“You can’t tell any kind of story without having some kind of a theme – something to say between the lines.” – Robert Wise

Themes for business presentations help the presenter construct a narrative and lay a foundation for their objectives. The content team at Ethos3 presents clients with various options for presentation themes that fit best with the tone. If you are working on developing content of your own for business presentation, ask yourself these questions to create an original theme:

What influences me?

How can I connect my theme to my key messages?

What design elements best illustrate my theme?

Once you have your answers, you can create an original theme and apply it to your business presentations. Here’s an example.

business presentation

What influences me?

There are many different forms of inspiration in our lives that influence the way we think. This is a subjective matter, no right or wrong. When thinking of a theme for business presentations, start with ideas that are interesting to you. Take Disney for example. A large portion of the films and theme park rides that Disney helps create are influenced by space travel. Their partnership with Marvel has led to films like Guardians of the Galaxy, which is about explorers living in space. Walt Disney himself was influenced by this topic while his famous theme park was being built. Walt Disney Imagineer John Mauro says, “From the early days of Tomorrowland, Mission Space, to EPCOT which celebrates that combination of technology and entertainment—science is used as a tool to tell our stories.”

Space exploration may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney, but it is an original theme that has drawn in audiences for decades. This theme has influenced the stories they tell and the messages they send to audiences around the world.

Think about what influences you. Adding a personal touch to business presentations will help create an original theme that connects with the audience.

How can I connect my theme to my key messages?

Next, connect your theme to your key messages. The best way to do this is by using creative headers to categorize your main points. You don’t have to change your content to fit the theme. You can incorporate creative elements to to carry the theme throughout the presentation.

Let’s stick with the space exploration theme. Say you want to use this theme to talk about your objectives for next quarter. You can use three headers to group together your content.

Mission

Engage

Liftoff

These three words can represent the concepts behind each of your points. “Mission” can represent your conceptual messages. Put messages about overall approaches and thought processes you want to achieve under this category. “Engage” is an action word for putting efforts into place. Any measurable actions you want to implement can fall under this header. The last header, “Liftoff” represents the combination of the concepts and actions being used. This should drive home the results you plan to achieve.

What design elements best illustrate my theme?

Finally, think about designing around your theme. You want the design to be just as original as the theme for business presentations. Spend some times brainstorming the types of images, colors, fonts and graphics you need to carry your content. Then, base your design elements on the theme you have chosen.

For example, illustrations of rocket ships, stars and astronauts can be included throughout your deck. You can represent your three headers like this:

“Mission” – a rocket on a launch pad.

“Engage” – smoke coming from the rocket before takeoff.

“Liftoff” – the rocket blasting off into space.

Business presentation

Use icons of stars and planets in place of bullet points. If you are feeling really creative, include an astronaut character to be the hero of your presentation story. Themes can play a huge role in helping your content and design come together.

For more resources on creating effective and creative business presentations, check out these posts on the Ethos3 blog:

Storytelling Tips for Pitch Deck Presentations

Sound More Confident During Your Business Presentations

Presentation Design Tips for Busy Business Professionals

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