How a graphic designer can make your next slide presentation one people will actually remember
A beautifully designed slide presentation will make your speech memorable
Do you remember the last slide presentation? Probably not. Chances are it wasn't because the slides were particularly terrible, they were just not memorable.
Having memorable presentation slides is important because it could land you the necessary startup funding to launch your dream business or even the promotion you've been yearning for.
In this post we'll show you how to get the most stunning presentation slides created even if you're absolutely hopeless at graphic design.
When might you need to give a slide presentation?
The funny thing about slide presentations is that they're usually optional. You are rarely explicitly asked to include a slide presentation in a speech and often simply getting up on stage and speaking without an illustration aid is perfectly acceptable.
But you should always aim to incorporate a slide presentation in all of your speeches. Not only does the additional visual element help your audience absorb and remember your content, if you're an anxious public speaker, presentation slides relieve you of the pressure of having every eye in the audience continuous looking at you.
Below are some examples of speaking engagements that could be brought to life with a vivid slide presentation
Marketing a product
Great marketing is only possible if all of the senses are engaged, so vibrant and captivating presentation slides are absolutely necessary. Can you imagine if Apple marketed the first iphone without presentation slides? Nobody would understand what the product was, let alone remember the presentation.
The age old phrase 'an image speaks more than a thousand words' is all the more applicable when it comes to presentation slides. If you're not the clearest communicator and your product isn't the most simplistic, you can still ensure your audience understands you and your product with the aid of clear and concise presentation slides.
Presentation slides can help you break down the complexity of a product and represent sales projections with colorful and highly impactful graphs to ensure your marketing presentation is an absolute success.
Giving a toast
A toast is a celebration of success and slide slow can illustrate the pinnacle moments that lead to that success.
Using a slideshow in a wedding toast is a great way to sneak in embarrassing photos and memes to give your jokes that extra oomph.
A teaching aid
Presentation slides are integral for teaching. Images encourage the rapid aborbption and recollection of new data.
The more sensors you engage while teaching, the more palatable your lessons will be. You can even embed videos in your teaching slides to bring a higher dimension of sensory stimulation for your students.
Presenting a business update
When presenting a business update you are expected to be clear, informative and above all quick. Nobody enjoys being pulled away from the work for a business update. Presentation will help you present your business update with fewer words, so there's less pressure on you to write a comprehensive speech and less pressure on colleagues to sit through a lengthy business meeting.
Potential stakeholders don't want to be wooed with hollow promises and lengthy victory speeches, they want to see cold hard data. What better way to present them than via presentation slides. The trick is to present your data concisely and make it easily understandable. The strategic integration of immersive charts and vibrant color to emphasise key points will help you achieve that.
How to design the most impactful presentation slides
Most people don't follow a design structure when creating presentation slides. They just squeeze in as many graphics as possible into every single slide to keep the total number of slides at a minimum. There's no need to aim for a minimal number of slides, in fact, the more slides you use the more dynamic, and therefore memorable, your presentation will be.
To ensure your presentation slides are clear and enjoyable to look at, follow these design guidelines.
1. Keep it light
Each slide should contain a minimal amount of information. If you're presenting facts or statics, there should only be one data point mentioned in any single slide (unless you are presenting a graph). This ensures the audience remains focused and doesn't get distracted by non essential information
You can still use graphics to support the text on the screen, just make sure the graphics don't eclipse the information you are trying to convey, the audience should be able to locate and read the text on the screen within a couple of seconds.
As a rule of thumb, don't use more than 6 lines of text, and use a font size of 32 pt - 36pt to maximize readability.
Here are a couple of great examples.
2. Stick to your brand fonts
If you have a brand style guide, make sure to use your brand fonts throughout your presentation. Most brands use two to three fonts, and have set fonts for headers and body copy. Your slide presentation should reflect this.
If you don't have a brand style guide, read our guide now.
3. Use animations wisely
We all remember that one teacher in college who animated every line of text with a spinning entrance and a 'woosh' sound. Don't do that.
Animations need to be subtle, minimalistic and follow a logical path. In most cases, a simple fade in is more than enough.
4. Follow your brand guidelines
A consistent design and color scheme in all of your slides will help your audience seamlessly follow along with the flow of your presentation. Any slides that look like they don't belong in your deck, or that they don't fit your branding, will interrupt the intended thought process of your audience.
Try to steer clear from the default list of themes in Powerpoint. They stick out like a sore thumb and scream "I was too lazy to design one myself." If you aren't a gifted designer, you should get a freelancer to design your slides for you (more on that shortly).
Notice the relationship between colors, font and even graphics of these two slides. There's no doubt they belong to the same slide presentation.
5. Try not to overuse stock images
Stock images are used everywhere. On websites, on flyers, on brochures and blogs. As a result, they've lost their impact. The images you use in your slide show should bring it to life, and boring generic stock image just won't have that effect. To ensure your presentation really stands out and your audience appreciates the effort you put into your delivery, you should use custom designed images. If you are going to use stock images, choose high quality stock images that fit your branding.
Why you should hire a graphic designer for your slide presentation
While you might prefer to keep things linked to the bone, sometimes there is a lot more to gain if you get someone else to help you.
Here are some of the reasons why you should outsource your presentation slide design to a graphic designer.
Saves you time
As you may have noticed from the design guidelines mentioned above, expertly designing presentation slides is no walk in the park.
Slide design is usually left until the very last minute which adds unnecessary stress before a presentation. Instead of wearing yourself thin like that, outsourcing the work to a designer. It will give you more time to practice your speech and even give you the freedom to get some proper rest before the big day.
Fills your talent gaps
Most of us are not skilled designers and it's okay to admit that. Becoming a skilled designer take years of experience and sometimes even a specific certification, so it's not fair for you to feel pressured to create a world class design if you don't work in that field. The good news is that you no longer need to feel bound by the limitations of your talents. There are gifted freelancers that can help you fill any of your talent gaps in any project, including slide presentation design.
A talented graphic designer can also help you ascertain the total number of slides you will need. If your speech is already written, you can provide it to them and they'll derive the necessary number of slides needed to help you deliver your speech with depth and clarity.
Hiring a freelance graphic designer is the cheapest form of talent acquisition. You are in complete control of your budget. When you post a presentation slide design project on Freelancer.com you specify your budget and world class graphic designers then place bids in line with your set budget.
A presentation is only as memorable as the slides used to illustrate it. If you're going to invest the time and effort to write and memorize your speech, you may as well bring it over the line with a high impact presentation deck. Hire a graphic designer to design your presentation slides today!