How to Design a Professional PowerPoint Presentation
Presentations designed by professional PowerPoint designers can act as effective tools to support your speech, emphasize a subject, or help people visualize complex concepts. Whether you want to get your message across to the employees, impress your company’s senior management into taking specific decisions, get funds from a venture capitalist, or strike a partnership deal with potential business partners, a successful PowerPoint presentation can help. No wonder why they are considered important for business success.
Ready to create PowerPoint slide designs that pack a punch? Here’s how to proceed.
Since your content shapes your PowerPoint slide designs, it pays to have a clear idea about your content before you begin designing. Though generic templates can work in some specific cases, you will need to start designing your presentation from scratch in most cases to make them match your content instead of relying on pre-built templates.
Selecting a color scheme
Deciding on a color scheme on which your PowerPoint slide designs will be based is the next step. You can use Kuler to find schemes others have created, which can be used for your projects too. To get started quickly, you can take a screenshot of the color scheme you like, insert it into your document and enlarge it across the canvas on its own layer to get easy access. This will help you activate the layer fast, eyedropper the color you choose, and then get back to work after hiding the layer.
Creating the cover slide – Font, Alignment, Layout and Image
Once you have chosen a color scheme, get it on your slide’s background. The next step is to bring in some typography. Though many choose to use Comic Sans or similar fonts instead of the “boring” fonts, you should stick to “boring” fonts and pick contrasting styles (say, a Helvetica Light and a Helvetica Bold Condensed) to make your fonts stand out.
Since a hard edge improves readability significantly, you can format your text with a strong left alignment and have generous whitespaces to let your text breathe and get a clean look for your layout.
Insert images relevant to your chosen topic into your cover slide but make sure your text is readable. One way could be to insert text on top of the image, select Overlay as the blending mode and set opacity to the right level, thus making the text readable against a colorful background that brings some drama to an otherwise plain design.
Bringing in the content slides
You don’t need your content slides to have everything you are going to speak. Just have the main points to serve as a visual aid and speak the rest. Use the same color scheme you have already established for your cover slide and the exact formatting for text you have previously used. According to experts offering PowerPoint services, you can use different images on your slides that match your context and color scheme, which will make your presentation consistent without appearing redundant.
For your presentations, you will often have to use graphs, pie charts or other information that aren’t necessarily images. In such cases, it’s best to have a solid color background (matching your color scheme that you have already established) to make your slides information-packed without sacrificing on the simplicity and design aesthetics.
You have already done the groundwork and you just need to add some more alternate PowerPoint slide designs which you can use during your presentation. Professional PowerPoint designs aren’t about complex layouts or artistic images. Rather, they are simple yet beautiful, highly readable, attractive and user-friendly ways of presenting information to reach your goal.
Stay away from the clip art gallery you love so much and instead, focus on creating minimal, clean PowerPoint slide designs that will make your presentations appear as if they have been designed by professional PowerPoint designers.
By Jitendra Surve, Founder & CEO, PowerPoint Geek