When designing your presentation, remember that you want the audience to focus on what you present and not be distracted by style. Things like varying fonts or colour schemes make the presentation harder to follow. Consider the points below for creating a consistent, well designed presentation that will reinforce your message.
Organize your content with bullets
- Make sure that all points relate to the heading.
- Be consistent with style and formatting (i.e. start all bullets with uppercase letters, use the same bullet type, etc.).
- Limit bullets to one to two lines in length.
- Use no more than six bullets per slide.
Be consistent with fonts
- Stick with one or two types of fonts that are easy to read e.g. Arial, Calibri.
- Avoid too much variation in font sizing.
- Size 44 is recommended for titles, 32-34 for subtitles, 24-28 for bulleted items.
Limit the text on each slide
- Too much text can be distracting to the audience. The presenter should be the main source of information, not the slides.
- Focus on a few key words for each point.
- Use images, charts and graphs to help convey the message.
See How to create a graph in Excel for help creating visuals to show data.
Pay attention to how colour is used
- Reds and oranges are high-energy but can be difficult for people to focus on for lengths of time.
- Greens, blues, and browns are calming colours that are easier to look at but not as attention grabbing.
- Use contrast (light on dark, dark on light) to improve readability.
Choose images that reinforce your message
- Images can be great communicators that help make your point; too many images or ones that are off topic become distractors instead of communicators.
- When adding an image, ask yourself if it makes your message clearer.
Remember: The visuals should enhance the presentation, not BE the presentation
Don’t Read from your Slides – the audience wants to see you present the material, not read from it. If you’re just going to read, you could have sent the presentation to the audience and saved them a trip.