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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

For example, most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize.

You can also guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement also matters. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you. Use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered. Either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts. Just keep legibility top of mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

  • A change in color

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell. Think about the colors and composition in an image and the distinct mood they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in a boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it.

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later? You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos , colorful markets , and so on.

Aerial view of a cargo ship

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag-and-drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu.

Screenshot of how to compress a picture

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low-quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI), and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of compression options for your image

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections, Color, Effects, Animation, and a lot more. This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of picture format options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of how to crop an image

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of how to change the shape of an image

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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27 Super Hidden PowerPoint Tips and Tricks Only The Pros Know!

Ausbert Generoso

Ausbert Generoso

27 Super Hidden PowerPoint Tips and Tricks Only The Pros Know!

Ever felt like your PowerPoint presentations could use a little magic? You’re not alone. Whether you’re a seasoned presenter or just getting started, there’s a world of PowerPoint tips and tricks waiting for you. In this guide, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of Microsoft PowerPoint to uncover 30 hidden gems that’ll transform the way you create and deliver slides.

From making your designs pop to streamlining your workflow, these PowerPoint hacks are designed for real-world impact. No jargon, just practical insights that’ll have you presenting like a pro in no time.

Let’s cut through the noise and get straight to the good stuff – your next presentation is about to level up. Ready? Let’s get started.

27 PowerPoint Tips and Tricks That Put The Power in PowerPoint

PowerPoint tips and tricks

1. Morph Transition for Seamless Animation

PowerPoint Morph Transition

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation by seamlessly animating objects and creating smooth transitions between slides. Morph transition is your key to a dynamic and visually engaging storytelling experience, allowing you to captivate your audience effortlessly. 

How to do it:

  • Position the same object in different parts on multiple slides
  • Select all slides, and go to the Transitions tab.
  • Choose “Morph” as the transition effect.

2. SVG Image Integration

SVG Image Integration PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Did you think SVG’s only work for websites and professional photo editing tools? They do, too, in PowerPoint! Import high-quality Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Maintain image clarity, resize without loss, and enhance your presentations with crisp logos and icons. 

  • Save your chosen SVG on your device.
  • Click on the Insert tab.
  • Choose “Pictures” and select your SVG file.
  • Adjust the size without compromising image quality.

3. Designer Feature for Quick Layouts

PowerPoint Designer

What’s it for:  Effortlessly create professional-looking slides with the Designer feature. Receive instant layout suggestions based on your content, saving time and ensuring your presentation looks polished. 

  • Select a slide.
  • Go to the Design tab and click Designer on the far right along the ribbon.
  • Select through ready-made slide designs for instant layouts.

4. Insert 3D Models

PowerPoint 3D Models

What’s it for:  Amp up your presentations with manipulable 3D models, adding a dynamic dimension. Whether it’s showcasing products or visualizing data, 3D models bring your slides to life. 

  • Click on the “3D Models” dropdown and proceed to Stock 3D Models.
  • Search for a 3D model of your choice and insert.
  • Manipulate and customize as needed.

5. SmartArt Graphics for Visual Hierarchy

PowerPoint SmartArt Graphics

What’s it for:  Convey complex ideas with visual hierarchy using SmartArt graphics. These graphics offer a structured and visually appealing way to organize information, making your content more digestible. 

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Select “SmartArt” and navigate through the available categories.
  • Select a graphic template that fits your presentation needs.
  • Enter your content and customize as needed.

6. Eyedropper Tool for Color Matching

PowerPoint eyedropper

What’s it for:  Maintain a cohesive design by using the Eyedropper tool to pick colors from images or elements within your presentation. Ensure consistency and professional aesthetics in every slide. 

  • Select the editable, native PowerPoint object you wish to customize.
  • Go to the Shape Format tab and click on the Shape Fill dropdown.
  • Select “More Fill Colors…” and click the eyedropper icon to begin color appropriating.

7. Record and Insert Audio

PowerPoint record audio

What’s it for:  Infuse personality into your presentation by recording audio directly within PowerPoint. Ideal for adding voiceovers, explanations, or personal touches that enhance audience engagement. 

  • Click on “Audio” and choose “Record Audio.”
  • Record your audio and insert it into the slide.

8. Presenter Coach for Rehearsing

Presenter Coach PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation skills with Presenter Coach. Receive valuable feedback on pacing, filler words, and more, refining your delivery for a confident and impactful performance. 

  • Click on the Slide Show tab.
  • Choose “Rehearse with Coach” to start practicing.

9. Hyperlink Navigation for Seamless Transitions

PowerPoint hyperlink

What’s it for:  Streamline your presentation flow by implementing Hyperlink Navigation. This trick allows you to create clickable links within your slides, enabling effortless transitions between related content or external resources, enhancing the overall navigational experience. 

  • Select the text or object you want to hyperlink.
  • Right-click and choose “Hyperlink” or use the Ctrl+K shortcut.
  • Specify the destination, whether it’s another slide, a website, or a file, to create a seamless navigational experience.

10. Alt Text for Accessibility

PowerPoint Alt Text

What’s it for:  Improve accessibility by adding descriptive alternative text to images and objects. Ensure inclusivity for visually impaired individuals, making your presentation accessible to a wider audience. 

  • Right-click on the image or object.
  • Choose “Edit Alt Text” and enter a descriptive text.

11. Slide Zoom for Dynamic Navigation

PowerPoint Slide Zoom

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation’s navigation with Slide Zoom, offering the flexibility to jump to specific slides during a presentation without adhering to a linear sequence. This dynamic feature ensures a more engaging and tailored audience experience. 

  • Set a master slide where you’d like to put your “mini slides” altogether.
  • Navigate to the Insert tab > Zoom dropdown > Slide Zoom.
  • Select the slides you want to link onto your master slide and insert.

12. Live Captions and Subtitles

PowerPoint Live Captions and Subtitles

What’s it for:  Foster inclusivity by enabling live captions and subtitles in multiple languages. This feature enhances accessibility, making your presentation more engaging and comprehensible for a diverse global audience. 

  • Go to the Slide Show tab.
  • Select “Always Use Subtitles” and choose your language.

13. Password Protection for Security

PowerPoint Password

What’s it for:  Safeguard your presentation’s sensitive content by adding a password. This security measure ensures that only authorized individuals can access and view the information, adding an extra layer of protection. 

  • Navigate to the File tab.
  • Select “Info” and click on “Protect Presentation.”
  • Choose “Encrypt with Password” and set your password.

14. Animation Painter for Consistent Animations

PowerPoint animation painter

What’s it for:  Maintain a polished and consistent look throughout your presentation by using the Animation Painter. Copy and apply animations across different objects with ease, ensuring a cohesive visual experience. 

  • Select the object with the same, desired animation as the others.
  • Go to the Animation tab.
  • Click on “Animation Painter” and apply to other objects.

15. Linked Excel Charts for Real-Time Updates

Link Excel charts with PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Integrate linked Excel charts for real-time updates in your PowerPoint presentation. Any modifications made to the linked Excel file automatically reflect in your slides, ensuring data accuracy. 

  • Copy your Excel chart.
  • In PowerPoint, use “Paste Special” and choose “Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.”

16. Custom Slide Sizes

PowerPoint custom slide sizes

What’s it for:  Tailor your presentation to various screen dimensions by customizing slide sizes. This feature, accessible through the Design tab, ensures your content fits seamlessly across different display settings. 

  • Navigate to the Design tab.
  • Click on the “Slide Size” dropdown and choose “Page Setup”.
  • Change “Slide sized for” to Custom.

17. Grid and Guidelines for Precision

PowerPoint grids and guidelines

What’s it for:  Achieve precise object alignment with gridlines and guides. This feature, essential for creating visually polished and organized presentations, ensures your content is visually appealing and professionally structured. 

  • Go to the View tab.
  • Check the “Grids” and “Guidelines” toggles for display options and customization.

18. Slide Master for Consistent Design

PowerPoint Slide Master

What’s it for:  Establish a cohesive presentation design by utilizing the Slide Master. This time-saving feature enables you to set consistent layouts, fonts, and colors throughout your presentation. 

  • Click on “Slide Master” to access and customize master slides.

19. Quick Access Toolbar Customization

PowerPoint quick access to toolbar

What’s it for:  Streamline your workflow by personalizing the Quick Access Toolbar with your most-used commands. This customization ensures quick access to essential tools, enhancing efficiency during presentation creation. 

  • Click on the dropdown arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Select “More Commands” to customize your toolbar.

20. Ink Annotations for Handwriting

PowerPoint ink annotations

What’s it for:  Personalize your presentations with a touch-enabled device using ink annotations. This feature allows you to draw or write directly on slides, adding a unique and handwritten touch to your content. 

  • Go to the Draw tab and click on Draw to begin drawing.
  • Choose “Ink to Text” or “Ink to Shape” for handwriting annotations.

21. Crop to Shape for Image Customization

PowerPoint Customise Crop Shapes

What’s it for:  Unleash your creativity by utilizing the Crop to Shape feature, allowing you to create custom image shapes. This adds a distinctive flair to your presentation, providing a visually dynamic and engaging experience. 

  • Select the image.
  • Navigate to the Picture Format tab.
  • Click on “Crop” and choose “Crop to Shape.”
  • Select the shape you want your image to have as frame.

22. Slide Show Recording with Narration

PowerPoint slide show recording with narration

What’s it for:  Capture your entire presentation, including narration and animations, by recording a self-running slideshow. This feature is invaluable for sharing presentations with a wider audience, ensuring a consistent and engaging delivery. 

  • Click on “Record Slide Show” and choose recording options.

23.  Dynamic Color Scheme Switch for Vibrant Slides

PowerPoint color scheme

What’s it for:  Infuse energy into your presentation by dynamically switching color schemes. This handy trick allows you to quickly experiment with various color palettes, giving your slides a vibrant and fresh appearance in just a few clicks. 

  • Explore different color options by selecting “Colors” and experimenting with the available palettes. Instantly transform the look of your presentation to match your desired mood and style.

24.  Smart Alignment and Distribution for Pixel-Perfect Precision

PowerPoint smart alignment of shapes

What’s it for:  Attain pixel-perfect precision in your presentation design with the Smart Alignment and Distribution trick. This technique allows you to not only align objects with accuracy but also evenly distribute them horizontally, ensuring a polished and visually appealing layout. 

  • Select the objects you want to align.
  • Navigate to the Format tab.
  • Click on “Align” to access options like Align Left, Center, or Right for precise alignment.
  • Further refine your layout by choosing “Distribute Horizontally,” ensuring equal spacing between objects and achieving a professional design.

25. Insert Online Videos

PowerPoint insert online videos

What’s it for:  Seamlessly integrate online videos directly into your presentation. This feature eliminates the need for external players, offering a smooth and immersive viewing experience for your audience. 

  • Click on the “Video” dropdown and select Online Movie.
  • Paste the video link and your video should be embedded onto your PowerPoint slide.

26. Embed Fonts for Portability

PowerPoint embed fonts

What’s it for:  Ensure consistent visual appeal on any device by embedding fonts in your presentation. This is particularly useful when sharing your work with others who may not have the same fonts installed, enhancing portability. 

  • Go to the File tab.
  • Select “Options” and go to the Save tab from the window popup.
  • Check “Embed fonts in the file” as well as “Embed all characters”.

27.  Text Transformation

PowerPoint text transformation

What’s it for:  Uncover the elegance of text transformation with the Shape Format trick. This hack allows you to access a myriad of text transformation designs, offering a swift and sophisticated way to elevate the visual appeal of your presentation. 

  • Select the text you want to transform.
  • Navigate to the Shape Format tab.
  • Click on “Text Effects” and explore the “Transform” options for a variety of stylish text designs. Instantly apply a transformation that suits the tone and style of your presentation.

5 Critical Best Practices to Implement These Pro PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for a Technically Proficient Presentation

Enhance the technical brilliance of your presentation by focusing on these crucial best practices:

1.  Streamlined Font Selection

  • Practice:  Limit your font styles to a maximum of three per slide.
  • Why:  Simplifying fonts enhances readability, maintains visual consistency, and prevents distraction, ensuring your message is clear and impactful.

2.  High-Resolution Images

  • Practice:  Source HD images from reputable free resource websites like Freepik or Unsplash .
  • Why:  High-resolution images prevent pixelation, ensuring clarity and professionalism. Crisp visuals contribute to a visually appealing presentation.

3.  Cohesive Color Palette

  • Practice:  Stick to a consistent color palette throughout your slides; use the eyedropper tool for precise color matching.
  • Why:  A unified color scheme enhances visual harmony, reinforces brand identity, and elevates the overall aesthetics of your presentation.

4.  Efficient Data Visualization

  • Practice:  Use charts and graphs for data-driven slides, choosing appropriate chart types for different data sets.
  • Why:  Visualizing data through charts improves comprehension, making complex information more accessible and engaging for your audience.

