Before you dive in and start designing your PowerPoint presentation here are some tips for you to consider.
Choosing a Template
When you first open PowerPoint you have the option to select a blank presentation or choosing from the available predesigned presentations. If you don’t like the predesigned templates select one that closely matches what you are looking for. Here you can customise the template or alternatively there are various websites where you can find free or paid templates (see Resources below). When you start designing your presentation make sure that you stick to the same theme throughout your slides for consistency.
Use Slide Masters
The slide master is the top slide in the pack of slides which keeps the global information about the theme of a presentation. Here you can add your corporate branding like adding your logo, change the font and size, select different colours, add in a footer and page numbers. The benefits of using the slide master is it will save you time retyping the same information on each slide when you need to make changes. Tip – when working in the slide master view the ribbon tab shows the Slide Master tab on the top left-hand side of the screen this lets you know you are still editing the slide master with access to the other tabs for editing. Once you have finished editing close the master and you will return to the normal ribbon view.
Keep Your Colours Simple
When selecting your colour scheme, choose a light or dark colour nothing too bright make it easy on your reader’s eyes, no one wants to look at a really bright presentation and leave with sore eyes. Most companies will have a branding style so check to see what this is before you start.
Use High-Quality Images
Don’t use images that are of a low resolution as the quality will be grainy and look poor. Search the internet for high-quality images they will make your presentation look good and impress your audience. You are looking for a polished presentation, not an average one.
Don’t Overload Your Slides
Keep your slides simple and easy to read don’t include your speech in the slides. As a presenter, you should be delivering the main content yourself to your audience, not your slides. Include your key points to get your message across – less is more!
The Use of Fonts
Use a font like sans-serif which is easy to read a few examples are Arial, Calibri, Century Gothic and Geneva. If you download a font from the internet be aware if you are presenting on a different computer the font will be substituted for another if that font is not available. This could result in your slides being all out of format. The last thing you want to be doing just before you present is fixing your presentation!
Remember you will be presenting to a room full of people those at the back of the room need to read your slides too. I would recommend using a 36 point for your heading and 24 point for your text. Don’t use anything smaller than an 18 point as it will become too hard to read. Keeping within these guidelines will also prevent you from adding too much text – remember less is more.
Now that you have the basics to start designing your Powerpoint presentation you will be able to deliver your message clearly and visually.
To help you source images and templates below is a list of a few websites. Some are free or you can purchase them. Remember to check if attribution is required before using.