Content is king, but what about the design of your slides? Read on for a checklist of proven tips to ensure you deliver better video presentations and your slideshow catches the eye for all the right reasons.
Delivering a presentation is an art form all to itself and one where you can’t afford to have any weak links. Everything matters, from the quality of your sales pitch to the reliability of your projecting equipment (whether that’s a portable business projector for face-to-face appearances or dedicated video-conferencing hardware for remote presentations). But what about those all-important slides delivering the stats, soundbites, and facts to back up your pitch?
Specify style rules
When presenting slides, it pays to apply some stylistic rules. Rule number one is consistency. This means choosing layouts, colour schemes, fonts and other slide elements that apply to all your slides to ensure they have a consistent look and feel. You might get lucky and have a company style already in existence for promotional literature and other publications. If not, follow these key pointers:
- Less is more as far as fonts are concerned. Magazines usually restrict themselves to one or two font families, but with presentations it’s best to limit yourself to a single font that’s clear and legible, using styles like bold and italic to break things up. Try to pick a font that’s common to both Mac and PC if you plan to distribute your presentation, otherwise, you’ll need to embed the font with the presentation so it displays properly. To do this in PowerPoint, navigate to Options > Save and be sure to tick the ‘Embed fonts in the file’ box.
- Adopt a similar approach to your colour scheme, particularly with special elements like charts, SmartArt graphics, and tables. Choose one or two colours and apply them consistently across the entire presentation for a more professional look.
- Choose a 16:9 aspect ratio over 4:3. With widescreen displays now the norm, be sure your slides are formatted accordingly. Current versions of PowerPoint default to 16:9, but if you’re stuck with 4:3, look for ‘Slide Size’ or ‘Page Setup’ when formatting your template (see below) to switch.
- Think HD: your presentation is likely to be shown on a large display, so any low-resolution graphics will appear blurred or pixelated. Ensure any images that you’re using are as high-definition as possible – it’s better to shrink an image to fit rather than blow it up. When sourcing images on the web via Google image search, click Tools > Size > Large to filter out low-res graphics. Always run-through your slide deck in ‘Slide Show’ mode so you can see it full-screen. This will help you spot any potential image-related issues before your first presentation. >>Read more