It was almost my turn at presenting. 5 of my colleagues had already done their presentations with 20 slides with 15 bullets each, filled with information copied directly from their paper. The professors were already looking very bored. I realized that the moment they said my name and called me to the front. I opened my presentation (mine was the only one in .pdf, unlike my colleagues who had all done theirs in .ppt ) and you could see that there were only 6 slides in it.
My whole presentation on my final thesis was contained in just 4 slides of content (the first and last were opening and closing statements) with not enough sentences to rise up to the standard of my predecessors. But you know what the interesting part was? That the professors were paying attention to both me and my presentation. Furthermore, they interacted with me more that they did with my colleagues! (or at least that’s how it seemed to me :D)
I really wanted to tell you this story because that’s where I first understood the power of a really great presentation.
When a presentation manages to go beyond bullets, way too much text and 25.000 slides, that presentation will have the power to be understood better and attract more reactions.
Just think about this: What if a press release with a company’s results from the first term would be made into a presentation? One that contains dates and statistics, photos, testimonials, videos and why not, good practices of the company. I think online publication would consider them a lot more, because it is simpler, more attractive and would make the “work” of the reader easier.
This is why I put together a list of good practices for your presentation’s design:
1. Relevant information
For a presentation to be taken and shared by others, it should contain relevant information for the market/audience/readers. Things that you cannot easily find by clicking Google or Facebook.
Companies can bring new information from the researches and studies they made among consumers. Of course, some information might be relevant for the final consumer and other for only a specific part of the market, but that does not mean it cannot be communicated. It’s your job and you company’s job to choose how you want to present this information.
I recommend: A great attention to the information you choose to share in your presentation; not everything you find attractive will have the same effect on your followers/readers.
2. Visual content
I believe it is crucial for a presentation to contain images (be it visual, in the form of photos or graphic elements). There are moments when texts are better than images, but most of the time well chosen images speak better than a story.
And when I see a presentation at a conference that only contains text I can’t help but think that the presenter got lazy and wasn’t at all interested in transmitting the message. And on the subject of Slide Share presentations that only contain text, wouldn’t I rather read a blog?
I recommend: Give up the meme generator (and 9gag jokes) and if you cannot work with a design program, collaborate with a designer.
3. Text and Fonts
In addition to visual content, finding a balance in text would also be preferable. If the text is well adjusted in the presentation and “underlines” the desirable information, it will certainly manage to bring weight to the presentation.
You could maybe have a single, genius sentence on a slide because you want it to have a bigger impact on your audience –no problem. If you find the ideal format (font and size) for it, go ahead. Though I recommend moving away from fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri or design’s enemy, Comic Sans.
I recommend: You can check out font types on dafont.com or keep collaborating with a designer.
When someone opens your presentation it has to be obvious it is yours. Whether you’re a company, an agency or perhaps a counselor/specialist/- you have a brand. You have a name, an attitude, a color, a font and maybe even a logo.
Be aware of your brand and the way you transmit the message of your presentation. If you have more than one presentation, I recommend you to go with one line of your brand, but have each project contain a specific differentiating element.
I recommend: Be precise and direct, simple and specific and use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple & Stupid) and keep collaborating with a designer.
5. The differentiating element
Although earlier I was talking about a single differentiating element in the presentation, I want to underline this element for your whole presentation Think of it this way – Which slide will mange to make at least 20% of the audience raise their phones, take a picture of it and share it on social media? (live presentations) Which slide will manage to get at least 20% of readers to share your presentation on social networks, upload in on their blogs or other sites? (SlideShare presentation).
I did the first presentation at an event using Instagram (the first from Romania, I’m not sure if worldwide). I uploaded all the information to a new account in an appropriate way for the network. Easy, right?
I recommend: Think for the audience, not for yourself. If you don’t have a differentiating element, don’t worry, concentrate on your content and style.
Here you go…5 useful ideas for designing a presentation!