Presentation Challenges and Solutions

7 Outstanding PowerPoint Design Tips That You MUST Know

By Kristy Shangpliang
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7 Outstanding PowerPoint Design Tips That You MUST Know

Have you ever sat through a presentation and just wished for it to end?

You are probably laughing about it right now remembering them.

Often we have all been on the other side as well. Giving Presentations. Be it your team of 10-15 or a 100 strong crowd at a conference. Your aim is to be able to communicate your ideas and message clearly and efficiently through visually appealing slides.

So how do you do that?

Most established companies would have their brand guidelines explicitly laid out for PowerPoint presentations, but some organizations do not have.

Here are some PowerPoint Design tips to help you get started. Tried and tested by the PowerPoint experts at Chillibreeze. Use these as guidelines to enhance the look and feel of your next big presentation.

1. 4:3 Vs 16:9 dimension, which is the right one for you?

Before you decide on your slide dimension, you have to consider the size of the room, your screen size, the audience, and the content of your slides.

There is no hard and fast rule on the best slide dimension.

But if it’s up to me, I would prefer to use the widescreen (16:9) instead of the standard (4:3) dimension. Why? Because I will have more room to spread out my content. Who doesn’t like a little extra space.

With a wider slide, you have more ways to express yourself and enough room to help the audience digest your message/ contents.

Think about it. I'm sure the increase dimension to widescreen of your display monitor and projectors is not for us to present small slides. And it is easier to read texts in horizontal than in vertical direction.

Just like your TV and laptop screen is getting bigger and wider by the day, so is our slide dimensions. But hey don’t cramp up your beautiful slide with contents.  Tweet this.

2. Color: How much is too much?

Can you imagine the world without colors? Neither can I. 

In your presentation colors play a significant role in helping you highlight important key points, take away and topics to discuss. They provide visual cues to the audience on important points.

Use contrasting colors. For instance, the graphics on your slide should not be the same color as your background. Set the contrasting colors far apart to make it easier for viewers to read and understand. Have a balanced color scheme that is not too glaring or too light.

Use your highlight wisely. Stick to a single color for highlighting your content in a slide. But if you must use a second color, use tones of one color.

Most food industries use bright hues. This is related to human psychology and how they behave towards certain colors. Presentations on food are more colorful than most.

Because different colors need to be used to highlight varieties and categories. Even so, colors used should not strain the eyes. Use pleasing colors.

3. Fonts: are you a Serif or San Serif?

Good font choices bring out the best in your presentation and add personality to your slides.

Your choice of fonts determines how helpful it is for the viewer to digest the information displayed on your slide easily. What they see on your slide visually would probably stay longer in their memory that what they hear from your speech. …No offense there!

Use fonts that are simple and easy to read and legible from a distance. Avoid using more than two types of fonts in your slides.

If you choose to use two types of fonts, use the first font only for highlighting topics or headlines and the second font for the body.

Avoid using Serif font family because they are difficult to read and strains the eyes.
The minimum font size advisable is 12pt, and the maximum is 34pt. You can increase to more than 34 if you have less content in your slide.

NEVER use serif and san serif fonts together.  Share this.

To avoid confusion, it's best to stick to just one font family. And if you still need to highlight certain sentences, use bolding or italic.

Depending on your audience decide the size of your font and maintain consistency throughout your presentation. There are many typefaces available by default on your computer. If you have an Adobe account, you have access to different types of fonts. You can also download free fonts from various sources such as 1001freefonts and DaFonts.

4. Have only key points on your slides

Overcrowding your slides with text is a NO NO.

A PowerPoint is meant for presentations where people can consume your content using their eyes.

Do not use your slides as a manuscript.

Your audience wants to hear what you have to say. Your presentation is there to support what you just said in a more dramatic way.

Emphasize only on the most important points and fill the rest of your slide with visuals (if needed).

White space can do wonders in bringing focus to a particular visual element as well. Now that is something that your audience will remember and take away from your presentation.

5. Reduce the use of bullet points

We all love bullet points. Sure, they make it easier for the presenter to highlight important things. But overuse and it bores the audience. Not just that they begin to lose focus.

People are not interested in reading the bullets heavy with text on your slide. Don’t forget that you want to capture your audience and keep them engaged. Reduce the number of points and text on a slide and add more visual content.

Pictures: To support your point, you can include images that are relevant to what you want to convey.

Professional quality images can be gathered through various popular sites such as Shutterstock, iStock, and Pixabay, to name a few.

Icons: Use of icon is another way of highlighting your content. They your slides more meaningful, communicative and help break the language barrier as they are more intuitive.

Icons are widely used, and we see them every day in road signals, restroom sign, shopping malls, etc. The universal application of icons helps you communicate efficiently and reduces the risk of having your audience come to a wrong conclusion.

6. Less is more

Yes, that’s right 'less is more'. Use less text, colors, graphics, and more of focus on the points that you want to convey.

Let your slides breathe. Have more white-space so that your audience can consume your slides. Focus on one point at a time. Use visuals to tell your story. Even when you use visuals like images, they should support your content, not or overpower them.

Make them subtle and pleasing to the eyes.

7. Big is beautiful

When you reduce the amount of text on your slides, you will have enough room to increase your font size and you can use the graphics of your content.

Use font sizes to differentiate the important and not so important points in your presentation. When you have a style guide of your own, then you are good to go. You just have to follow the guide.

And if you feel you can add more value by including certain features and if it is going to help capture your audience and keep them engage then there is nothing better than that!

When it comes to PowerPoint formatting and design, there are no “set in stone” rules. Just some desirable tips and tricks to play around with. That’s about it.

Anyway, rules are made to be broken and renewed every now and then!

Happy presenting!

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