We’ve all experienced the pain of a poor PowerPoint. Whether it’s headache-inducing text in a tiny illegible font or a bewildering barrage of graphs, images, and statistics–when a presentation is bad, it’s really bad.
But you don’t have to put others through the same visual ordeal. By taking just five minutes to make your presentation clear, concise, and creative, you can create PowerPoint templates that pack a punch every time.
Write down your outline
It can be tempting to jump into your PowerPoint head first. But hold back. To create a logical presentation, you’ve first got to prepare an outline.
Consider your main points and designate a slide to each one. Then figure out where your images, infographics, and statistics are going to go. Now all that’s left to do is fill in the blanks.
Remove everything but the headlines
Now comes the hard bit–cutting down your content. It can be oh-so-tempting to squeeze everything you want to say into your slides, but there’s nothing less inspirational than seeing a presenter read their notes directly off the screen. So if you want to avoid sending your audience to sleep, make sure you trim down your text.
A quick trick is to remove everything but the headline. This should be a snappy sentence that sums up your argument, along with a few bullet points if you think it’ll help your audience. Need a prompt? Just put the fine details of your argument in your accompanying notes.
Pick images from the same color scheme
The days of custom animation and clipart may have long gone (or at least they should have). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your visuals.
One of the easiest ways to create a sleek presentation is by choosing a color scheme and sticking to it. Maybe there is a company color scheme you can play around with? Or a seasonal theme you can make the most of?
Once you’ve chosen your colors, try weaving them through your fonts, background, and images. And don’t worry–this is far easier than you might think. With the help of an image bank, you can set aside your favorite pics for each type of presentation.
Align elements from slide to slide
When putting together a presentation or tweaking an existing PowerPoint template, consistency is key. So make sure you don’t simply throw your texts and images onto each slide. Instead, look at the presentation as a whole to make sure everything’s lined up perfectly. It might seem like a small details, but it’s these small things that make or break a PowerPoint.
If you have the joy of editing somebody else’s haphazard presentation, you might want to use the “reset slide” function. This takes you back to the original layout of the slide, making it far easier to restore a sense of order.