Best Practices for Professional Presentation Design

Best Practices for Professional Presentation Design

PowerPoint presentations can be an effective tool for communicating ideas and information to an audience, but only if they are designed well.

A well-designed PowerPoint presentation is one that’s visually appealing, easy to read and understand, and engaging for the audience. Whether you’re creating a presentation for work or school, you need to design a presentation that gets your message across and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

If you were looking for ways to come up with decent PowerPoint presentation design ideas, you have come to the right page! In this article, we will share expert advice for finding, shortlisting and implementing design ideas in order to create professional and impactful PowerPoint presentations. First, let’s understand why you need to create a custom presentation design instead of using the PowerPoint templates available online.


Why Create a Custom Presentation Design

Creating a custom presentation design can provide several advantages over using pre-existing templates:

  1. Tailored to the specific needs and goals of the presentation: A custom design can be created to specifically meet the needs of the presentation, including the messaging, branding, and audience. This can result in a more effective and engaging presentation.
  2. Unique and memorable: A custom design can help the presentation stand out and be more memorable, especially if it incorporates creative and innovative design elements.
  3. Professional and polished: A custom design can provide a more professional and polished appearance, demonstrating that the presenter has put time and effort into creating a high-quality presentation.
  4. Flexibility and customisation: A custom design allows for greater flexibility and customisation compared to pre-existing templates, giving the presenter more control over the design and layout of the presentation.
  5. Brand consistency: A custom design can ensure that the presentation is consistent with the brand’s overall visual identity, helping to reinforce brand recognition and awareness.
  6. Better alignment with the presenter’s style: A custom presentation design can be tailored to the presenter’s personal style, making it easier for them to deliver the presentation in a way that feels natural and comfortable to them.
  7. Greater visual impact: Custom designs can include unique graphics, animations, and other visual elements that help to grab the audience’s attention and communicate key points more effectively.
  8. More effective storytelling: Custom designs can be built around a specific narrative or story, which can help to engage the audience and make the presentation more memorable.
  9. Targeted to the intended audience: Custom designs can be created with a specific audience in mind, taking into account their preferences, interests, and needs. This can make the presentation more relevant and engaging for the audience.
  10. Improved usability: Custom designs can be optimised for usability and accessibility, making it easier for the audience to follow along with the presentation and interact with any interactive elements.


How To Find Powerpoint Presentation Ideas

Use Pre-Existing PowerPoint Templates for Design Ideas: If you’re new to Office 365 PowerPoint or not a PowerPoint designer, start by reviewing the pre-existing templates for design inspiration. They are a quick and easy way to get ideas flowing.

Get Design Inspiration from Magazines & Websites: Find design ideas beyond PowerPoint in sources such as magazines and websites. They often showcase current design trends and can provide ideas for color themes, graphic layouts, fonts, and more

Use Office 365 PowerPoint Designer: PowerPoint Designer is a Microsoft Office 365 feature that uses AI to suggest design ideas based on the content of your slides. It works as your personal designer, helping you to create the best presentation possible.

Consider Designer Templates from Media Sites: Find unique PowerPoint templates on sites such as Shutterstock and Envato, which offer a variety of digital resources including images, videos, templates, and more created by professional PowerPoint designers. Note that these templates often come at a cost and lack support.

Follow Expert Recommendations: Keep slides concise with few words, using the 1-6-6 rule of having 1 main idea, 6 bullet points, and 6 words per bullet point. Consider Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule of having no more than 10 slides, a 20-minute presentation, and a font no smaller than 30 points.

Use Visuals for Effective Communication: A picture or video can effectively convey information and support your message to the audience. Convert your presentation into a video using PowerPoint’s “Record” feature to free yourself from constant clicking.


