Top 7 Tips for Powerpoint Design Presentations
For a long time, Powerpoint has been seen as a standard office tool that allows any non-qualified designer to throw together a presentation.
However, this outdated notion is increasingly dangerous in today's competitive world and can often lead to poorly constructed presentations that affect the brand and business prospects.
With so many companies pitching for the same audience it is vital you take the time and effort to craft standout presentations that keep you one step ahead of the competition.
A poorly designed presentation will typically contain too much text, confusing branding, overcomplicated use of imagery, or maybe even none at all.
This often results in a disengaged audience who will not remember the key messages being delivered, which could lead to loss of customers, revenue and perhaps even damage the brand long term.
Using an experienced presentation designer will enable you to avoid all of these common mistakes.
They understand the core elements that go into making a standout presentation.
In this article, we cover all of the areas a Powerpoint designer will include ensuring your presentation elevates your business and helps you make the most of every commercial opportunity.
1 – Craft an engaging story
When you have the opportunity to consistently engage a small group of people, or a room full of eager listeners, it's a chance most people in life are not afforded.
Whether it's for a sales pitch or to present ideas to industry colleagues and peers, having people take the time to listen to what you have to say is something special.
That's why the way you present your ideas is of vital importance.
Everyone loves a good story, and while you are not telling a fictional narrative, the rules of traditional storytelling still apply.
The content developed by a presentation designer should reflect the idea of a beginning, middle and end, taking the audience on a journey in the process.
Putting together an engaging story can also mean using a real-life example others can directly relate to.
People love to hear amusing or factual stories that resonate with their own experiences and often respond well when these are told.
As with any content that goes into a Powerpoint design presentation always ensure they remain short and concise, so the audience stays involved and focused.
By taking this approach, you control the flow of the content and can direct the audience towards the responses you want to receive.
A standard presentation will run in sequence and deliver the information in a fairly conventional manner, but when there is an arc to your message that feels complete, your presentation is elevated to an exceptional standard not quickly forgotten.
2 – Deliver on-point branding
Great branding is all about association.
The smallest of symbols or use of words and images can evoke emotions and a connection with a product or service that is hard to break.
This is something every presentation designer should be aware of while planning and designing a presentation as it will play a key role in its success.
Many companies have brand guidelines that detail how the branding should be created regarding colour, size, positioning and much more.
If this does not exist in the business, then it would make sense lay out the ground rules so the Powerpoint design professional can make effective use of the branding.
The reason this is so important is it creates a focal point for the audience to remember once the presentation is over.
Not all of the information you relay will be remembered, but strong branding will ensure they associate a message or piece of information with your company.
It creates a sense of loyalty and an understanding of what your business stands for.
Being able to achieve this through branding is extremely powerful and ensures you stand out from competitors and rival companies fighting for the same customers.
3 – Use stunning visual data
The power of the spoken word and how it is delivered to others should never be underestimated.
However, in a presentation scenario, a reality of the modern age means attention spans are shorter than ever.
In turn, a presentation designer has to think outside of the box and get creative to design something memorable.
Integrating visual data into a presentation is a method every Powerpoint design expert should be aware of.
The bulk of any presentation will be centred on how the speaker delivers the content to the audience, but strong visual assistance goes a long way towards cementing the points being made.
Infographics are one of the best tools a presentation designer can have in their armoury.
People process visual information much faster than text, and this allows businesses to deliver critical data in a digestible format that is easy to remember.
It also helps to mix up the presentation style, preventing it from being too word heavy and losing large portions of the people listening.
You would assume that infographics and visual data are commonplace in presentation designs, but that is far from the case.
This is why so many speakers quickly lose their audience and struggle to receive the feedback they were looking for.
It can also be the case that some infographics reach for the stars trying to achieve too much within the image, only serving to confuse anyone attempting to read it.
The key to a successful infographic is to keep it simple and concentrate on a single piece of data.
It is a complementary tool that is used to strengthen the overall message, and when visual data is used correctly, it makes for a stronger, all-around presentation.
