Slide decks are effective at backing up presentations like team meetings, sales pitches, or workshops. Yet just because the presentation was interesting doesn’t mean that it will automatically transfer over this way with slide decks. Presentation slides need to have a good design that matches the presentation rather than distract from it. However, most presenters aren’t graphic designers, which makes slide decks frustrating and difficult to build – at least well.
Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to improve the look of your presentation slides. You may not be able to create perfection overnight, but you can create a decent set of slides. Here’s how.
Start with an Outline
Each person has a different way of starting the creative process, but in order to create something with a clear beginning, middle and end, an outline should be the first step. An outline allows you to organize the contents of the presentation so that you can tell a story and have a main focus. Plus, as you start to build the slides, you can easily fine tune the content to cater to a specific audience.
Choose Readable Fonts
It’s hard not to dabble in some of the cool fonts that are provided, but keep things simple. You want people to be able to read your slides without having to second guess if it’s a “q” or a fancy “g” they’re looking at. Some of the best fonts include Calibri, New Times Roman, and Arial. Also consider the size of the font. It should match the presentation style. If you’re presenting slides at a conference with large screens, you can scale the font back a bit. Fonts of 48-60pt are your best bet.
Create and Include a Hashtag
Before launching your slides, create a unique hashtag for your presentation. Include the hashtag on the bottom of the slides so that marketers can tweet about the presentation and chat with other professionals. This encourages engagement from influencers while also creating buzz for your brand.
Watch What You Put on the Bottom on Slides
Projectors don’t always line up correctly, so refrain from putting important information at the bottom of your slides. Also, factor in the many heads that could be blocking the bottom of the slides. If you don’t want to leave the space blank, put your Twitter handle, hashtag, or other contact information at the bottom.
Go Easy on the Bullet Points
Bullet points are a common practice in content because they allow readers to grasp points of information quickly and easily. With slide decks, however, it’s the opposite. Bullet points are only necessary if you’re creating a true list. Otherwise, it’s better to break up the bullet points into slides so that your audience remains interested in your presentation versus reading content-heavy slides.
Save Self Talk for Later
It’s okay to share something fun about yourself, but don’t spend any more than a minute on it, and don’t use more than one slide. If you’re presenting the slides during a larger presentation, you will be introduced with a short bio, so there’s no need to elaborate. If your audience doesn’t know you, keep things short and sweet. If they do know you, jump right into the presentation. Take it from us, if you deliver a great slide deck, people will want to know who you are.