5.  Transitions with Purpose

  • Practice:  Apply slide transitions judiciously. Choose transitions that complement the content and avoid excessive animations.
  • Why:  Subtle transitions maintain audience focus, while excessive animations may distract from the core message.

Final Thoughts

In presentation-making, technical practices harmonized with thoughtful design is the key to delivering an impactful message. Whether it may be as simple as considering font choices, to incorporating high-resolution visuals, you do not only get to enhance the aesthetics but also ensure your audience’s undivided attention.

Remember, a technically proficient presentation is not just a showcase of information, but also one that leaves a rather immersive experience for those who will see. But at the end of the day, it comes down to your delivery. So, no sweat! You’re doing amazing, rockstar!

Find them useful? Save them, or share these PowerPoint tips and tricks with others to make their day!

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8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

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Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

11 Simple Tips to Make Your PowerPoint Presentations More Effective

Written by Jamie Cartwright @cart_writing

powerpoint presentation tips

After all, the skills needed to create good PowerPoint presentations —strong design, appropriate branding, concise content, well-placed visuals, and proofread copy—are the same skills that make or break a digital marketing campaign. I like to treat Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic marketing skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text) then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience. Expertise means nothing without a good presentation to back it up. Strong digital marketing requires a similar kind of attention to multiple forms of communication. Often, we think we need expert designers and writers to present our company in a professional light.

The truth is that PowerPoint enables non-experts to become strong presentation marketers, by providing user-friendly tools with little training needed. All you need is to learn how to let PowerPoint help you. Here are eleven key tips to get started.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoint shows depend on three main factors: your command of PPT’s design tools , your attention to presentation processes , and your devotion to consistent style . If you can do all three effectively, you’ll find that your PowerPoint presentations won’t be the only pieces of your marketing toolkit improving!

Good style is the hardest and most important skillset to master. It’s more than design; it defines your vision for PowerPoint. Here's how to beef up your styling:

1) Keep a Natural Style

Human eyes aren’t used to seeing brilliant, out-of-this-world visual movement. Good presentations aim to comfort the viewer, not amaze. When you choose an overall style, try to envision your PowerPoint slides as one or many real objects. Imagine canvases, tabletops, landscapes, and shadow boxes. Here is an example of a stylized, blank PowerPoint Slide canvas:

blank powerpoint presentation

Then, imagine how you would arrange real text within these various media. You don’t need to constrain yourself to two-dimensional space (i.e. surfaces), but just remember, that real people don’t live in outer space… So, don’t take us there unless you need to.

2) Don’t Let PowerPoint Decide How You Use PowerPoint

Microsoft aimed to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. This does not mean you should use them all. For example, professionals should never use PPT’s action sounds (please consider your audience, above personal preference). You should also make sure that preset PPT themes complement your needs before you adopt them. Consider it a mistake if your audience recognizes a PowerPoint theme as a preset. Be creative; don’t be a poser. Here are three key things to look out for:

  • PowerPoint makes bulleting automatic, but ask yourself: Are bullets actually appropriate for what you need to do? Sometimes, but not always.
  • Recent PPT defaults include a small shadow on all shapes. Remove if not actually needed. Also, don’t leave shapes in their default blue.
  • Try to get away from using Microsoft Office’s default fonts, Calibri and Cambria. Using these two typefaces can make the presentation seem underwhelming.

Presentation Process Tips

If you keep good style, then you don’t have to be an expert PPT designer. But you must know how to handle solid presentation process preparation.

3) Embed Your Font Files

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing—the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed. If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth work around for this issue. (When you involve Mac systems, the solution is a bit rougher. See Trick #4.) Here’s the trick. When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click Save Options in the "Save As…" dialog window. Then, select the Embed TrueType fonts check box and press OK. Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers (unless you give your presentation on a Mac).

4) Save Your Slides as JPEGs

In PowerPoint for Mac 2011, there is no option to embed fonts within the presentation. Which means that unless you use ubiquitous typefaces like Arial or Tahoma, your PPT is likely going to encounter font changing on different computers.

The most certain way of avoiding this is by saving your final presentation as JPEGs, then inserting these JPEGs onto your slides. If you do not utilize actions in your presentation, then this option works especially well. If you do want action settings, you can also choose save partial portions of your PPT slides as JPEGs and overlay other elements on top.

On a Mac, users can easily drag and drop the JPEGs into PPT with fast load time. The compromising factor here is that if your PPT includes a lot of JPEGs, then the file size will increase, so make sure you can manage!

5) Embed Multimedia

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note : Mac OS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you always will need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system, no matter what.

6) Bring Your Own Hardware

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware you need to always use your own portable computer.

7) Use Presenter View

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint 2010 (or 2011 for Mac). Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you use a crutch. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation:

powerpoint tips: presenter view

At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Design Tips

8) utilize the format menus.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right click on an object and select the "Format" option. By doing this, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. Here's the menu that will pop up:

powerpoint tips: format menus

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Examples include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.
  • Putting an object in a very precise location when PowerPoint auto-positions an object to align with another object or margin.

9) Use and Change PowerPoint’s Shapes

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft in 2010, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. Unlike professional design programs like Adobe Creative Suite or Quark, PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options, beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring—utilize shapes to help express you message more clearly.

10) Create Custom Shapes

When you create a shape, right-click and press Edit Points. By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. When selecting two shapes, right-click and go to the Grouping sub-menu to see a variety of options. Combine will create a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.

Union makes one completely merged shape. Intersect will build a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes. Subtract will cut out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other. By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

11) Present Webpages Within PowerPoint

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb, a third-party software developed independently.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option, so a good second choice is to take screen shots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media, such as a YouTube video by downloading it to your computer.

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten.

For small design jobs not worthy of a graphic designer’s time (e.g. calls-to-action, small web graphics), consider having a free staffer use PowerPoint to do the job. Or if you’re in need of more social media content, try uploading a few good presentations to SlideShare as free resources. With the eleven tips I offer here and a little practice, PowerPoint can be a powerful tool you won’t want to stop using.

Jamie Cartwright is the Inbound Marketing Intern at Weidert Group . A senior at Lawrence University, Jamie studies human communication, anthropology, and social marketing.


Originally published Dec 10, 2013 10:00:00 AM, updated November 07 2023

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A collage of colorful PowerPoint designs organized into tidy rows

5 golden rules of PowerPoint design

april 30, 2024

A smiling woman with blonde hair, glasses, and a leopard print cardigan poses with her hands on her hips in front of an olive green background.

by Deb Ashby

Wondering how to design the perfect PowerPoint presentation? It's easier than you think–just follow five simple rules to get started:

1. Consider using templates

When building a slide deck, it’s important to maintain consistency throughout. We want to ensure we are using consistent font styles, colors and themes. This can be tricky when designing from scratch, so why not start from a template?

Microsoft Create contains hundreds of pre-made, customizable PowerPoint templates, which means you don’t have to start from scratch and the fonts and colors are already set for you.

Simply choose a template from the gallery, customize it as needed, and you are done!

Screenshots of slides in a branded PowerPoint presentation, in hues of navy, maroon, and brown.

2. No walls of text

We’ve all seen PowerPoint presentations where slides contain too much text. The human brain struggles to listen and read at the same time. If you are presenting to an audience, keep the text on slides to a minimum.

Consider employing the “5-5-5" rule. No more than 5 lines, no more than 5 words, no more than 5 minutes. Think short and sharp memory joggers instead of rambling paragraphs.

Where possible, consider replacing text with visuals to represent your point. People remember images more than words.

A minimalist, black and white PowerPoint template

3. Be mindful of colors and fonts

No one wants their audience to leave with a headache after an hour of straining to read slides. We need to ensure that our presentation is easy to read for everyone – even for those in the nosebleed seats at the back! Think about the font you are using. Is it appropriate for the presentation? What about the font size? Can people at the back easily read? What about people with visual impairment? Ensure all text is at least 24pts.

When it comes to color, ensure all slides have good contrast. Dark backgrounds should have light font and vice versa.

4. Use animation sparingly

Animation can really liven up an otherwise flat presentation. However, it should be used thoughtfully and sparingly. Too much of the wrong type of animation with objects flying in and zooming around the screen, while fun, can look confusing and unprofessional.

Animation should be subtle (especially for pitch decks and other formal presentations). With every animation you add, ask yourself, "Is this going to enhance my presentation or distract from it?"

5. Engage your audience

When presenting to an audience, there is usually an awkward time before the presentation begins while the speaker waits for everyone to arrive. During this time, people may start scrolling on their phones or get distracted with work emails, and it can be hard to pull the audience back.

To avoid this issue, work to grab your audience's attention before the presentation even starts. Instead of just having the title slide on the screen, consider creating "kiosk slides." These are a series of slides that contain a combination of interesting things for the audience to look at or engage with. Maybe you have an interesting image? A funny quote or fun facts? Or maybe there is a question you want them to think about prior to the session?

Create these slides and have them automatically cycle round before the presentation starts.

A PowerPoint presentation for a whitepaper proposal.

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tips on powerpoint presentation design

Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > PowerPoint Tips: Make The Most of Your Presentation

PowerPoint Tips: Make The Most of Your Presentation

Got a presentation coming up but you’re not that familiar with PowerPoint ? We can help you get started with some easy PowerPoint tips and tricks that’ll help you create an impactful presentation , no matter what the occasion.

An image showing a PowerPoint presentation slide layout.

Our PowerPoint for beginners tips will show you how to:

  • Make an outline.
  • Choose a theme.
  • Find a font.
  • Use visuals.
  • Not use too much text.
  • Limit your color.
  • Use a free online “speaker coach”.

Tell your story with captivating presentations Banner

Tell your story with captivating presentations

Powerpoint empowers you to develop well-designed content across all your devices

Outline your presentation before you start. Don’t spend time making unnecessary slides for your presentation. Create an outline before you start. Not only will this make it easier to put the content on the slides, but it will also let you know how many slides you need to make. Rather than winging it and making slides as you go, use your outline to make your slides efficient and organized . Working without an outline can sometimes lead to jumbled slides with more information than you need.

Choose a theme and template. Not everybody is a graphic designer, so coming up with the perfect slide theme and template can seem hard. Thanks to PowerPoint templates, it isn’t. Find a free online template that gives you the design, layout, color scheme, and aesthetic you want. Be sure to choose something that fits what you’re talking about (e.g. Don’t use a whimsical theme with bright colors and butterflies if you’re presenting a serious topic.)

Find the right font . Knowing which font to use for your presentation isn’t always easy. When it comes to the basics of selecting the best font, follow best-practice recommendations that say an easy-to-read sans-serif font is preferred. Fonts like Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and others like it make for simple fonts that are easy to read. Although, there are some serif fonts that still look great on PowerPoint and are easy to read on high-resolution screens. When you’re building out the format of your slides, a great way to distinguish the title section from the body text is by using a different font for each or bolding your title font.

Use visuals . Words on a page aren’t nearly as engaging as visuals. Keep your audience’s attention during your presentation by using visuals like graphics, animations, photos, and videos. PowerPoint makes it easy to insert clipart, tables, graphs, and much more by using the features built into the program. You can also include gifs and YouTube videos to up the ante on your presentation.

While it’s great to use fun gifs or YouTube videos to enhance your presentation, don’t go crazy. Eventually, your audience will get tired of looking at a five-second loop on a gif as you speak, and videos don’t always have the impact you want. Videos can be distracting to your audience because they change the pace of your presentation, so it’s a good idea to limit the number of videos you include.

Tip: If you’re going to lay words over a picture, use a colored box with the opacity down around 50% to create more contrast between the image and the words.

Limit your text. Your audience doesn’t want to read; they want to listen to you. Don’t fill your slides with long sentences and complex phrasing. Instead, include only the most important points of what you want to say. The PowerPoint 6×6 rule suggests limiting your slides to six lines with a maximum of six words per line. Following this rule makes for slides that include only the most important points while avoiding information overload. Using bullet points is a great way to stick to the 6×6 rule.

A graphic showing multiple different forms of bar graphs and charts available in PowerPoint.

Go easy on the colors. Be careful of the colors you use when making a PowerPoint presentation. Too many bright colors can be hard on the eyes and reduce the contrast between the letters, making them hard to read. It’s generally a good idea to use a black or white font with a color that makes the font pop against the background. Black on white is always easy to read, and white looks great against most solid colors. If you’re not sure how a specific font color looks against a background, sit back in your chair, and try to read it. If it’s hard to read with the font and background you have, it’s a good idea to change one or both.

Use a free online “speaker coach”. Rehearsing in front of a mirror is good, but using free speaker coaching software is even better. Do you say “um” a lot? Are you talking too fast? Did you use a culturally insensitive term? A free digital “coach” with built-in AI will catch all that stuff and more.It’s the best way to assess your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas of growth.