How To Shortlist Presentation Design Ideas

Here are some steps to help you shortlist presentation design ideas:

  1. Define your presentation goals and objectives: It’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your presentation before you start considering design ideas. For example, do you want to inform your audience, persuade them to take action, or simply entertain them? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can choose design ideas that support that goal.
  2. Brainstorm ideas: To come up with a wide range of design ideas, it’s important to brainstorm without limiting yourself. Write down all the design ideas that come to mind, even if they seem impractical or unfeasible at first. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible.
  3. Evaluate the ideas: After you have a list of potential design ideas, evaluate each one based on various criteria, such as how well it aligns with your presentation goals, how much impact it would have on your audience, and how feasible it is to implement. Some other factors you may want to consider include how much time and resources it would take to create the design, and whether it fits with your branding or visual identity.
  4. Prioritise the ideas: After evaluating each idea, prioritise them based on their relevance, impact, and practicality. You may also want to consider which ideas are the most unique or creative. This step helps you narrow down your options and choose the best design ideas.
  5. Test and refine the ideas: Once you’ve shortlisted your design ideas, create mock-ups or prototypes of each one. This will help you see how well they work in practice and allow you to refine them as needed. For example, you may discover that a design that looked great in theory is not as effective in practice.
  6. Finalise your design: After testing and refining your ideas, choose the one that best meets your presentation goals and objectives, and finalise your design. This is the stage where you put the finishing touches on your design and ensure that it’s consistent across all slides.


Presentation Design: Best Practices 

Pay attention to fundamental design principles: To create an appealing PowerPoint presentation, it’s crucial to incorporate core design elements. This involves paying attention to various design elements, such as alignment, colour combinations, charts and graphs, fonts, animations, and transitions, among others. The design process involves the application of psychological principles to convey the desired message to the audience. The font, colour, line style, and graphics used in your slides all play a role in shaping the message you communicate.

Simplify your design: Keeping your slides simple is key to making them easy to read and understand. You should aim to have a limited number of elements on each slide, such as text, images, and graphics, and keep the background neutral to avoid distractions. You can use headings and bullet points to organise your content and make it easier to read.

Minimise text: Keeping text to a minimum is important, as most people have a short attention span. You can use bullet points and short, concise sentences to convey your message and keep the audience focused. You should also use headings and subheadings to help organise your content and make it easier to follow.

Make use of white space: White space is an important design element that can help to make your presentation easier to read and follow. You should aim to leave enough white space between elements, such as text and images, to make your slides visually balanced and easy to scan.

Choose appropriate fonts: The font you use can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your presentation. You should choose fonts that are easy to read, such as Arial or Verdana, and stick to a maximum of two font styles to avoid confusion. You should also consider the size of your font and make sure it is large enough to be easily read by the audience.

Make consistent use of colour: A consistent colour palette can help to unify your presentation and make it look professional. You can choose a few colours that complement each other, such as a blue and green palette, and use them throughout your presentation. This can also help you to create a visual hierarchy, directing the audience’s attention to the most important information.

Use high-quality images: Images can be a powerful way to communicate your message and make your presentation more engaging. However, it is important to use high-quality images that are relevant to your content. You can source images from stock photo libraries or create custom graphics to illustrate your points.

Create custom graphics: Custom graphics can be a great way to help your audience understand complex ideas and make your presentation more memorable. You can create charts, diagrams, and illustrations that are tailored to your content and help to bring your message to life.

Use relevant icons: Icons are a simple and effective way to break up large amounts of text and make your slides more visually appealing. You can use icons to highlight key points or to illustrate concepts, such as a compass icon to indicate direction. Be sure to choose icons that are relevant to your content and consistent in style.

Add transitions and animations to your slides: Transitions and animations can add an extra dimension to your presentation and make it more engaging. You can use transitions to smoothly move from one slide to the next and animations to bring elements on the slide to life, such as having text appear one word at a time. However, it is important to use these elements sparingly and not overuse them, as too many can be distracting.

Preview and practice: Previewing your presentation and practising your delivery can help you identify any issues with your design and give you a chance to perfect your delivery. You should preview your presentation on different devices and in different lighting conditions to make sure it looks good in all situations. Practising your delivery can help you to become more confident and ensure that you are delivering your message effectively.


Final Thoughts

If you want to take your presentations to the next level and make a lasting impact on your audience, focus on creating an impactful presentation design. If you lack prior experience with presentation design or need professional assistance, we are happy to help!

At Presentation Experts, we have a wealth of experience in creating professional, engaging, and effective PowerPoint presentations. Our team of presentation designers has a deep understanding of design principles and knows what it takes to make a presentation stand out.

So, if you need help with the designing your PowerPoint presentation or want to take your presentation game to the next level, contact us today!

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