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4 Tips to Design an Effective Presentation

Creating a professional PowerPoint presentation can be a power-PAIN, especially if you’re not a creative type. Here at Page Design Group, we have a lot of experience designing presentations (sales decks, digital marketing strategy presentations, conference slides, etc.) to all kinds of industries. To make presentation creation a little less frustrating, we’ve compiled some of the tips we use on our projects to help transform you into a presentation pro.

Presentation Design Tips

1. Stay Focused with Your Message

Let's be honest, most business presentations are boring and can feel pointless. But when done right, a presentation can educate, entertain or inspire change.

When you begin your next presentation, focus on a single controlling idea and use it to keep your message clear and on topic. If you create a slide and it's content doesn't support your controlling idea, you should remove it. Any parts of your presentation that don't support your controlling idea will just confuse or distract your audience.

If you are looking for a framework to help keep your message clear and on topic, we highly recommend the Communication Made Simple course inside of Business Made Simple (affiliate link).

2. Less is More (the 5/5/5 Rule)

Nothing distracts from your message more than a slide filled to the edges with too much information. Remember, when designing presentation slides, less is more.

Don't include everything from your verbal presentation in your slides. Instead, keep your slides well structured with concise and clear content that supports your verbal presentation and punctuates your key points.

To keep things concise, we follow the 5/5/5 Rule:

  • 5 words per line
  • 5 bullet points per slide
  • Avoid more than 5 text-heavy slides in a row

Finally, treat animations and graphics like the salt of your presentation - sprinkle them in strategically, but don’t overdo it.

3. Stick with Your Branding Basics

Consistency is the key to an effective brand. Odds are, your organization has a handful of brand standards used to guide the creation of all materials.  Use these brand standards as you create your presentation.  

By using fonts, colors, and imagery that align with your organization’s brand standards, you make your presentation look more professional and strengthen your brand.

Try to steer clear from the generic PowerPoint templates offered by the software. These templates might seem handy, but the likelihood that they match up with your unique branding is next to none.

But don't dismiss templates entirely! If creating presentations is something you do regularly, consider creating your own template.

4. Master the Art of Presenting

Once you’re standing in front of an attentive audience with a blockbuster of a presentation in hand, there’s nothing that can derail you — or is there?

Preparation is the key to a flawless presentation. Here are a couple of preparation tips that can help keep your presentation on track.

  • Test Thoroughly: Test your presentation on the system you will be using during your presentation. If you can test on the actual hardware used for the presentation, even better. By testing on the right system you can make sure all fonts load properly and the presentation looks exactly as it should.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Run through your presentation as many times as you can, making edits as needed.  Practice in front of others and get their feedback. Was your controlling idea clear?
  • Prepare a Backup Plan: We always save a PDF version of every presentation, just in case powerpoint isn't cooperating. Added Bonus: You can share this PDF with all your attendees after your talk!

Break a Leg!

Giving an effective presentation can be a tough. But if you focus on your message and keep things clear and concise, you will be well on your way to success.

5 ways to improve your designs

Don’t let simple design mistakes distract from your message. When you improve your design skills, you clearly communicate to your audience and build a stronger brand.

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