These PowerPoint tips are enough to get you started on your presentation. Soon, you’ll be creating and presenting a beautiful deck.

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Blog Graphic Design 31 Powerpoint Presentation Design Tips, Ideas [with Examples]

31 Powerpoint Presentation Design Tips, Ideas [with Examples]

Written by: Sara McGuire May 03, 2023

presentation templates blog header

What’s worse than sitting through a boring presentation? Being the one to deliver a boring presentation. Presentation templates to the rescue!

Say goodbye to typical, boring PowerPoint slides, too. Instead,  create a presentation that will make a lasting impression with presentation templates like this one to engage your audience:

Just so you know, some of our templates are free and some require a small monthly fee to use. Signing up to Venngage is always free.

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a presentation that will not only grab the attention of your audience but hold onto it as well.

This post will offer tips for creating different types of presentations , including:

  • Pitch decks
  • Elearning slides
  • Class presentations
  • Webinar presentations
  • Marketing presentations

I’ll also give you design tips to customize our presentation templates.

Click to jump ahead:

  • Dedicate each slide to only one topic
  • Start with presentation templates
  • Don’t overburden your slides with text
  • Establish a visual hierarchy on your slides
  • Pick a visual motif that runs throughout your presentation templates
  • Visualize data using charts and infographics
  • Create custom illustrations using icons to help tell stories
  • Highlight important information using big, bold colorful text
  • Alternate between different slide layouts to keep your audience engaged
  • Add a progress tracker to your presentation slides
  • Download your presentation as a PDF
The example above shows how you can customize our templates and export them directly to PowerPoint. Click any of the presentation templates on this page, sign up for free and you’ll enter Venngage’s online presentation maker tool. It’s a drag and drop editor that anyone can use.

Design a presentation that engages your audience

Think about the last boring presentation you sat through:

  • What did the slides look like?
  • Did they have a bland color scheme?
  • Were there too many points (or worse, paragraphs) crammed onto one slide?
  • Were the charts and diagrams clunky and hard to understand?

When people see the same old boring PowerPoint themes, there’s a good chance they’re going to lose focus.

Rich media, like video, matters more than ever and there’s no better way to stand out than by creating creative and engaging visual content . If you want to really capture your audience’s attention, you need to design creative presentations , like this one:

Airbnb Pitch Deck

That means incorporating eye-catching images, effective data visualizations, and bold typography into your slide decks.

Iconics Pitch Deck

This onboarding presentation, for example, strategically uses bright icons and illustrations to make the material more engaging. This is especially important when presenting to new hires, who are likely dealing with information overload on their first day. 

HR Presentation Template

In this particular case, a more visual approach is not necessarily a matter of aesthetic preference, but a decision that can make your presentations more likely to stick. Pro Tip: Venngage has over 40,000 icons and illustrations you can use to spice up your presentations!

Need something more geared towards speaking? Our keynote presentation templates are all the rage.

11 tips to hold your audience’s attention

Many Venngage users have mentioned that they’re always looking for ways to make presentations more engaging. But most of them don’t have any formal design experience.

If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry–this guide is for you. You can also check out this video for all the highlights:

Here are my top tips for designing a presentation with impact:

1. Dedicate each slide to only one topic

Franchise Pitch Deck

Just as it’s important for your slides to not be cluttered, it’s also important for your slides to be cohesive.

Keep each slide focused on just one topic. The topic of each slide should be clearly stated in the slide title.

For example, this presentation template covers different ways to be creative. Each individual slide covers one approach:

Creative Presentation

This simple, straightforward slide pattern will help the audience follow along without any confusion.

Or take this presentation template that introduces some of this year’s biggest business trends. Rather than listing multiple trends on one slide, each trend is fleshed out in its own slide:

Business Trends Presentation

As a presenter, keeping your slide topics organized will help you organize your thoughts as well. Each new slide will signal a new topic.

2. Start with presentation templates

Before jumping into the other tips, let’s set the foundation.

You’ve decided to create something a little more interesting than a standard PowerPoint theme–good on you! But that doesn’t mean you have to start completely from scratch.

Instead, you can give yourself a head start by using creative presentation templates, like this one:

Geometric Creative Presentation

Or this one:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

While most PowerPoint themes are fairly limited in how much you can customize them, freeform presentation templates will give you the freedom to alter the design as much as you want.

For example, let’s take this template:

Uber Presentation Template

I used Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool to efficiently apply our brand color palette to the Uber template in one click:

Venngage My Brand Kit

There are a ton of creative presentation templates. You can take a look at them in our presentations templates library .

Cool? Now let’s talk presentation design.

3. Don’t overburden your slides with text

Client Pitch Deck

Even if you decide to ignore most of the other tips in this guide, don’t skip over this one. This is presentation design 101.

When you flip to a slide covered wall-to-wall with text, there’s a good chance your audience is going to think:

  • I don’t want to read all of that.
  • This presenter isn’t well-prepared.

In fact, a study published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly found that anxious presenters tended to use more text on their slides, usually because they used their slides as speaking notes.

Instead of using a bunch of text, look for ways to present information visually charts and infographics .

For example, this slide template uses brief text and some simple icons to summarize the presentation :

Weekly Update Business Presentation

This startup pitch deck makes use of evocative images, icons and big text to help present its ideas:

Yellow Startup Pitch Deck

4. Establish a visual hierarchy on your slides

When you flip to a new slide, your audience will be seeing it for the first time. Their eyes are going to naturally be drawn whatever the focal point on the page is.

The focal point is the most dominant area on your slide–the point that draws the most attention.

You can create a hierarchy of information on your slide by making the most important information the focal point of your slide. In most cases, the focal point will be the slide title, or a particular visual, or an important phrase or number.

There are a few ways you can create a visual hierarchy on your slides.

You can bold important phrases, like the word “Facebook” in this slide:

Quarterly Digital Marketing Report Business Presentation

Icons also help to establish a reading order. They draw your eye from point to point. Placing icons beside headers and important points will make them stand out from the other information on the slide.

Mint Pitch Deck

Icons can also be used to indicate where a new point begins:

Sherbert Business Presentation

Color selection can also be used to establish a visual hierarchy. Take a look at how the colorful blocks in this slide help to make the slide titles pop:

Subscriber Sales Business Presentation

Your eyes are drawn first to the title text, then to the supporting information beside it.

5. Pick a visual motif that runs throughout your presentation templates

You can use visuals to pull your presentation design together and make it cohesive. Picking a visual motif will allow you to use consistent visuals throughout your presentation.

A visual motif is a repeated pattern, design, or image. In your presentation design, a motif can take many forms.

When it comes to infographic color selection , one of the simplest approaches is to use a consistent color motif (or color scheme). That could mean using one or two colors for all of your headers, background and borders.

For example, this presentation template uses two shades of purple for a modern design:

Product Pitch Deck

But combining different colors and patterns can also make for a more interesting design. For example, this presentation template uses a blue stripe motif to link the slides together visually:

Monthly Sales Report Template

You could also use a recurring shape or image, like the circle image frames in this presentation template:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

Or you could use a motif that reflects the theme of your presentation. For example, this presentation template uses a recurring cloud motif throughout the presentation to reflect the “dream” theme of the brand:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

This is a case where starting with a presentation template can really come in handy, because the template will already have a motif. Look for presentation templates with a motif that fits your topic and brand.

6. Visualize data using charts and infographics

Replacing text with visuals is one of the best ways to prevent your slide design from becoming cluttered. Charts and infographics present information in an engaging, digestible way.

I won’t go into too much detail here about what types of charts you should use for what data. We’ve got an in-depth guide to picking charts for that.

But I’ll give you a few ideas for some types of charts and infographics that work well in presentations.

Related : How to Make Better Infographics for PowerPoint

If you want to visualize steps in a process, the history of something, or a roadmap, use a timeline.

This slide template uses a simple timeline with complementary icons to emphasize each date:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

To compare amounts or sizes, a bubble chart can help drive the point home:

Airbnb Pitch Deck

Learn how to customize this template:

To create an infographic for geographic and demographic information , a map can make a big impact on your audience:

Orange Business Presentation - Map

A classic pie chart or bar graph should be easily understood by your audience, provided you’re following  chart best practices .

This presentation template uses a bar graph, a pie chart and a line graph to show different metrics:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

If you can, mix up the types of data visualizations you use. This will help prevent your audience from getting bored.

Those are just a few different ways you can use charts to visualize. For more ideas, check out our guide to picking the best charts for your data .

7. Create custom illustrations using icons to help tell stories

Custom illustrations are one of this year’s  biggest graphic design trends . They’re fun, quirky, and more exciting than a boring old stock photo.

Creating your own illustrations for social media graphics might seem like a costly and time-consuming undertaking. And it can be. But I’m going to offer you a hack:

Use icons to create illustrations.

Venngage Dashboard

You can arrange icons together to create a scene–like the pieces of a puzzle. (Venngage offers over 40,000 icons, so finding an image shouldn’t be too hard!) 

For example, this real estate presentation template uses icons to illustrate each real estate hack:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

When picking ico ns or symbols for your illustrations , make sure that the icon style you use is consistent. For example, this presentation template uses line art icons for a scribbly youthful look:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

For more ideas, read our guide to creating icon illustrations .

8. Highlight important information using big, bold colorful text

Returning to the idea or focal points on your slide: emphasize a key number or phrase when creating a persuasive presentation using big, bold text in a contrasting color.

This will communicate to your audience that if they take away one thing from your slide, it should be that piece of information.

For example, this presentation template uses bright colored font in several sizes larger than the rest of the text to emphasize important numbers on each slide:

tips on powerpoint presentation design

But you could also pick one color to emphasize key information with. That way, your audience will catch on to the pattern and look for that color in upcoming slides.

Take a look at how this presentation uses teal to contrast with the other text and emphasize information:

Email Marketing Business Presentation

9. Alternate between different slide layouts to keep your audience engaged

You may be tempted to use the same slide layout throughout your entire presentation–either for consistency or because you’re not sure how else to design your slide.

The problem is, using the same slide layout over and over again won’t do much to excite your audience.

There are other ways you can create consistency throughout your presentation, while also using different slide layouts–like through a visual motif.

For example, this presentation template uses five different slide layouts. The consistent color scheme, image style and font style pull the presentation together.

tips on powerpoint presentation design

To come up with different slide layouts, try dividing your slide into columns. This can make it easier to arrange the elements in your slide.

column layout

This can make it easier to arrange the elements in your slide.

tips on powerpoint presentation design

10. Add a progress tracker to your presentation slides

Creating a sense of forward movement will help keep your audience engaged.

Similar to how you would put the chapter title at the top of the pages in a book, you can track the progress of your presentations in your slides. This will let your audience know what stage you’re at in your presentation. Your audience will also be able to refer to the sections in your presentation more easily afterward.

That said, pacing your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides also adds brownie points to your presentation. Check out the top qualities of awesome presentations and learn all about how to make a good presentation to help you nail that captivating delivery.

A simple progress bar at the bottom of your slide shouldn’t distract too much from the rest of your information.

11. Download your presentation as a PDF

It’s common for audience members to request a copy of your presentation for their reference. Make sharing your presentation easy by exporting it as a PDF or zipped file.

tips on powerpoint presentation design

Now that you’re equipped with some fundamentals of presentation design, the best way to learn is by doing. It’s also the perfect time to upgrade your presentation skills  while you’re thinking about it too!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

More presentation templates and design guides:

  • 120+ Best Presentation Ideas, Design Tips & Examples  (+ Presentation Templates!)
  • 12 Business Pitch Deck Templates and Design Best Practices to Impress Investors
  • 5 Foolproof Presentation Layout Ideas  (+ Presentation Templates!)
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Top 12 PowerPoint Tips and Hacks for Flawless Presentations

Saikat Basu

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We’ve all seen our fair share of bad PowerPoint presentations . We can all agree that for a PowerPoint presentation to impress, it needs time and attention to detail.

So how can you ramp up your PowerPoint productivity in the shortest time possible?

That’s where we come in. For starters, follow our proven PowerPoint tips and tricks for business presentations , which are sure to make an impact.

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Download our print-ready shortcut cheatsheet for PowerPoint.

1. Keep it simple

powerpoint tips

Keep your slides simple. It’s the visual backdrop to what you are going to say.

The most recommended PowerPoint tip for your productivity is called simplicity . You may be tempted by the graphical razzmatazz of beautiful images, background, and charts. At the end of the day, PowerPoint is a background visual aid for your talk. It is not the talk.

PowerPoint has lots of bells and whistles. But you don’t have to use them all. For instance, your content may not need the much-maligned bullet points - you can just use one key point per slide instead.

That’s why…

2. Reduce the text

powerpoint tips

Less is more when it is about the text on your slides.

