27 November 2023
How to Design Presentations for Maximum Attention and Impact
Designing presentations is a process that involves creating and arranging slides, text, images, audio, and video to communicate the main points. But before designing your presentation, you should be clear about the purpose. Ask yourself, “What is it really that you want to communicate?”
The purpose of a presentation may be to persuade, inform, or entertain. To create a successful persuasive slides, you need to know your audience well and understand their preferences. More on this later.
Here are some key ideas that would help you do it right.
In most cases and with some types of presentations, positioning yourself as an expert on the subject helps a lot in building trust
01 Prepare killer visuals
02 Providing relevant facts and statistics wherever necessary without overdoing it
03 Presenting clear and convincing arguments
A presentation should focus on making the information as clear and concise as possible. It’s not just a slideshow of words; it is a story, giving insight into your thinking.
What Makes a Great Presentation
A good or bad presentation design can make all the difference in most cases.
For starters, a good slide deck should be clear and concise. It should draw in the audience with its visuals and help them stay focused on the core message being delivered. It should also be easy to understand and easy to read.
Essentially, the keys to a great presentation can be boiled down to four pillars:
Great slide design should first and foremost provide support for your content. This content could include supporting graphics, charts, outlines, images or videos, diagrams, timelines, and so on.
Additionally, ensure the content is relevant to the audience and at the appropriate level of detail. This is where knowing your audience goes a long way and pays rich dividends in the world of presentation success.
Before you crack your fingers, roll up your sleeves, and start putting together your slides, you need to draw out the outline or structure of your slides. Ask yourself, “What is the best way to unfold your argument?” or “Should you start with a story or a statistic?” or “Should you go over the values behind the message first or cover that after you have given statistical evidence?”
A well-thought-out outline can make a world of difference. If you get this wrong, you run the risk of making the slides messy and confusing.
Lastly, a well-designed presentation displays content effectively through consistent use of typography, color, imagery, illustration, and sequencing. A consistent design should make each element of the design work well and nicely tie everything together.
Parting Pro Tips…
Try to sum up your key point for the audience in one sentence. Remember just one key point, not two or three. This way, if the audience fails to remember anything about your presentation, they will at least remember the one central idea.
Now, think about what you actually need to show to drive that point home. Most people make the mistake of adding too much superfluous information—data, graphs, etc. However, what you really need is one stat or number that gets to the heart of the idea you are arguing for.
Use simpler graphics as much as possible to simplify the text. For instance, use overlapping circles to indicate a common ground between two options or side-by-side boxes to show options. These visual cues are registered in our brains at a deeper level compared to words.
If you found this interesting, then you will definitely love to read 5 Presentation Lessons You Can Learn from Steve Jobs.