Picture books are designed for children, but their appealing visual style can inspire your presentation, no matter how corporate. Here are a few design tips taken from classics like Dr. Seuss and “Goodnight Moon”:
One Primary Focal Point
An image and text. That’s all you really need for a slide to look striking, especially if you are using a bright, high-quality photograph and a word or two over it. Don’t try to create any more distraction or design “noise” by adding too many images, text, icons, or etc. Keep the focus on the words or primary image.
Choose a font large enough that it can be read from the very back of the room. This will help direct attention to exactly the point you want to make and prevent eyes from glazing over when shown a cluster of words or phrases.
Are your deck colors too bright or jarring? Do your slides make your eyes water if you look at them for more than a few seconds? Turn off the lights in the room and scroll through your deck to ensure that your choices are easy on the eyes.
Avoid Word Fluff
Keep the text on-screen simple enough for a child to digest. Don’t use two words when you can use one, keep adjectives and adverbs to a minimum, and ensure that your verb tenses are consistent throughout the presentation. Consider that the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” is less than 400 words; this article is longer.
The standard picture book is 32 pages, which may seem like a lot if you are thinking about translating it into 32 slides. However, challenge yourself to stretch out your content with 32 slides as a starting point. Don’t add to the existing content, simply spread it across more slides. The end results will be a cleaner, clearer deck.
Answer One Question
If your audience could walk away knowing one thing, what would it be? Most picture books aim for a certain goal or point. For instance, you will learn just how hungry a caterpillar can be in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Attention spans are short, no matter how old you are. Don’t expect your audience to remember 5, 10, or 15 pieces of new information when they could hone in on one.
David Wiesner, author of “Free Fall” is quoted saying: “Before they read words, children are reading pictures.” Even as adults, we still understand visual queues before we have time to process text. As you develop content and design for your next presentation, make sure it reflects the simplicity (and fun) of a children’s book.
Question: How can you make your presentation more like a children’s book?