The average reading speed on a screen is around 100 - 150 words per minute. Too much information on the slide is a distraction and an inattentive audience will lose the message you are trying to convey.

Don’t give them too much to read. Use high-quality pictures and eye-catching graphics instead.

To make information digestible, expert slide designers recommend you write one key idea per slide that is summarized by a clear headline.

Tip: Exploit white space. Create more space between your text, paragraphs, and graphics on your slide.

3. Plan your content first

powerpoint tips

Think about the message you want to convey and use it to write an outline.

As PowerPoint is such a visual medium, it is easy to get sidetracked with the visuals. So it’s important to chalk out what you want to say and in what order even before you open PowerPoint.

Your slides will come together quickly with the help of PowerPoint design options and you can even choose the right templates if you know your stuff inside out. 

Tip: Use brainstorming tools like mind maps, flowcharts, and even storyboards to sketch your content flow.

4. Use PowerPoint Designer for ideas

PowerPoint makes an intelligent guess by looking at the words on your slide and suggests high-quality artwork to complement it. You can pick one of the creative layouts or go back to your own design.

Tip: PowerPoint Designer can also turn lists, processes, or timelines into beautiful graphics too.

5. Use PowerPoint templates

powerpoint tips

Start with a template to break through any creative blocks.

PowerPoint templates are meant to be the starter plugs when inspiration deserts you or you are design-challenged. PowerPoint ships with a set of readymade templates and there are more available online. Pick one to begin.

Tip: Manpreet Kaur, the head of Corporate Communications at Mercer also suggests you use templates for mining ideas for your own presentation.

Whenever you receive any PowerPoint presentation from any of your clients, business partners, or sellers, make it a point to add them to any folder as a stock for templates for future reference. You can leverage these templates to find inspiration for any icon idea, layout, idea presentation, and number representation on the slides.

6. Edit the Slide Master

powerpoint tips

To open the Slide Master view, go to the View tab on the Ribbon and select Slide Master .

The first slide on the top is the Slide Master. Any changes to the Slide Master will be applied to all the slides in the presentation.

The Slide Master view also shows all the slide layouts used in PowerPoint. You can also use these Layout Master slides to control the appearance of any group of slides that share a common layout.

Tip: Make changes to the Slide Master before you start filling a presentation with the content.

7. Use PowerPoint Shapes for visuals

powerpoint tips

PowerPoint Shapes is the most powerful graphical tool in your control.

The multifaceted Shapes feature on the Ribbon gives you infinite ways to use PowerPoint like an illustration program. Look beyond the commonplace rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Every shape is editable. You can customize any PowerPoint shape and create your own custom designs. They can be formatted with colors, 3-D effects and shadows too.

Tip: Most default shapes are overused. So, you can use your own custom shapes to add interest to a key point or a slide. For instance, you can turn a chevron into a more interesting arrow to illustrate the flow of a process.

8. Choose the right fonts

Choose the right fonts that are modern and pleasing.

It’s well established that fonts have a cognitive impact on how your audience will take in the information.

Sans-serif fonts are preferred for their smooth typefaces. But your typography choices will be influenced by the theme of the content. An artsy presentation can be more liberal with fonts that are decorative.

Also, to create contrast, you can use a technique called font-pairing where two complementary fonts are combined. For instance, use a serif font for titles and pair it with a sans-serif font in the body.

Tip: Want a free font library? Head over to Google Fonts and the collection of 916 free licensed fonts.

9. Use visual metaphors for your data

powerpoint tips

Visuals help everyone get the context behind data at a faster rate.

Business executives are used to spreadsheets . But that doesn’t mean they will like it in a presentation. Arresting illustrations are far better than bullet points and shoddy SmartArt.

We have talked about shapes and using high-quality photos before. But what if you have to analyze dry data?

Use visual metaphors or analogies to bring out the scale and relationships in the data. Executives can look up numbers, but the right use of an analogy can bring out the context behind it.

For instance, the evolution of man can be used to show the growth of a startup over time.

Tip: When stuck for ideas take inspiration from the best infographics on Slideshare and Pinterest. Infographics are designed to pack a lot of information in a small space.

10. Customize your slides for different audiences

powerpoint tips

Save yourself a lot of time by reusing your slides for different audiences.

This somewhat lesser-known PowerPoint tip uses a feature called Custom Slideshow to filter what you want your audience to see. Maybe, you want to hide some sensitive information for a lower level of executives while revealing it to those higher up. You do not have to create different slideshows for these two groups.

Create a custom show in five steps.

  • On the Ribbon, go to Slide Show > Custom Slide Show , and then select Custom Shows .
  • Click the New button in the Custom Shows dialog box. 
  • In the Define Custom Show box , choose the slides that you want to include in the custom show, and then hit Add .
  • You can change the order of the slides with the arrow keys.
  • Type a name in the slideshow name box, and then click OK .

  Tip: You can also create hyperlinked custom shows that you can jump to from your primary PowerPoint show.

11. Rehearse Your Presentation

powerpoint tips

Prepare your presentation according to the time allotted.

No PowerPoint tip is useful if you cannot fit the number of slides and the time you take to present them in the schedule. PowerPoint helps you rehearse your presentation before you do it. With the Rehearse Timing feature, you can tweak your delivery according to the time on hand.

A helpful Microsoft Support video walks you through the process.

Tip: Use the timer to check if you're spending too much or too little time on one particular slide. Maybe, explaining the data in a better way can shorten the time.

12. Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible

powerpoint tips

Go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility

Sharon Rosenblatt, Director of Communications at Accessibility Partners stresses the importance of making presentations more inclusive.

Always use the accessibility checker, and not just if your slideshow is being shared with someone you know has a disability, but you never know where files get sent to.

PowerPoint is all about visuals so it’s more important to finetune the little things that can help make the message easily understood by people who have accessibility challenges.

Tip: Microsoft details the best practices for making all PowerPoint presentations accessible .

The bottom line: Get to the point fast

When you are presenting to busy people, you have to cut the clutter but not lose the message. A successful presentation is about brevity and speed.

A business presentation is also a decision-making tool. So make sure you are presenting the information your audience wants to know. And nothing more.

Yes, they do take some work. But with the help of these PowerPoint tips and tricks, you can start and finish any presentation without losing your sleep.

Want more PowerPoint tips? Then check out these other PowerPoint features that will level up your presentations. Or try taking GoSkills top-rated PowerPoint certification course .

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Saikat Basu

Saikat is a writer who hunts for the latest tricks in Microsoft Office and web apps. He doesn't want to get off the learning curve, so a camera and a harmonica claim an equal share of his free time.

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According to , a PowerPoint Specialist in the UK makes about £40,000 annually on average. In this blog, you will learn about the top 10 PowerPoint Tips to make to improve your presentation. Let's dive in deeper in to learn more!  

Table of Contents        

1) Best PowerPoint Tips and Tricks  

    a) Choose the right design theme  

    b) Use consistent and professional fonts  

     c) Create a visual hierarchy with headings and subheadings  

     d) Utilise engaging images and graphics  

     e)  Keep slides simple and minimalistic  

     f) Incorporate relevant charts and graphs  

     g) Add transitions and animations  

     h) Practice and rehearse your presentation  

     i) Engage your audience with interactive elements  

2) Conclusion       

Best PowerPoint Tips and Tricks   

Creating a captivating and impactful PowerPoint Presentation involves utilising various tips and techniques. Let's explore these best PowerPoint Tips and Tricks in detail to elevate the quality of your PowerPoint Presentation s.  

Choose the right design theme   

PowerPoint Tips for choosing the right theme

1) Audience and purpose: Tailor the theme to suit your audience and the purpose of your PowerPoint Presentation. Consider their preferences, expectations, and the context in which the presentation will be delivered.  

2) Brand consistency: If representing a company or organisation, incorporate brand colours, logos, and visual elements into the design theme. This helps maintain consistency and reinforces brand recognition.  

3) Visual appeal and readability: Strike a balance between visual appeal and readability. Choose clean and minimalist themes that provide a clear backdrop for your content. Avoid designs that are too busy or distracting.  

4) Match the tone and topic: Select a theme that aligns with the tone and topic of your presentation. Formal presentations benefit from sleek and professional themes, while creative or informal presentations may require more playful or artistic themes.  

5) Preview and test: Before finalising your design theme, preview it on multiple slides to ensure consistency and coherence. Test it with different content types, such as text, images, and charts, to ensure it works well across the entire presentation.  

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Use consistent and professional fonts   

Choosing the right fonts for your PowerPoint Presentation is crucial to maintain a polished and professional look. Here are some tips to ensure consistency and professionalism:  

1) Prioritise readability: Select clear and easy-to-read fonts. Avoid overly decorative styles. Sans-serif fonts like arial or calibri are safe choices for presentations.  

2) Establish font hierarchy: Use different font styles for headings, subheadings, and body text. Make headings stand out with bold or larger fonts. Use regular or italic fonts for body text.  

3) Limit font choices: Stick to two or three fonts throughout the PowerPoint Presentation. Consistency creates a cohesive design and avoids clutter.  

4) Consider brand guidelines : Adhere to brand guidelines for font recommendations, if applicable. Consistency with brand fonts enhances professionalism.  

5) Ensure font compatibility: Use widely available fonts or embed them in the PowerPoint file to maintain the intended appearance on different devices.  

6) Test legibility: Check the legibility of your PowerPoint Presentation on various screens and projectors. Adjust font sizes if needed for optimal readability.  

By using consistent and professional fonts, you enhance the visual appeal and readability of your PowerPoint Presentation.   

Create a visual hierarchy with headings and subheadings   

Creating a visual hierarchy with headings and subheadings in your PowerPoint Presentation helps organise information and guide your audience through the content. Follow these PowerPoint Presentation Tips to establish a clear visual hierarchy:  

1) Use appropriate heading levels : Utilise heading levels such as H1, H2, H3, and H4 to indicate the importance and structure of your content. Assign the highest level (H1) to the main title or main sections and subsequent levels to subheadings and nested sections.  

2) Differentiate with font styles: Apply different font styles to headings and subheadings to make them stand out. Use larger, bolder, or different font colours for headings and slightly smaller or regular fonts for subheadings. This contrast helps the audience quickly identify and navigate through the content.  

3) Consistency and alignment: Maintain consistency in the formatting of headings and subheadings throughout your presentation. Use the same font, colour scheme, and alignment for each heading level. Align headings and subheadings consistently to the left or centred for a neat and organised look.  

4) Whitespace and spacing: Utilise whitespace and appropriate spacing around headings and subheadings to create visual separation from surrounding content. Ample spacing helps improve readability and emphasises the hierarchical structure.  

5) Hierarchy with indentation: If applicable, use indentation to visually represent the hierarchy of your content. Indent subheadings slightly to the right to demonstrate their relationship to main headings. This technique aids in visually organising complex information.  

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Utilise engaging images and graphics   

Utilise engaging images and graphics  

1) Relevance and quality: Choose relevant visuals that support your message. Opt for high-quality images that are visually appealing and clear, avoiding pixelation or low-resolution graphics.  

2) Convey emotions: Select visuals that evoke emotions and resonate with your audience. Use images that inspire, evoke empathy, or convey the desired mood. Graphics, such as icons or illustrations, can visually represent concepts or ideas.  

3) Use infographics and charts: Simplify complex information by using infographics and charts. These visuals present data in an easily understandable format, helping your audience grasp key points.  

4) Balance and placement: Maintain a balanced distribution of visuals across your slides. Avoid overcrowding by limiting the number of visuals per slide. Place visuals strategically alongside relevant text to enhance understanding and reinforce your message.  

5) Consistency in style: Create a cohesive visual experience by maintaining consistency in the style and appearance of your visuals. Use a harmonious colour palette, consistent font styles, and design elements throughout.  

6) Cite sources: When using visuals from external sources, provide proper attribution to respect copyright and intellectual property rights. Include a reference or citation to acknowledge the source of the visual content.  

Remember, visuals should complement and reinforce your message without overpowering it. Thoughtfully selected and well-placed images and graphics can significantly enhance audience engagement and understanding, making your PowerPoint Presentation more memorable.  

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Keep slides simple and minimalistic   

Simplicity and minimalism are key principles for creating effective PowerPoint slides. By following these guidelines, you can enhance the impact of your presentation:  

1) Limit text: Avoid overcrowding slides with excessive text. Use concise and focused sentences or bullet points to convey key information. Avoid overwhelming your audience by keeping minimal text. 

2) Use clear and legible fonts : Choose fonts that are easy to read from a distance. Sans-serif fonts like arial or calibri work well. Ensure that the font size is large enough for readability, even in the back of the room.  

3) Embrace white space : Allow for sufficient white space on each slide. White space creates a sense of balance and improves visual clarity. It helps direct attention to the main content and prevents slides from appearing cluttered.  

