PowerPoint is a great tool for communicating your messages clearly and effectively—if you avoid some common mistakes.
We’ve all had to sit through presentations that are overcomplicated or unengaging. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to make your slides more compelling and visually appealing.
Here are our top five tips to help streamline the presentation-making process and make your PowerPoint slides as impactful as possible.
1. Keep things simple
It can be tempting to fill your slides with as much information as possible, to cram in all the little details you think your audiences need to know. But you can often end up with a busy slide that’s hard to absorb and difficult to read.
By allowing your content to breathe and sticking to simple text and short sentences, your audience will be able to focus on your key points. They’re also more likely to remember what you’ve been talking about.
2. Have a clear structure
Having an intro slide which outlines your presentation helps your audience know what you’re going to be talking about, how long it might take, and what you hope people will learn. But structuring your slides is about more than just the initial introduction—it’s also about planning what you’re going to include as text versus what could be shown as graphics. Once you’ve decided this, you can adapt or restructure your existing content to match.
3. Remember, not everything has to be on screen
When keeping things simple and working to a structure, you might find it hard to fit everything you want to say on a slide. And that’s okay. When speaking, it can be more engaging if you elaborate and expand upon your slides, rather than having the audience read the whole speech on screen.
Reduce your content down to its key points, and then use your speaking skills to engage your audience by adding detail, telling stories, and providing explanations.
4. Use accessible font sizes (and be consistent)
Since most PowerPoint presentations are text based, getting your fonts right is a quick way to make your presentation look like a well-designed masterpiece.
Stick to fonts above 16pt for legibility, use bold text to highlight key words, and avoid using too many italics, as they aren’t as accessible as regular text. Having a consistent style to your headers and body fonts makes your slides feel professional and helps your audience to easily take in your content.
So you don’t have to worry about all this when designing your slides, we’ve created several corporate PowerPoint templates you can use. You can also use our official, accessible corporate font (read more about Source Sans Pro here).
5. Use colour wisely
Colour is a key part of communicating visually. You can use it to add definition, highlights, or focus points to your slides. However, using too many colours, or going wild with gradients, can end up making your presentation look too busy or even inaccessible.
Stick to one or two colours per slide, and make sure your text is always readable. If using a corporate PowerPoint template, you’ll find the council’s corporate colour pallete in the pre-set options. Learn more about our accessible digital colour palette.