4 – Find total consistency
Having control of an audience's attention never boils down to one single aspect, and it's an art that takes time to master.
An area often overlooked is the tonal consistency that acts as adhesive for all the ideas and information put together by a Powerpoint designer to hang together.
The consistency we are talking about is not solely restricted to the use of colour and branding implemented in the presentation.
There is a much broader aesthetic that needs to be created to create the right mood and atmosphere for the audience, along with the type of graphics, icons and even printouts handed to the people present.
If your business is set to deliver a presentation in an environment, they can control this provides the perfect opportunity.
The venue can serve as a bubble to cocoon the audience into your world for the duration of their visit.
Complement the use of colours in your presentation with lighting that sets the right tone for everyone to focus on what is being said.
When it comes to the actual construction of the presentation, the style of graphics should remain consistent so as not to confuse the audience and potentially take them out of the moment.
This also applies to the font and logo design being used.
You want the audience to be thinking of questions about the message you are presenting, not noticing that every other slide features a different design.
The best way to ensure consistency is through careful planning and checking before the Powerpoint design is signed off.
Attention to detail regarding use of the venue, complementary marketing tools and the presentation itself will demonstrate professionalism and something to remember, rather than a design to forget.
5 – More than animation
Earlier in this article, we discussed the power of visual data, and it is a point that extends further into the use of both animation and video.
There can be a belief that an inexperienced presentation designer will not have the knowledge or skills to create an animation.
While that may be true for sophisticated and advanced animation, it is not the case for the simple and effective use of the tool in presentations.
An animation will make your Powerpoint design presentation one that is not quickly forgotten.
Of course, the design has to fit into the overall tone of your service and product and the mood of the message you are delivering.
Creating custom design icons will ensure the presentation stands out from any others the audience may have recently seen.
In many cases, businesses still rely on fading in numbers and texts and these dull, standard styles eventually blend into one in the audience's memory.
Video is also another extremely powerful tool at the disposal of a PowerPoint designer.
It can be easily inserted into a presentation and deliver information in a way that keeps the audience engaged and happy to continue following you onto the next slide.
6 – Never forget the audience
A mistake often made by a presentation designer is focusing too much on the design without taking the audience into account.
Never forget the purpose of what you are creating as you will not win any awards for a stylish presentation that loses the attention of the audience.
The foundation of every successful Powerpoint design presentation is simplicity and clarity of message.
People's attention can be lost far quicker than it can be gained, and once they lose focus the speaker will have to work twice as hard to win it back.
Always know your audience and understand their expectations and avoid confusing them at all costs.
7 – Help the speaker
The speaker has the hardest job of bringing together all the hard work behind the scenes into a cohesive whole onstage.
As much as you do not want to confuse the audience, the same applies to the speaker.
The Powerpoint design plays a crucial role in ensuring they can maintain their flow and deliver the information as intended.
A presentation designer should create a design that is easy to read and understandable for the speaker – if they are confused, you can be sure the audience will be too.
Consulting with the speaker during the design stage is essential to constructing something they are comfortable with, allowing them to deliver it with style and panache.
Final thoughts on Powerpoint Design
The beauty of using Powerpoint design for presentations is you are only limited by your imagination.
It's one the main reasons why it has become the most popular tool for creating detailed and bespoke presentations around the world.
However, Powerpoint has much more potential than just being used for presentations, and as the software continues to develop it opens up more opportunities for every Powerpoint designer.
However creative you want to get, this is the design package that will give you everything you need to enthral and engage audiences of any size.
Author Bio: Paul Campbell is the founder and directors of the Purple Patch Group, a business that started life as a London events agency over ten years ago. Through years of live events experience on both sides of the fence, managing them, and sitting front row, Paul and fellow other director Holly created the Presentation Experts. A specialist design agency focusing on creating outstanding presentations for live events, speakers, and other events visuals. To find out more about them and see some of their work visit their website below.
Inkbot Design is a Creative Branding Agency that is passionate about effective Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Logos and Web Design.