4) Utilise visuals: Incorporate relevant visuals such as images, charts, or graphs to support your message. Visuals can convey information more effectively than text alone. Ensure visuals are high-quality, uncluttered, and directly related to the content.  

5) Consistent design elements : Maintain a consistent design throughout your slides. Use the same colour scheme, font styles, and layout across all slides to create visual coherence. Consistency fosters a professional and polished look.  

6) One idea per slide : Focus on one main idea or concept per slide. Keep your message clear and concise to avoid overwhelming your audience. This allows them to absorb information easily and follow along smoothly.  

7) Minimal transitions and animations: Limit the use of transitions and animations. Use them sparingly and purposefully to enhance the presentation's flow and emphasise key points. Overusing animations can be distracting.  

By keeping slides simple and minimalistic, you create a visually appealing and impactful PowerPoint Presentation.   

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Incorporate relevant charts and graphs   

Incorporate relevant charts and graph

1) Choose the right chart type: Select an appropriate chart or graph type that supports your message. You can choose bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots are common options. Consider your data and the story you want to convey.  

2) Simplify and focus: Keep charts and graphs simple. Avoid overcrowding with excessive data or details. Highlight key information and use clear labels to aid understanding.  

3) Thoughtful use of colour: Enhance the clarity and emphasise insights with strategic colour usage. Maintain consistent colour schemes. Avoid using too many colours that may distract you.  

4) Clear labels and annotations : Label axes, data points, and significant elements clearly. Add annotations or callouts for context. This helps the audience interpret the data accurately.  

5) Tell a compelling data story : Use charts and graphs to tell a coherent story. Present data logically, emphasising trends or comparisons. Provide clear explanations and insights.  

6) Visually pleasing design : Design charts and graphs with a clean and professional aesthetic. Use appropriate fonts, consistent styles, and a pleasing layout. Simplify unnecessary elements for clarity.  

Add transitions and animations   

Incorporating transitions and animations in your PowerPoint Presentation enhances visual appeal and flow. Follow these tips for effective use:  

1) Purposeful transitions: Apply transitions between slides to create a seamless flow. Choose transitions that complement your content without being distracting.  

2) Consistency: Maintain consistency in transition styles throughout the presentation. A cohesive look adds professionalism.  

3) Animate key elements: Use animations to draw attention and reinforce important points. Gradually reveal information or highlight data and visuals. Ensure animations aid understanding.  

4) Timing and pace: Set appropriate timing for transitions and animations. Avoid rapid or slow transitions that disrupt the flow. Maintain a consistent pace.  

5) Rehearse and test: Practice your presentation with transitions and animations. Test on different devices to ensure smooth execution.  

6) Complement content and style: Align transitions and animations with the tone and content. Use subtle animations for formal presentations and dynamic ones for creative topics.  

By incorporating purposeful transitions and animations, you add visual interest and engagement to your PowerPoint Presentation.  

Practice and rehearse your presentation   

Practising and rehearsing your PowerPoint Presentation is essential for delivering a confident and polished performance. Follow these tips to make the most of your practice sessions:  

1) Familiarise yourself: Become familiar with your content, slide flow, and key talking points. Understand the structure and message of each slide.  

2) Practice out loud: Speak your presentation out loud rather than just reading it silently. Practice articulating your ideas clearly and confidently.  

3) Timing and pace: Pay attention to the timing and pace of your delivery. Practice to ensure you stay within the allocated time frame and maintain a steady pace.  

4) Use visual cues: If using cue cards or notes, practice incorporating them seamlessly into your presentation. Use them as visual aids without relying too heavily on them.  

5) Seek feedback : Practice in front of a mirror, colleagues, or friends. Seek feedback on your delivery, body language, and overall presentation style. Make necessary improvements based on their suggestions.  

6) Refine and polish: Use practice sessions to refine your content, eliminate unnecessary filler words, and ensure smooth transitions between slides.  

By dedicating time to practice and rehearse your presentation, you'll feel more confident, deliver a smoother performance, and effectively engage your audience.  

Utilise the duplicate slides feature   

Save valuable time and streamline your PowerPoint creation process by utilising the duplicate slides feature. This handy feature allows you to quickly duplicate existing slides and make necessary modifications, eliminating the need to recreate slides from scratch. Here's how you can benefit from it:  

1) Efficiency : Duplicating slides helps maintain consistency in design and formatting, especially when creating multiple slides with similar content or layout.  

2) Time-saving : Instead of starting from scratch, duplicate slides that have the desired layout, placeholders, or elements and make the necessary adjustments. This significantly speeds up your slide creation process.  

3) Consistency : When working on collaborative presentations, duplicating slides ensures consistency across different sections, maintaining a cohesive look and feel throughout.  

4) Reusability : Save time by duplicating slides from previous presentations that contain relevant content or visuals. Customise them to suit your current presentation, allowing you to repurpose and leverage existing material.  

Engage your audience with interactive elements   

In order to create an engaging and interactive PowerPoint Presentation, consider incorporating interactive elements. Follow these tips to captivate your audience:  

1) Polls and surveys : Integrate live polls or surveys into your PowerPoint Presentation to actively involve your audience.   

2) Q&A sessions: Encourage your audience to share their thoughts on the topic or ask questions.   

3) Group activities: Break your presentation into smaller groups for discussions or activities.    

4) Interactive quizzes: Include interactive quizzes or games related to your content.   

5) Hands-on demonstrations: Incorporate live demonstrations or interactive exercises that allow your audience to participate in practical activities related to the topic.   

6) Technology integration: Utilise technology tools like audience response systems, online collaboration platforms, or interactive whiteboards to facilitate interaction and collaboration.  

By incorporating interactive elements, you transform your PowerPoint Presentation into an engaging and participatory experience.  


We hope you read this blog and understand the Top 10 PowerPoint Tips. Creating a compelling PowerPoint Presentation requires careful attention to various elements. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enhance the effectiveness of your presentation and deliver a memorable experience to your audience.  

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tips on powerpoint presentation design

12 PowerPoint design tips to make your presentations stand out!

tips on powerpoint presentation design

Need on-brand design, fast?

Design Buffs helps B2B marketers unblock design bottlenecks, fix broken processes, and free stretched in-house teams.

PowerPoint continues to be a mainstay in most organisations.

And for good reason! PowerPoint (PPT) presentations can be the secret weapon that turns a simple investment pitch, internal knowledge update, or sales deck into something no one can ignore.

There’s an almost endless number of ways to utilise a PPT presentation. But after decades of “death by PowerPoint”, your audience might be a little wary of watching them.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to create truly engaging presentations with 12 PPT design tips from the experts at Design Buffs .

12 PPT design tips for design-savvy businesses

Resist the allure of the ‘Dissolve’ transition and hold fire on that eighth bullet point. Just because PowerPoint has all the design features and capabilities you could need, that doesn’t mean you need to use them.

PPT design tips

Follow these simple but effective PPT design tips, instead, and you’ll be delivering PowerPoint presentations that keep everyone engaged.

PPT Design Tip 1: Use text sparingly

The point of a PowerPoint is to power your presentation. It’s supposed to be a visual tool that supports what you’re saying. So why do so many people insist on packing their slides full of text?

The text you use in your presentation shouldn’t be exactly what you’re saying out loud. Use text to emphasise key points or provide further context to your speech at a glance.

PPT Design Tip 2: Follow the 6x6 rule

One of the most common problems we see on PPT presentations is an overwhelming amount of text — normally accompanied by the presenter reading out the very same words. That’s not what PowerPoint is for.

The rule of thumb for how much text to include per slide is what we call the 6x6 rule.

Slides should have no more than 6 lines of text, with no more than 6 words per line. This helps to reinforce your main points rather than distracting your audience by giving them a novel to read on the screen.

PPT Design Tip 3: Keep your text readable

This may seem like an obvious PPT design tip, but how many times have you been forced to watch a presentation backed with Papyrus and Jokerman fonts? Sure, it can add a little character to your presentation, but it’s far from professional.

Any text that does make it onto your presentation should be an appropriate size and font. We recommend around 32pt, sans serif fonts to ensure it’s easy to read for everyone. Use colour to pick out keywords and limit punctuation (yes, we mean no use (or overuse) of exclamation marks!).

PPT Design Tip 4: Make single points, not paragraphs

If your piece of text takes more than a couple of seconds to read, remove it. Because when your audience is busy reading, they aren’t listening to what you’re saying.

For your message to land, you need to keep your audience’s focus. So instead of paragraphs of text, use simple, single, sentences — and consider a bullet point format.

PPT Design Tip 5: Stick to the natural reading order

Most Western languages read from left to right.

You’re doing it as you skim-read this article right now!

So make sure your PPT design is empathetic to skimmers — put the most important words at the start of the sentence and display titles in a larger font, to the top left of your main text.

PPT Design Tip 6: Keep slide design simple

Pretty is good. Pretty looks appealing. But what makes a PowerPoint great or not is more about graphic design than illustration .

Consistency and clarity are key for a PowerPoint presentation. Create a simple design template and stick to that theme for each slide. This helps your audience to understand your presentation better as they can look in the same areas on each slide to receive information.

PPT Design Tip 7: Avoid too many special effects

PowerPoint is full of really cool features and special effects, but use too many and your impactful presentation quickly turns into a dated 80’s sitcom.

Treat special effects, like transitions and animations, as you would any other component of your slide deck. Use them sparingly — that way, when you do throw out a text fly-in or funky transition, it serves a real purpose.

PPT Design Tip 8: Use high-quality images

It’s time to ditch the clip art. We’ve all seen the built-in, cookie-cutter clip art images a million times by now. Not only are we tired of seeing them, but they offer next-to-no impact at all.

Any images you use in a presentation should be top quality. That means having relevant meaning and high enough resolution . If you’re unsure if an image you want to use will cut it, simply test the slide on the projector. Does it pixelate? If you remove the text from the slide, can the visual still carry the message? It’s better to be safe than sorry!

PPT Design Tip 9: Keep everything relevant

Speaking of relevance… a slideshow should be a tool that supports your main message. It’s a facilitation technique, and the design is not supposed to take centre stage.

As such, everything in your PowerPoint should be relevant to the points you’re trying to make. Each graphic, piece of text, transition and animation should reflect what you’re saying.

This will help keep your audience’s focus.

PPT Design Tip 10: Don’t be afraid of “empty” space

Just like silence in a conversation, too many people rush to fill empty space. In a PPT presentation, this results in a cluttered, confusing chart deck — one that totally detracts from the point you’re trying to make.

PPT design tips

Try to leave at least a third of each chart empty. We dare you!

PPT Design Tip 11: Back off the colours

Less is also more when it comes to your colour palette.

Bright colours may grab attention, but too much can overwhelm your audience. And multicoloured text reduces readability, especially at a distance. Stick to dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background, to ensure maximum readability.

Most companies will have specific design guidelines for their official documentation. This often indicates suitable colours for any B2B communication, including PowerPoint presentations.

PPT Design Tip 12: Speed up loading times with optimised images

Waiting for a slide to load is a sure-fire way of tanking your presentation flow.

Before you know it, you’re trying to fill the gap with small talk or a terrible joke. Not only is this incredibly awkward for everyone involved, but it can undermine your message.

It might be tempting to just drag-and-drop images into your PPT straight from your desktop or the web. But this simple method could also be your downfall, as the slideshow becomes clogged with too high-resolution images and large, heavy file sizes.

We recommend optimising your images to fit the presentation format you will be using. If you’re using an HD Projector, for example, you should compress your images to a HD setting of 330 PPI.

If you’re printing your slideshow to be passed around the audience, compressing the images to 220 PPI does the trick.

Ditch the guesswork and get your PowerPoints up to speed

If any of these PPT design tips flew over your head, don’t panic. Design Buffs offer support to B2B marketing and sales teams, no matter how big or small they may be.

We’ll take responsibility for font sizes, image optimisation and everything else so that you can stand up in front of your audience and get yourself heard .

Get in touch today to find out how .

tips on powerpoint presentation design

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tips on powerpoint presentation design

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5 proven PowerPoint presentation design tips to win your audience

February 10, 2022


PowerPoint Presentation Design Tips

Corporate PowerPoint presentations are the backbone of many corporate processes. However, many people do not realize the impact of effective presentation design. It is an undeniable fact that how you present has a lot of impact on the way you are perceived. A good presentation makes you look impressive and respectable whereas, a bad presentation can make you look disorganized and amateurish. A PowerPoint presentation is the most common way of doing it. Here are some PowerPoint presentation design tips to make your presentations more effective.

Table of Contents

Why does a corporate need PowerPoint presentation design?

Most people do not realize that PowerPoint presentation design is the backbone of all business processes. It is a powerful marketing tool that enables the management of the most important information. The ability to disseminate relevant and important information at an affordable price helps in enhancing the productivity of the organization. It helps in getting access to the right and important information to the top decision-makers.

