What we really love about this SlideShare deck, which we designed last summer, is how simplistic it is. The 20 slide deck tackles a simple (yet beloved) subject in a general, 30,000 foot overview sort of way. It doesn’t attempt to tackle the nitty gritty regarding specific details of beer, but rather gives the viewer an overview of the topic, pointing out the most important things about it. Make sure you evaluate and determine the scope of your presentation before you begin even thinking about designing. This deck would have been entirely different if we had decided to narrow the topic to fermentation or home brewing. Decide how narrow or general, how simplistic or complicated, you want your presentation to be before you begin.
Our designer used icons in a big way from start to finish in “All About Beer.” A majority of the slides feature icons, most of which are notably simple. The most important thing about the icons you use in a presentation is that they get the point across in the easiest, most direct way possible. Your icons don’t need to be fancy, complicated, intricate things, but rather, they should be poignant in their simplicity. An icon’s meaning should be intrinsic and intuitive. It should be immediately discerned. With that said, choose icons that are simple and get your point across as easily as possible.
Compared to most of our presentations, “All About Beer” is rather text heavy, so here are a few techniques to keep in mind when you find yourself in a similar situation. Use different weights in your type (i.e. bold, thin) to emphasize and highlight information, and make the most important information on the slide the biggest and boldest, so that it’s the first thing the viewer notices. Check out the Ale & Lager slides (15 & 16, respectively) for a good example of this delegation. The main idea of each slide (“Ale” and “Lager”) is the boldest, largest element on the slide, followed by a thinner, less prominent type defining each, which is further followed by a smaller, italicized description of the main idea. These three distinct, unique types featured on one slide give the viewer an immediate idea of what’s most important, while keeping a strong visual interest in the slide as well.