Designing a presentation is daunting for anyone, but it’s particularly tough for those who don’t have a creative background. And that rings especially true now that technology has raised presentation standards to new heights.

Simply put, a thoughtlessly designed bullet-pointed presentation won’t fly with today’s presentation standards. Fortunately, PowerPoint actually makes it pretty easy to create a beautifully-designed presentation, even if you don’t have design experience—you just need to know the right tips and tricks to apply.

Be Consistent
One of the most important design rules you should apply to your presentation is to be consistent. Your slides should all look like they belong to the same family, using similar fonts, colors, and images from slide to slide. An easy way to make this happen is to pick only a handful of colors and fonts to use throughout your presentation and never stray from them. This will ensure your presentation looks polished and cohesive rather than messy and chaotic.

Think Outside the PowerPoint Theme Box
PowerPoint comes with built-in themes you can use for your presentation, but doing so is a fast track to looking like an amateur. Instead of applying one of their readymade themes, head to the web and look for something more unique. If you’re willing to invest a few dollars, Envato is a site full of beautiful PowerPoint themes that’ll not only make your presentation look more professional but provide you with additional design inspiration to enhance it.

Use Minimal Text
Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text, and that’s just one of the reasons you should keep text to a minimum on your slides. Images are also simply more compelling and entertaining for your audience to look at, so a slideshow with an abundance of images versus blocks of text is going to make for a generally more engaging presentation overall. That being said, avoid complete sentences in your slides and stick to just a few words in a large font paired with images to get your points across.

Keep it Simple
A lot of presenters make the mistake of thinking that the more elaborate their designs and images are, the more professional their presentation will look. But in fact, the opposite is true. Remember that your audience is viewing your slides from a distance; the detailed images and ornate fonts that look beautiful up close can look blurry, messy, and confusing from afar. As a general rule, use simple, pared-back images and clean, basic fonts throughout your presentation to ensure it’s as clear as can be.

Lay Your Slides Out From Left to Right
Because most of us read and process information from left to right, your slides should deliver information the same way. If you’re just using text, then that should happen automatically. However, if you’re including images (which you really need to do for an effective presentation) then pay mind to whether your image introduces or punctuates your point. If it’s the former, it should be on the left side of your text and if it’s the latter, the right side.

Want additional help designing your next presentation? Then check out Ethos3’s presentation design services.

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