When used effectively, it evens out all the power disparity between the top leaders and the low-level employees. All the decision-makers have the same access to all the necessary information and the same communication channel. PowerPoint is a necessary tool for modern marketing as it provides data from which the top leaders can make a quick decisions and take necessary actions. You can take the help of  a PowerPoint presentation design service  if you are not sure about how to do PowerPoint presentation design.

What does a corporate presentation need to have?

Many factors should be considered before designing a PowerPoint presentation for corporate purposes. The content of the presentation must be:

  • Indispensable
  • Necessary for the audience

How do make PowerPoint presentations more effective? The most important thing to consider while PowerPoint presentation design is the tone of voice that the audience should hear while they listen to you.

Know your audience

Before starting corporate PowerPoint presentation design, you need to know your audience. For example, you need to know which audience you are designing for and what is the purpose of your presentation. Sometimes, you need to prepare yourself to face the different audience groups. But on some occasions, you can create new PowerPoint presentations for everyone.

Before starting a PowerPoint presentation design, it is essential to know what form of presentation you can use. Whether you are going to present a speech or an argumentative presentation, then you need to design accordingly. Once you have designed your presentation, it is necessary to come up with supporting evidence. You should come with proof to back the claims that you have been making.

Show relevant information

Presenting facts is very important but it also has a lot of impact on the visual appeal of your presentation. It is easy to talk about just anything and because it is a visual medium, it is not that easy to add a lot of visual appeal to it. The simple solution is to write your facts in bullets and only show the relevant information to the audience. This will make your presentation visually appealing.

While you are doing corporate PowerPoint presentation design, one is often concerned about how much information one can give. To present more relevant information, one may need to shorten their deck. It is a good practice to cut the text in the deck as well. Most people try to make their presentations too long and therefore, the flow of the flow slows down. You can take the help of  a PowerPoint presentation design service  if you are not sure about how to do PowerPoint presentation design.

Select font and colors according to brand guidelines

You indeed want to give the viewers a brilliant presentation but sometimes that’s not possible due to the limited budget. Well, you can opt for fonts and colors according to your brand. You will not find blue writing on yellow background. You can use a different font, and color for each presentation to look attractive.

For instance, you can use capital letters for budgets, scientific notations for engineers, and so on. If you want to keep the presentation stylish, use a signature font and color. It can help you to stand out from the crowd and impress your audience. A slide transition is the best way to express the essence of your presentation. Use transitions like a change of background, change of colors, or change of font. Maintaining these factors while corporate PowerPoint presentation design will help you to provide better communication.

Maintain the relevancy while selecting the picture

The most common issue with the corporate PowerPoint presentation design is choosing the right pictures. It is very important to make the right selection of pictures and corporate presentations are the best for it. You can mix various images to make it more interesting. It can be fun, fashionable, soothing and modern, or even old-fashioned.

Visualize the data

Whenever you try to look for data, your mind automatically goes to visualizations. Visualization is an important aspect of PowerPoint presentation design. It enables the person who presents the content to display the data in a clear, simple, and easy-to-understand manner. It gives the people the power to comprehend the data and then decide whether they want to interact with the data or not.

Therefore, it is important to visualize the data. Use symbols to show connections between the data. Presentation is not just a presentation of data. It is also about convincingly communicating a certain message. Your message is the most important element of any presentation. Therefore, always keep your message simple.

Congratulations on the awesome job. Your graphics and designs are much better than a lot of corporate and B2B PowerPoint presentation designs. It is always a good idea to review your design regularly, add a few ideas, and add new designs. If you are planning to make a corporate PowerPoint presentation design, it is advisable to use the corporate logo.

We hope that you enjoyed this blog post about PowerPoint Presentation Design Tips for Corporate Presentations. We know that presentation design is an important part of making a good impression on your audience, so what are you waiting for? Take the help of a  PowerPoint Presentation Design Service  to create a great presentation for your communication team.

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tips on powerpoint presentation design

14 Practical Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills

  • The Speaker Lab
  • May 11, 2024

Table of Contents

Ever felt complete dread and fear at the thought of stepping up to deliver a presentation? If so, you’re not alone. The fear of public speaking is more common than you might think, but with the right presentation skills , it’s a hurdle that can be overcome.

In this article, we’ll help you master basic confidence-building techniques and conquer advanced communication strategies for engaging presentations. We’ll explore how body language and eye contact can make or break your connection with your audience; delve into preparation techniques like dealing with filler words and nervous habits; discuss tailoring content for different audiences; and much more.

Whether you’re prepping for job interviews or gearing up for big presentations, being prepared is key. With adequate practice and the proper attitude, you can crush your speech or presentation!

Mastering the Basics of Presentation Skills

Presentation skills are not just about speaking in front of a crowd. It’s also about effective communication, audience engagement, and clarity. Mastering these skills can be transformative for everyone, from students to corporate trainers.

Building Confidence in Presentations

Becoming confident when presenting is no small feat. But fear not. Even those who feel jittery at the mere thought of public speaking can become masters with practice and patience. Just remember: stage fright is common and overcoming it is part of the process towards becoming an effective presenter.

Taking deep breaths before you start helps calm nerves while visualizing success aids in building confidence. Also, know that nobody minds if you take a moment to gather your thoughts during your presentation—everybody minds more if they cannot understand what you’re saying because you’re rushing.

The Role of Practice in Enhancing Presentation Skills

In line with old wisdom, practice indeed makes perfect, especially when improving presentation skills. Consistent rehearsals allow us to fine-tune our delivery methods like maintaining eye contact or controlling body language effectively.

You’ll learn better control over filler words through repeated drills. Plus, the extra practice can help you troubleshoot any technical glitches beforehand, saving you the sudden panic during your actual presentations.

Remember that great presenters were once beginners too. Continuous effort will get you there sooner rather than later.

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Body Language and Eye Contact in Presentations

The effectiveness of your presentation can hinge on more than just the words you say. Just as important is your body language .

Impact of Posture on Presentations

Your posture speaks volumes before you utter a word. Standing tall exudes confidence while slouching could signal nervousness or lack of preparation.

If there’s one lesson to take away from our YouTube channel , it’s this: good presenters know their message but great ones feel it through every fiber (or muscle) of their being. The audience can sense that energy when they see open body language rather than crossed arms.

Maintaining Eye Contact During Your Presentation

Eyes are often called windows to the soul for a reason. They’re communication powerhouses. Making eye contact helps build trust with your audience members and keeps them engaged throughout your speech.

Avoid staring at note cards or visual aids too much as this might give an impression that you’re unprepared or uncertain about your chosen topic. Instead, aim to maintain eye contact between 50% of the time during presentations. This commonly accepted “50/70 rule” will help you exhibit adequate confidence to your audience.

If stage fright has gotten a hold on you, take deep breaths before you start speaking in order to stay calm. Make sure that fear doesn’t disrupt your ability to maintain eye-contact during presentations.

If body language and eye contact still feel like a lot to manage during your big presentation, remember our golden rule: nobody minds small mistakes. It’s how you handle questions or mishaps that truly makes a difference—so stay positive and enthusiastic.

Preparation Techniques for Successful Presentations

Presentation skills are like a craft that requires meticulous preparation and practice. Aspects like visual aids and time management contribute to the overall effectiveness of your delivery.

The first step towards delivering an impactful presentation is research and organization. The content should be well-researched, structured logically, and presented in simple language. This will make sure you deliver clear messages without any room for misinterpretation.

Dealing with Filler Words and Nervous Habits

Nervous habits such as excessive use of filler words can distract from your message. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that can address these issues. For instance, try taking deep breaths before speaking or using note cards until fluency is achieved. In addition, practice regularly to work on eliminating these verbal stumbling blocks.

Avoiding Distractions During Presentations

In a digital age where distractions abound, maintaining focus during presentations has become an even more crucial part of the preparation process. This video by motivational speaker Brain Tracy provides insights on how one could achieve this level of focus required for effective presentations.

Maintaining Confidence Throughout Your Presentation

Confidence comes from thorough understanding of the chosen topic combined with regular practice sessions before the big day arrives. Make use of note cards or cue cards as needed but avoid reading from them verbatim.

Taking control over stage fright starts by arriving early at the venue so that you familiarize yourself with the surroundings, which generally calms nerves down considerably. So next time you feel nervous before a big presentation, remember—thorough preparation can make all the difference.

Engaging Your Audience During Presentations

Connecting with your audience during presentations is an art, and mastering it can take your presentation skills to the next level. Making the message conveyed reach an emotional level is essential, not just conveying facts.

Understanding Your Target Audience

The first step towards engaging your audience is understanding them. Tailor the content of your presentation to their needs and interests. Speak in their language—whether that be professional jargon or everyday slang—to establish rapport and ensure comprehension.

An effective presenter understands who they’re speaking to, what those individuals care about, and how best to communicate complex ideas understandably.

Making Complex Information Understandable

Dense data or complicated concepts can lose even the most interested listener if presented ineffectively. Breaking your key points down into manageable chunks helps maintain attention while promoting retention. Analogies are especially useful for this purpose as they make unfamiliar topics more relatable.

Audience Participation & Questions: A Two-Way Street

Incorporating opportunities for audience participation encourages engagement at another level. It allows listeners to become active participants rather than passive receivers of knowledge.

Consider techniques like live polls or interactive Q&A sessions where you invite questions from attendees mid-presentation instead of saving all queries until the end.

This gives you a chance not only engage but also address any misunderstandings right on spot.

  • Treat each question asked as an opportunity—it’s evidence someone has been paying attention. Even challenging questions should be welcomed as they demonstrate an engaged, thoughtful audience.
  • Encourage participation. It can be as simple as a show of hands or the use of interactive technologies for live polling during your presentation. This keeps your audience active and invested in the content.

Remember, your presentation isn’t just about putting on a show—it’s about meaningful interaction.

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Presentation Skills in Specific Contexts

Whether you’re nailing your next job interview, presenting an exciting marketing campaign, or delivering insightful educational content, the context matters. Let’s take a look.

The Art of Job Interviews

A successful job interview often hinges on effective communication and confidence. Here, the target audience is usually small but holds significant influence over your future prospects. Body language plays a crucial role; maintain eye contact to show sincerity and interest while open body language communicates approachability.

Bullet points summarizing key experiences are also helpful for quick recall under pressure. This allows you to present your chosen topic with clarity and positive enthusiasm without relying heavily on note or cue cards.

Pitching in Public Relations & Marketing

In public relations (PR) and marketing contexts, presentations need to capture attention quickly yet hold it long enough to deliver key messages effectively. Visual aids are valuable tools here—they help emphasize points while keeping the audience engaged.

Your aim should be highlighting presentation benefits that resonate with potential clients or partners, making them feel as though ignoring such opportunities would mean missing out big time.

Educational Presentations

An educational setting demands its own unique set of presentation skills where deep understanding trumps flashy visuals. You must make complex information understandable without oversimplifying essential details—the use of analogies can be beneficial here.

Keeping the audience’s attention is critical. Encourage questions and participation to foster a more interactive environment, enhancing learning outcomes for all audience members.

Tips for Becoming a Great Presenter

No single method is suitable for everyone when it comes to speaking in public. However, incorporating continuous improvement and practice into your routine can make you an exceptional presenter.

Tailor Your Presentation to Your Audience

Becoming an excellent speaker isn’t just about delivering information; it’s also about making a connection with the audience. So make sure that you’re taking setting, audience, and topic into consideration when crafting your presentation. What works for one audience may not work for another, so be sure to adapt your presentation styles according to the occasion in order to be truly effective.

The Power of Practice

The art of mastering public speaking skills requires practice —and lots of it . To become a great presenter, focus on improving communication skills through practice and feedback from peers or mentors. Try to seek feedback on every speech delivered and incorporate those pointers in your future presentations. Over time, this cycle of delivery-feedback-improvement significantly enhances your ability to connect with audiences and convey ideas effectively.

If you’re looking for examples of good speakers, our speech breakdowns on YouTube provide excellent examples of experienced presenters who masterfully utilize speaking techniques. Analyzing their strategies could give you great ideas for enhancing your own style.

Finding Your Style

A crucial part of captivating any audience lies in how you deliver the message rather than the message itself. Developing a unique presentation style lets you stand out as an engaging speaker who commands attention throughout their talk. Through — you guessed it — practice, you can develop a personal presentation style that resonates with listeners while showcasing your expertise on the chosen topic.

Your body language plays a pivotal role here: open gestures communicate confidence and enthusiasm towards your subject matter, two qualities essential for keeping audiences hooked. Similarly, using vocal variety adds dynamism to speeches by emphasizing points when needed or creating suspense during storytelling parts of your talk.

