Sometimes (I am sure that my colleagues at work would even say often) crafting a business presentation is considered a last-minute job. And when there’s little time left for being creative yourself, it’s tempting to rely upon material that others have created before you. Nothing as easy as making a slide deck by cutting and pasting slides from existing PowerPoints into yours.
Should it be a surprise that 99% of these cut‘n’paste slideshows look like chameleons, that change colors, fonts and layout with every slide transition?
Read my words: look and feel do matter! If you want your audience to perceive you as a professional, then never compromise on the layout of your visuals.
- Real estate: Don’t overdo. Beware of creating slideuments. Apply the same template to all slides. Use plenty of white space. Limit the amount of bulleted slides as well as bullets per page.
- Colors should contrast with the background. Don’t put together too many colors on one screen. Avoid using red text on a white or black background. Use tools such as Shyam Pillai’s add-in to select and customize your PowerPoint color schemes.
- Fonts must be readable from the back of the room. Be consistent in style throughout the whole deck. Don’t mix too many typefaces. Avoid script fonts. Bold and italic are good to emphasize text, underline isn’t.
- Images are there to complement or emphasize your message. Don’t insert standard clip art that adds no extra value (we all know the man climbing a bar chart, don’t we?) Avoid mixing line art and photos.
- Vocabulary: Consequently use the same terminology everywhere. Beware of acronyms and abbreviations. Don’t use jargon or slang.
So next time you need to build a business presentation, start well in advance and take your time to tune each slide. Don’t take existing material for granted. Be creative. Be consistent. Be professional.
And if you have some time left, take a look at the blog posts below:
- How to Make Presentations That Don’t Put Your Audience to Sleep
- Creating POWERful PowerPoints
- 10 Ways to Avoid “Death by PowerPoint”
- 8 Mistakes when Creating Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations