It is common to have to make a targeted presentation to convince prospects, investors, or simply your supervisor. Getting your ideas right is the key to successful communication...

Presenting a concept with confidence requires a lot of preparation. This involves rehearsing your dialogue, practicing your non-verbal communication, knowing your subject from top to bottom and having solid visual aids to guide your audience.

However, even when experienced presenters have a perfect grasp of their subject, most face a wall when it comes to designing slide shows. As proof, audience participation and slide design are cited as the biggest obstacles for presenters.

We are not all experts in the field and creating a captivating slideshow requires some design knowledge.

This is why I offer you today 5 essential design tips to create a captivating presentation.

1. Choose an original layout for your slides

Did you ever attend a conference where all the presentations were in roughly the same format?

Not easy to keep your attention, is it?

These kinds of events usually require the attention of the public for hours and hours. So if in addition the design of your presentation is bad, you may well fall asleep your audience!

A simple tip to keep the latter’s attention is to alternate the arrangement of your slides. This will give your slides something unexpected and new that will help keep your audience enthralled.

Here is an example of a presentation made with Venngage which follows this advice:

These layout changes mark a break and avoid a monotonous presentation.

2. Use only one piece of information per slide

Charts and other data graphs are perfect tools for presenting a trend or pattern instantly.

However, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with data. Do not add multiple graphs, charts and data sets on a single slide to avoid a counterproductive effect.

Instead, dedicate one slide per graphic.

Not only will you avoid losing your audience’s attention, but you’ll also maximize the impact of each slide on your presentation. Here is an example with this presentation from Hubspot on “customer relationship management”.

3. Be minimalist

More often than not, doing less is doing better. You don’t want an overloaded presentation of information that can quickly annoy your audience, not having time to digest this flow of information.

With a simple design, you will force yourself to keep a minimum of words per slide. Here is a superb example with this presentation by Mark Schaefer:

Focus on the main message of your presentation. Apply a simple and whole palette of colors, in line with your communication strategy. You will notice that each slide goes straight to the point with a strong message that makes you want to know more and move on to the next slide.

Your presentation will certainly have more slides this way (this one has more than 80!), But you will have your audience in your pocket thanks to powerful slides.

4. Be creative

When you awaken your creativity, it is likely to captivate your audience thanks to the originality of your presentation. It’s also a great opportunity to get closer to your audience.

Here is an example of another Hubspot presentation that caught our attention from the first slide:

Just because you’re a professional doesn’t mean you have to be formal. Try a creative and interactive approach instead. Remember: the unexpected will spice up your presentations!

5. Use icons

When you make a presentation for your marketing conference or your next meeting, you want a design touch that perfectly sums up your ideas.

This is the primary role of icons: visually presenting complex ideas, listing information and sharing facts. Illustrate each idea or information with an icon. Your audience will be able to make a simple and effective visual association of your data.

See the example below. This presentation effectively uses icons to illustrate ideas and concepts, which are sometimes complex.

There are many design tips applicable to presentations.

Start with these 5 tips and you will greatly enhance your presentations! If you want more inspiration, you can also check out this list of 35 examples of original presentations.

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