5 Powerpoint Design Skills To Increase Audience Engagement
Powerpoint presentations boil down to communication. Are you communicating a clear, concise message to your audience? Is your audience engaged and ready to absorb that message? Presentations are effective when a clear message and an engaged audience come together to create results.
Masterful powerpoint design is one avenue that leads to customer engagement. Powerpoints are visual aids, meaning that they should catch your viewers’ eyes, then hold their attention until the last slide has been presented.
Here, we’ll give you our top five powerpoint design skills for hooking and holding your audience’s attention. By adjusting the way your important presentations are designed, you can exponentially increase your influence over an audience.
1. Break Free From PowerPoint Presets
The Powerpoint application features many preset themes, fonts, colors, and shapes. These automatic design tools are intended to make life easy for PowerPoint design newbies. But, if you’re aiming to capture the attention of an entire audience, these presets aren’t for you.
Keep Your Audience Guessing With a Custom PowerPoint Design
Using a preset template can make your PowerPoint design predictable, making it all the more likely that your audience will lose focus. Chances are that members of your audience are familiar with PowerPoint and have seen the preset templates before. After all, PowerPoint presentations have been around for over three decades! To surprise them and capture their attention, you’ll need to build something new.
While it takes more time and effort to build your slides from scratch, the benefits of doing so are well worth it. You’ll be able to create each slide according to the content you’re presenting, ensuring that the format display the information as logically as possible. Plus, when the PowerPoint design is wholly unique, you can interest your audience by keeping them guessing.
2. Use Size to Highlight Crucial Information
Size can be used to organize the content in a presentation, creating a seamless flow of information. The size of both the text and the photos or graphics on a slide tells your audience where to look first, and which elements are the most important.
With strategic sizing in a PowerPoint design, you can also string together a cohesive flow of information. For instance, your title may be the largest text on your slide, followed by a slightly smaller subtitle. Then, after a bulleted list in a small font, you can include a quote in the same font size as your subtitle. This will tell your audience that the quote is important and ties all of the displayed content together.
3. Coordinate Slide Layouts With The Information Being Presented
If you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation, odds are that you have a decent amount of information to present. It’s unlikely that you’ll be presenting the same type of information on every single slide. The layout of your slides should reflect this, methodically guiding your audience through the content.
For example, one slide may feature an array of relevant, but standalone, statistics. The design of this slide may be an organized list with the most important statistics typed in boldface, perhaps alongside a chart or graph. But, the next slide could simply contain a quote that encompasses your message. That slide will likely be sparse, displaying only the quote in a large font for maximum impact. Variety is important in the making of a dynamic powerpoint design, so slides should be organized accordingly.
4. Use Color to Your Advantage
Color is a powerful tool for evoking emotion, driving home a theme, and reinforcing a brand. When it comes to powerpoint design, using a thoughtful color scheme is one of the best ways to make an impression on your audience.
If your brand has a color scheme all its own, you can use it as inspiration for the colors in your presentation. Or, you can take advantage of accepted color connotations. For example:
Yellow is associated with optimism
Red is associated with passion and anger
Blue is associated with tranquility and honesty
Purple is associated with innovation and regality
This is just a small selection of qualities that we naturally connect to color. Depending on the overall goal of your presentation, you can find colors that depict a tone that’s relevant to your overall message.
The contrast between the colors in your presentation is equally as important as the choice of color itself. On a simplistic level, the color of the text in any slide of your Powerpoint should be in stark contrast to the color of the background. This ensures that your text is clearly visible to the audience.
Additionally, placing contrasting colors next to each other makes the entire slide more striking. When there’s not enough contrast between the colors on a slide, the displayed information can seem to blend together. This can inhibit your viewers from absorbing all of the content that you have to offer. So, simply bumping up the contrast between the color of your text, background, graphics, and images can upgrade a presentation for improved audience engagement.
5. Supplement Facts with Relevant Images
When we talk about effective use of images in PowerPoint design, we don’t mean inserting related stock images to your slides whenever possible. When there’s an image or two on every single slide, your audience is less likely to fully absorb all of them. A smaller amount of eye-catching images scattered throughout your presentation will have a bigger impact on your audience.
So, less is more: when you’re gathering content for your presentation, keep an eye out for photos and graphics that enhance the meaning of your information. It’s best if the process of finding your images is authentic - don’t try to force images into the presentation just for the sake of having visual aids. As mentioned above, you can use size, color, and layout to make slides without an image visually interesting.
It can be easy to overlook PowerPoint design in the process of gathering content for an important presentation. But, the way that your information is presented to your audience is just as crucial as the information itself. Audience engagement hinges on an attractive, well-organized, and visually interesting presentation, which you can achieve with the PowerPoint design skills listed above.