Cultivating Passion & Enthusiasm

Showcasing genuine passion for the subject helps keep listeners engaged throughout even lengthy presentations. Sharing stories related to the topic or expressing excitement about sharing knowledge tends to draw people in more than mere data recitation ever could.

Recognize that everybody is distinctive; don’t expect identical results from every speaker. The path to becoming a great presenter involves recognizing your strengths and working tirelessly on areas that need improvement.

FAQs on Presentation Skills

What are good presentation skills.

Good presentation skills include a clear message, confident delivery, engaging body language, audience understanding, and interaction. They also involve effective preparation and practice.

What are the 5 steps of presentation skills?

The five steps of presenting include: planning your content, preparing visual aids if needed, practicing the delivery aloud, performing it with confidence, and finally post-presentation reflection for improvements.

What are the 5 P’s of presentation skills?

The five P’s stand for Preparation (researching your topic), Practice (rehearsing your talk), Performance (delivering with confidence), Posture (standing tall), and Projection (using a strong voice).

What are your presentation skills?

Your personal set of abilities to deliver information effectively is what we call your presentation skill. It can encompass public speaking ability, clarity in speech or writing as well as visual communication talent.

Mastering presentation skills isn’t an overnight process, but practice and perseverance will put you well on your way to becoming an effective speaker.

You’ve learned that confidence plays a crucial role in effective presentations, so take deep breaths, make eye contact, and keep your body language open. As always, preparation is key. Tackle filler words head-on and get comfortable with visual aids for impactful storytelling.

Remember the importance of audience engagement — it’s all about understanding their needs and tailoring your content accordingly. This way, complex information turns into digestible insights.

Above all else: practice! After all, nothing beats experience when it comes to improving public speaking abilities.

  • Last Updated: May 9, 2024

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How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Presentation

How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Presentation

9-minute read

  • 14th May 2024

Is your content getting noticed? Capturing and maintaining an audience’s attention is a challenge when your audience is in information overload. Addressing this problem requires using creativity and logic. The solution? Infographics. 

Infographics can be powerful tools, combining data, design, and storytelling to convey complex information in an engaging and digestible format. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a presentation but also boost comprehension and retention rates among viewers. As a result, presenters can communicate their message more effectively, ensuring that people not only see but also remember the key points.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of incorporating infographics into your presentations, the different types of infographics that cater to various information, and the design principles that make an infographic effective. We’ll also provide practical tips for integrating infographics into your slides, including tools and best practices to maximize impact. When you’ve reached the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to transform your presentations from boring to bold with effective infographics.

The Benefits of Incorporating Infographics

Incorporating infographics into presentations offers numerous advantages, from making data more digestible to significantly enhancing the overall impact of the message you’re conveying. A detailed exploration of these benefits follows.

Enhancing Viewer Engagement and Retention

Infographics captivate attention with their visual appeal, drawing the viewer’s eye to key information. The relationship between learning, cognition, and memory retention concerning visual, auditory, and textual information is a topic of ongoing debate in educational psychology. 

Although some research suggests that visual learning can enhance comprehension and retention, findings in this area are inconclusive and controversial. Critics argue that the evidence supporting fixed learning styles, including visual dominance, is unverified . 

However, many individuals, approximately 65 percent according to some estimates , identify as visual learners and express a preference for visual materials, finding them more engaging and conducive to learning. In light of individual differences in learning preferences, experts continue to highlight and emphasize employing diverse instructional strategies to accommodate varying cognitive processes and needs. 

By incorporating infographics, presenters can improve the likelihood of catching an audience’s attention and ensuring that people not only hear but also remember the message.

Simplifying Complex Information

Presentations frequently involve conveying complex information in a way that’s accessible to the audience. Infographics have the potential to excel in breaking down these complexities, transforming dense datasets and intricate concepts into clear, concise visuals. Such simplification aids in audience comprehension and allows viewers to grasp sophisticated information quickly and efficiently – as long as the visual is effective. 

By contrast, research shows that an ineffective visual may have the opposite effect. Instead of promoting trust and understanding, a misleading (even unintentionally so) visual may cause audiences to experience confusion and harbor suspicion.

Increasing the Persuasive Power of Your Presentation

Infographics are not just tools for clarification; they also enhance the persuasiveness of your presentation. By presenting information visually, infographics can highlight trends, patterns, and correlations more effectively than text-based data alone. This visual evidence can support your argument or narrative, making your case more compelling to the audience .

Boosting the Aesthetic Appeal of Your Slides

Beyond their functional benefits, infographics add a significant aesthetic element to presentations. A well-designed infographic can transform a slide from a bland wall of text into a vibrant, engaging visual piece . This visual appeal is crucial in maintaining audience interest and preventing disengagement.

Facilitating Shareability and Recall

The shareability of content can extend the reach of your message beyond the immediate audience. Infographics, with their standalone value, are highly shareable across social media platforms, websites, and reports, increasing the visibility of your presentation content. Additionally, the memorable nature of visual information means your audience is more likely to recall and share your message .

Incorporating infographics into your presentations is more than a design choice; it’s a strategic decision that can improve engagement, comprehension, and the overall impact of your message. By leveraging the power of visual storytelling, you can transform your slides into a compelling narrative that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

Types of Infographics for Presentations

The effectiveness of presentations hinges on the presenter’s ability to convey information in an accessible and engaging manner. Understanding the different types of infographics can help presenters choose the most effective way to convey their message. Following are four essential types of infographics and the ways they can enhance your presentations.

Statistical Infographics

Statistical infographics are ideal for presentations that rely heavily on data and numbers. These infographics transform raw data into visually appealing charts, graphs, and diagrams, so the audience can digest and interpret complex statistics more easily. By presenting data visually, statistical infographics can highlight trends, patterns, and outliers more effectively than traditional spreadsheets or text-heavy slides.

Informational Infographics

When the goal is to inform or educate your audience about a specific topic, informational infographics are a valuable tool. They combine short, concise text with relevant icons and images to explain concepts, provide overviews, and outline processes. Informational infographics are particularly useful for breaking down complex ideas into manageable chunks, ensuring that the audience grasps the subject matter without feeling overwhelmed .

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Timeline Infographics

Timeline infographics are perfect for presentations that involve historical data, project milestones, or any sequence of events. Timeline infographics offer a linear visual representation of chronological information, so the audience can easily follow the progression and understand the temporal relationships between events. Timeline infographics can also illustrate cause-and-effect relationships or highlight significant moments in a narrative.

Comparison Infographics

When you need to compare and contrast different options, ideas, or datasets, comparison infographics are invaluable. They lay out pieces of information side by side in a visually comparative manner, enabling the audience to identify similarities, differences, and key takeaways readily. Comparison infographics such as Venn diagram s are particularly effective for decision-making processes, product comparisons, and pros-and-cons analyses.

Each type of infographic brings a unique set of advantages to your presentation, allowing you to tailor your visual aids to your specific needs. By selecting the appropriate infographic style, you can improve the clarity, appeal, and persuasive power of your presentation, ensuring that your audience will see and, more importantly, remember your message.

Simple Design Principles for Effective Infographics

Creating impactful infographics requires more than just assembling data and visuals. It involves strategic design decisions that enhance the readability, comprehension, and aesthetic appeal of your information. The following are key design principles to consider.

Choose the Right Type of Infographic for Your Data

The foundation of a compelling infographic is selecting the appropriate format that aligns with your data and objectives. Whether it’s statistical, informational, timeline, or comparison, the type of infographic you choose should serve your narrative and highlight the key points you want to emphasize. This decision will guide your design process and ensure your infographic effectively communicates your message.

Tailor Your Design to Your Audience

Consider your audience’s needs, preferences, and existing knowledge when designing your infographic. Your design should resonate with your viewers, involving them using relevant language, visuals, and data. Understanding your audience will help you create an infographic that not only looks great but also connects with your viewers on a deeper level.

Balance Text and Visuals for Clarity and Impact

An effective infographic strikes a balance between text and visuals . The goal is to complement your data with visual elements without overwhelming the viewer. Use concise, impactful text to explain your visuals and provide context. Visual elements such as charts, icons, and illustrations should illustrate your points and make complex information easier to understand at a glance.

Select Appropriate Color Schemes and Fonts

Colors, fonts, and style play a crucial role in the readability and overall impact of your infographic. Your infographic should harmonize with the overall design of your presentation, including color schemes, fonts, and style. Consistency ensures that your presentation is cohesive and professional. If your infographic and your slide use different colors or fonts, consider making adjustments to create a unified aesthetic.

Otherwise, choose a color scheme that enhances contrast and readability. Use colors to differentiate elements, highlight key points, or convey mood. Limit your palette to a few complementary colors to maintain visual harmony.

For fonts, select clear, legible typefaces and use them consistently. Differentiate headings, subheadings, and body text through size and weight, but avoid using too many font styles.

Keep It Simple

Simplicity is key in infographic design. Avoid cluttering your infographic with too much information or too many design elements. A clean, well-organized layout helps guide the viewer’s eye through the information, ensuring that your key points stand out . Use whitespace effectively to separate different sections and make your content more digestible.

Integrate With the Presentation Narrative

You should integrate your infographic into the flow of your presentation narrative. The infographic should support and enhance the point you’re making on the slide where it appears. Consider introducing the infographic with a brief explanation or concluding with a summary of key takeaways to tie the visual back into your overall message.

Tools and Software for Creating and Integrating Infographics

Leverage presentation and design software that offers flexibility and ease of use for integrating infographics. Tools such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Adobe, and Canva provide features that allow easy importation, customization, and adjustment of infographics in your slides.

By adhering to these design principles, you can create visually appealing infographics that improve the effectiveness of your presentations. Infographics have the power to transform how people perceive and retain information, making your message more impactful and memorable. They also have the ability to transform dense data and complex ideas into compelling visual narratives. The integration of infographics into presentations not only captivates the audience but also significantly enhances comprehension and retention. By choosing the right type of infographic, adhering to design best practices, and thoughtfully incorporating the visuals into your presentations, you can elevate your message and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

But now that you’re getting attention, be sure your infographics are proofread before you publish them!

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10 Tips for a Persuasive Presentation

Powerful presentation is persuasion. here's how to elevate your impact..

Posted May 11, 2024 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

  • Presentations aim to effect change. It's essential to be clear about what change you want to see.
  • Powerful presenters embrace and extend empathy to seek first to understand their audience.
  • Substance and style both matter to create an audience-informed communication experience.
  • Persuasive presentations are relevant, reasoned, real, and resonant.


How many of us realize that giving a presentation or making a speech is all about persuasion , influence, and emotional intelligence ? Impactful presenters understand the power of empathy to understand and engage their audience, the efficiency and kindness of having a clear objective and message, and the importance of substance and style—all as a way to connect in a way that engages and inspires.

Much has been written on the power and behavioral science of persuasion, not least by expert Robert Cialdini. His bestselling book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion explains seven research-based universal principles of influence .

From my experience as a leadership coach working with thousands of people worldwide, I have compiled a list of ten essentials to elevate our presentation.

1. Maintain an "other" focus. What do you know about your audience and how can you find out more? Ask yourself what kind of a speaker will appeal to your audience, what arguments are likely to resonate with them, and what feelings you want to inspire so the audience will positively respond to your ask.

If your audience is predominantly data-driven, you may want to use more evidence-based arguments. If the audience is mixed, a combination of data, authority, and storytelling may be more appropriate. Extend Daniel Goleman’s three types of empathy to gather intelligence , understand your audience, and tailor your intervention to connect more profoundly.

2. Determine a specific objective. Presentations aim to effect change in some way. What change do you want to see in your audience?

For instance, gaining their approval for a certain investment, soliciting their buy-in for a change, or creating a sense of enthusiasm for an idea or initiative. The purpose of a presentation is to bring about change so make sure you are clear on what kind of change you want to bring about.

3. Design a grabber. Our attention spans have shrunk as we have more and more competing demands on our attention . If you want to get someone’s attention, you need to grab it at the outset and try and hold on.

You can do this in several different ways. Throw out a question that demands a response from the audience. Give a surprising fact or statistic, or quote from a well-known figure. Tell a story or an anecdote. A good grabber captures the attention of everyone there and makes them focus on what you have to say.

4. Crystalize your message and construct your arguments. Your message is the heart of your speech. Craft a brief phrase that clearly defines your proposal in 10-12 words—for example, “This post is about crafting presentations that inspire and engage others to elevate their presentations.”

Make it memorable by choosing inspiring words, symbols, catchy expressions, something that will remain in the audience's mind. As Brené Brown says: “Clear is kind,” and a clear message provides a path to develop your ideas.

When you have a clear and concise message, it helps you formulate your arguments. Think of developing your arguments using the rule of three —three compelling arguments to convince but not overwhelm your audience.

