Powerpoint Design Skills
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, sleek presentation design and an engaged audience come together to create results.
Masterful powerpoint presentation design is one avenue that leads to customer engagement, convey a sense of your brand and create connection. 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 presentation 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 and give a killer presentation that people will remember.
1. Break Free From PowerPoint Presets
The Powerpoint application features many preset themes, fonts, colors, and shapes. These automatic presentation design tools are intended to make life easy for newcomers. But, if you’re aiming to capture the attention of an entire audience with an exciting slide, these presets aren’t for you.
Great presentation design requires more time but is worth the investment. Think of designing a template like investing in a logo, in a headshot or image being shot for you or designing a website. You can establish your brand’s tone and feel by keeping consistent with key elements of unique design along with being fresh and innovative.
You may even reuse your template to keep consistent with your style, which makes each and every slide unique to you and your brand. You don’t want your presentation to seem like any other presentation because your brand is unique to you. You can get that brand or personal recognition by investing time into design and the thought behind the design.
Keep Your Audience Guessing With a Custom PowerPoint Design
Using a preset template can make your PowerPoint presentation design predictable, making it all the more likely that your audience will lose focus while viewing the slides during a presentation. Chances are that members of your audience are familiar with PowerPoint and have seen the preset presentation templates before. After all, PowerPoint presentations have been around for over three decades! To surprise them and capture their attention, you’ll need to design new, exciting slides that your viewers will like.
While it takes more time and effort to build your powerpoint 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 across slides. Plus, when the the design is wholly unique, you can interest your audience by keeping them guessing per slide.
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 presentation design elements are the most important. Use size to highlight one or more crucial bits of information in your presentation.
With strategic sizing in a presentation 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.
You should be using a hierarchy like the one mentioned above with type but you can also apply this to images, shapes and colours. Directing the audience and using size to do so is a powerful tool that does not add more text or information on the slide.
When one element is like the other, you can establish which order someone’s eyes movements will go in. The goal of good presentation design is to make sure your audience understands the information being relayed to them in a timely manner per powerpoint slide. Use good design to retain attention and engagement.
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 powerpoint 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 presentation 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 presentation design, so powerpoint slides should be organized accordingly.
A rule of thumb is use three to four points at the most per slide, or two to three paragraphs. If you have a quote or important statistic, try to highlight that by itself, uncluttered by other elements. You do not want your audience to be reading while you speak necessarily, nor do you want to flip the slide before they finish reading. Unless you specifically designate time for them to read the slide, it should be bite-sized information. Even for slides that are meant to read, consider providing supplementary documents for the person to read, especially those who have trouble seeing from afar.
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 presentation design, using a thoughtful color scheme is one of the best ways to make an impression on your audience. Make sure you make a striking palette that represents the tone of your brand. These colours can appear not just in text, but in your images, powerpoint template, slide masters and across your brand.
If your brand has a color scheme all its own, you can use it as inspiration for the colors in your presentation or slide. Or, you can take advantage of accepted color connotations. For example:
Yellow is associated with optimism. Use it to convey a bright and light brand tone. This color can be quite strong when saturated, so it can direct the eye to certain bits of information. It can also be too bright to read text on, so be careful if you use this as a background color not to put too much text.
Red is associated with passion and anger. Use it to convey a striking, eye-catching tone. You can also use this to direct the eye with icons and elements to information. It can be hard to read lots of text on, consider using a darker shade of red if an abundance of text has to appear on it.
Blue is associated with tranquility and honesty. Use it to convey a corporate, elegant feel. Blue is quite a nice and versatile color to use all across icons, elements, text and a background color.
Purple is associated with innovation and regality. Use this to convey a tech, forward thinking feel. Purple is also versatile across icons, elements and text, but can be a tricky color to pair with other colors.
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. Using the right color can make the difference, even if it’s just the one color!
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 presentation should be in stark contrast to the color of the background. This ensures that your text is clearly visible to the audience. Make sure your text is always readable as you make your color choices and that the color choice does not class with the images in your presentation.
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 and seem like one cluster. This can inhibit your viewers from absorbing all of the content that you have to offer on each slide. So, simply bumping up the contrast between the color of your text, background, graphics, and images can upgrade a powerpoint presentation for improved audience engagement.
You can find many color wheels online. If you want to build a color palette, consider what palette you want to have:
Monochromatic: Variations of the same hue by adjusting the shades, tones, and tints.
Analogous: These are color combinations made up of colors that sit next to each other a color wheel.
Complimentary: Opposite color combinations. Might seem off, but think Christmas red and green!
Triadic: Three colors that are evenly spaced apart on the color wheel. (For eg. purple, orange, teal)
Split-complementary: Two pairs of colors next to each other paired with their opposites.
Tetradic: Like split-complementary, this is made up of two complementary pairs. Think red, purple, green, yellow or purple, blue, orange, yellow.
This can take some time to really get right, but seeing the colors next to each other before you design can really help!
5. Supplement Facts with Relevant Images
When we talk about effective use of images in presentation design, we don’t mean inserting related stock images to your powerpoint 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 powerpoint presentation will have a bigger impact on your audience. One striking image is better than a bunch of unmemorable ones. And if you pick a few key images, you can create an overall mood and feel of the message you want to convey on your powerpoint slides.
So, less is more: when you’re gathering content for your powerpoint 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 powerpoint presentation just for the sake of having visual aids. As mentioned above, you can use size, color, and layout to make powerpoint slides without an image visually interesting. When you use a photo just for the sake of using one, a repeated use of a design element can seem like the deck was designed copy and paste.
Keep aware of the real estate between text and images. Each slide only has enough space for 1-2 photos with basic text. If you have very short copy and striking image, create a slide with a master image and small subtext. It looks great on a big display. If not try to make room for your image to be admired while your text can still be readable within the time you talk per slide.
You might be wondering where you get images for your presentation. You can shoot photos of your own or get them off a stock website like Shutterstock or iStock. You can also get free images off Freepik, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay and more.
It can be easy to overlook PowerPoint presentation 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 powerpoint presentation, which you can achieve and create a stunning powerpoint template with the presentation design skills listed above. For further information reach out to Presentation Geeks.