and image choices. Having a trademark can be a good thing, but if you can surprise the client and audiences alike by bringing new products to the table every time you deliver a project, you will be a force to be recognized.
As a creative person, you know that it's a process that cannot be forced at times. Have some rest when needed, and try to look at the presentation from multiple angles to get some fresh ideas. Start thinking about how to start a trend instead of following it.
There are many ways to build a presentation design, but there is only so much that people can do to have a good one that keeps engaging the audience. All the data and important information are essentials for a good presentation. Even so, you still need to have a good focus and control over what you are presenting.
Knowing when to use the data to send a message is as important as understanding the target audience to have a lasting impact. One of the important things about being in a creative business is to always keep an open mind to any ideas that can help your work. These ideas may be new or a reminder that classic exists for a reason. Anyhow, these tips are there for you to build the presentation design that communicates the information efficiently.