5. Prepare a call to action. Remember, we want to change our audience in some way, so we need to make our ask clearly and concretely. Consider your call to action in terms of what you want your audience to think/feel/do:

  • Think: “I want you to think about how you can improve your presentations.”
  • Feel: “I want you to feel enthusiastic and motivated so that you can elevate your power to persuade.”
  • Do: “I want you to try out some of these tips and tools for yourself.”

6. Craft a memorable closing. Close the speech in an elegant and memorable way. We need people to remember what we've told them, so prepare it well.

tips on powerpoint presentation design

This is not the time to improvise. Try to connect your closing to your opening grabber, which makes the presentation more memorable. Good preparation means preparing everything to the very end—finish well.

7. Plan your delivery. A dynamic speaker draws listeners in by using vocal variety (tone, intonation, speed, volume, pace, pauses, silence) and body language (posture, gestures, expression, and movement) to highlight important points and hold the audience’s attention. Be intentional: How will you use your voice and your body to emphasize a thought or idea? Think about it: If you increased the time you spent on style or delivery by 20 percent, what would it mean for the impact you make?

8. Think about how you will engage your audience. You want the audience to feel considered throughout. Include pauses so they can process what’s being said; connect with individuals throughout the room and make deliberate eye contact while speaking, especially when delivering key points. Read and respond to the audience by changing how you deliver as you go based on the audience’s nonverbal communication .

9. Rehearse and practice. Practice is one of the most crucial elements of presenting—and probably the most neglected one. If this is new to you, start by reading your presentation in front of a mirror to get comfortable speaking your presentation.

Next, video yourself and watch out for nervous or distracting habits to eliminate them and identify any areas where you can improve your delivery. If you are feeling brave, practice in front of an audience and ask for feedback.

10. Prepare your success rituals and mantra. Public speaking and/or stage fright can feel debilitating for some. Have your calm-down ritual prepared and ready to go before you start your presentation. This might be a certain gesture, a power pose, breathwork, or a mantra.

Try this tip: Identify three adjectives to describe how you would like to show up during this presentation. This sets an intention and helps focus our cognitive and emotional resources on success.

Powerful presenters embrace and extend empathy to seek first to understand their audience. They use this intelligence to carefully make choices about substance and style to create an audience-informed communication experience that feels relevant, reasoned, real, and resonant and creates a pathway for change.

Palena R. Neale Ph.D, PCC

Palena Neale, Ph.D. , is a women’s leadership coach, lecturer, and founder of unabridged, a boutique leadership development practice.

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At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day. Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives.

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How to Use AI in Photoshop: Tips, Tools & Techniques

Adobe revolutionized the way we use Photoshop by introducing some incredible AI-powered tools to the photo editing app.

The tasks that took hours and days to complete can now be done in just a few seconds with some text prompts, allowing even complete beginners to create unique art and graphics without having to watch Photoshop tutorials or take expensive courses.

Today, we take a look at these new AI features in Photoshop to show you how to take advantage of them to supercharge your workflow and create unique designs that you never even dreamed of.

Let’s get started.

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What is Photoshop AI?

Adobe Firefly

Adobe’s generative AI model is called Adobe Firefly . This machine learning model is used across various Adobe software to introduce AI-powered tools and functions. You can now access these functions directly from within each Adobe software.

In Photoshop, generative AI adds two main functions:

  • Generative Fill
  • Generative Expand

With Generative Fill, you are able to generate and add new things to existing photos and graphics. For example, you can use Generative Fill to add an entirely new beach background to a photo with a blank background.

With Generative Expand, you can extend images. For example, if you have a photo with a vertical orientation, you can use Generative Expand to turn it into a landscape photo.

That’s the simplest way to explain the main features of Photoshop AI but they are much more complex and useful than that.

How to Use Photoshop AI

Most designers are still dismissive about the use of AI but they are missing the point. Instead of thinking that AI is here to replace humans, think of AI as a way to improve and enhance your workflow. Use AI to automate smaller tasks and make your designs more creative and unique.

These are just a few ways you can take advantage of Photoshop AI.

1. Instantly Remove Objects and Backgrounds

Back in the day, we used to spend hours creating the perfect selections and then refining the edges to remove objects and backgrounds in photos. It was a painstakingly slow and boring task. With Photoshop AI, you can remove backgrounds and objects with just a simple text prompt.

2. Retouch Portraits

Whether you want to change the color of a person’s eye, remove piercings, or even change the entire outfit, Photoshop AI makes most of the tasks involved in photo retouching a breeze.

3. Create Photo Manipulations

You can let your imagination run wild with the Generative Fill feature in Photoshop. With it, you can create incredible photo manipulations with no boundaries and restrictions.

4. Design Unique Graphics

Photoshop AI is not just about photos and image generation, you can also create vector-style graphics and illustrations with the tool. It works brilliantly for generating cartoon-style designs too.

5. Add Cool Effects

Photoshop AI is also quite effective when it comes to adding effects. Whether it’s a flaming effect or a bokeh effect, the AI can handle many different styles of trendy designs.

How to Use Photoshop AI Generative Fill

These are a few simple ways you can use Photoshop AI. We are demonstrating the most basic forms of these tasks, you can improve upon them however you like.

Tip: Whenever you want to create something with Photoshop AI, you have to make a selection with any of the selection tools in Photoshop. Then the generative AI toolbar will appear, allowing you to type the prompt.

Tip 2: If you don’t see the AI toolbar, go to the Windows menu and enable Contextual Task Bar.

Add New Objects

Adding new objects to photos is one of the coolest parts of the Generative Fill function.

Photoshop AI add object 1

To add new objects, simply make a selection in the area where you want to add it. Then type in the prompt and click Generate.

Photoshop AI add object 2

In this example, we added a moon to the photo background.

Every time you generate something with Photoshop AI, you will get 3 different variations of the design to choose from. Remember to try them all out.

Remove Objects

To remove objects, you can follow the same process as adding objects.

Photoshop AI remove object 1

Make a selection and type “remove object” in the Contextual Task Bar. You can also replace it with something else if you want.

Photoshop AI remove object 2

Enhance Portraits

There are so many ways you can enhance portraits and photos using Photoshop AI.

Photoshop AI retouching 1

In this example, we wanted to show this person with closed eyes.

Photoshop AI retouching 2

To do this, we made a selection around the eye and typed “closed eyes” and it gave us three different designs to choose from. This one was the best fit for this image.

Change Backgrounds

With Photoshop AI, you can both change and make additions to the backgrounds of your photos.

Photoshop AI change background 1

We wanted to add mountains to this beach background. We simply made a selection and typed in “add mountains” and voila!

Photoshop AI change background 2

Create Effects

If you want to add cool effects to your photos like flames, dust particles, smoke, and other designs, Photoshop AI can handle that job for you.

Photoshop AI add effects 1

Make a selection and type the effect you want to add. In this example, we wanted to make flames coming out of the exhaust of this motorbike.

Photoshop AI add effects 2

Change Clothes

This is one of the most fun things you can do with Photoshop AI.

Photoshop AI change clothes 1

Make a selection around the outfit of a person and type in what you want the person to wear instead.

Photoshop AI change clothes 2

Generate Images

You can also use Photoshop AI to generate entirely new images and illustrations.

Photoshop AI generate images 1

To do this, create a blank canvas and then select the entire canvas.

Photoshop AI generate images 2

Now, write a prompt explaining what you want the image to be. Be as detailed as possible. If you’re new to using AI, follow this guide to learn how to write effective prompts.

How to Use Photoshop AI Generative Expand

With Photoshop Generative Expand feature, you can expand images either vertically or horizontally.

Photoshop AI generative expand 1

First, select the Crop tool and adjust the selection to expand the image to your preference.

Photoshop AI generative expand 2

Then click on Generative Expand. Now you can also type a prompt to describe how you want to expand the image, but it’s optional. If you leave it blank, the AI will expand the image while maintaining the existing look of the background.

How to Use Photoshop AI Remove Background

Removing a background only takes a few seconds with the help of Photoshop AI.

Photoshop AI remove background 1

Simply open the image and click on the Remove Background option in the Contextual Task Bar.

Photoshop AI remove background 2

How to Use Photoshop AI Select Subject

Selecting the subject is just as easy as removing the background.

Photoshop AI select subject 1

Open the image and click on the Select Subject option in the Contextual Task Bar.

Photoshop AI select subject 2

6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Photoshop AI

Follow these tips to get better results from Photoshop AI.

1. Refine Your Prompts

When writing prompts, try not to use words like “add” or “generate” in the prompt. Simply describe what you want to see in the image in simple words. However, sometimes, including such terms can be helpful as well.

2. Adjust the AI Layer Settings

When you generate something with Photoshop AI, it will add those generated graphics in a separate layer. You can adjust the opacity and play with the blend modes to achieve different results with your AI creations.

3. Refine the Selection

When selecting an area to add or remove objects, don’t make perfect selections around those objects. Make sure to include a little bit of the surrounding area to help the AI create more effective results.

4. Try Generating Without Prompts

Sometimes, to get the best results, you need to let Photoshop AI figure things out on its own. In such cases, leave the prompt box empty. This works best for things like expanding images.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

The AI won’t generate the perfect results every time. Sometimes it will generate weird monstrosities. The key is to practice. Continue to test the AI, learn to write better prompts, make better selections, and try different approaches.

6. Try a Different Language

Photoshop AI supports more than 100 different languages. You can try writing prompts in different languages to see what kind of results you can get.

Adobe is constantly improving its generative AI models and Photoshop AI features. In fact, a whole bunch of new AI features is already in the testing phase and available in Photoshop beta. These features will be available in the release version soon.

The possibilities are endless with the power of these AI tools. It’s only limited by how far your imagination can take you. So, be sure to experiment and test new ideas to do cool things with Photoshop AI.


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    5. Pick a visual motif that runs throughout your presentation templates. You can use visuals to pull your presentation design together and make it cohesive. Picking a visual motif will allow you to use consistent visuals throughout your presentation. A visual motif is a repeated pattern, design, or image.

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    1. Keep it simple. Keep your slides simple. It's the visual backdrop to what you are going to say. The most recommended PowerPoint tip for your productivity is called simplicity. You may be tempted by the graphical razzmatazz of beautiful images, background, and charts. At the end of the day, PowerPoint is a background visual aid for your talk.

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    Selecting the appropriate design theme for your PowerPoint Presentation is crucial in creating a visually appealing and professional look. To ensure you make the right choice, consider the following pointers: 1) Audience and purpose: Tailor the theme to suit your audience and the purpose of your PowerPoint Presentation. Consider their ...

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    Tips to elevate your PowerPoint presentation and make it look like it was professionally designed. Whether you are informing, educating, convincing, or motivating, PowerPoint design experts will follow these tips and design ideas to elevate your presentations.

  21. Design Buffs

    With that in mind, let's look at how to create truly engaging presentations with 12 PPT design tips from the experts at Design Buffs. 12 PPT design tips for design-savvy businesses. Resist the allure of the 'Dissolve' transition and hold fire on that eighth bullet point. Just because PowerPoint has all the design features and capabilities ...

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    3. Purpose-Driven Design Makes the Best Impression. We've all seen them: Slides that are fancy when it comes to ornamentation like icons and other graphics. While these look appealing and catch the eye, for sure, they're not always the best way to ensure effective communication of your presentation's message.

  23. 5 PowerPoint presentation design tips to win your audience

    If you want to keep the presentation stylish, use a signature font and color. It can help you to stand out from the crowd and impress your audience. A slide transition is the best way to express the essence of your presentation. Use transitions like a change of background, change of colors, or change of font.

  24. 14 Practical Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills

    Instead, aim to maintain eye contact between 50% of the time during presentations. This commonly accepted "50/70 rule" will help you exhibit adequate confidence to your audience. If stage fright has gotten a hold on you, take deep breaths before you start speaking in order to stay calm.

  25. 20 Ways to Create an Interactive Presentation That Stands Out

    1 Start your interactive presentation with an icebreaker. The first step is creating a rapport with your audience. You can do this by helping them to get to know you a little better and get to know each other as well. The way you go about this will depend on the size of your audience.

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    We've also included some tips on designing a presentation once you've chosen a topic. For example, a flowchart data widget can help with a historic timeline presentation. But first, let's dive into these interesting topics for presentations. Table of Contents. Current Events Presentation Topic Ideas; Education Presentation Topic Ideas

  27. How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Presentation

    Select Appropriate Color Schemes and Fonts. Colors, fonts, and style play a crucial role in the readability and overall impact of your infographic. Your infographic should harmonize with the overall design of your presentation, including color schemes, fonts, and style. Consistency ensures that your presentation is cohesive and professional.

  28. 10 Tips for a Persuasive Presentation

    5. Prepare a call to action. Remember, we want to change our audience in some way, so we need to make our ask clearly and concretely. Consider your call to action in terms of what you want your ...

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