Whether online or in person, audience attention spans are short. A streamlined design can keep them focused on your topic.
1. Simplify your content.
Your top priority is to streamline and simplify your deck’s content. Mercilessly slash your source document and only include the highlights on your slides. Presentations are meant to be condensed versions of content, not the whole kitchen sink.
Your slides should not mimic what you plan to say during the presentation. Slides are only reminders of the major points, not the excruciating details. To provide more information, you will expound on those highlights while speaking. Practice.
2. Streamline your design.
- Your audience should be able to easily digest your content.
- Clear any clutter; white space is your friend.
- Do not use detailed illustrations or outdated clip art (see tip #4).
- Make charts and graphs as minimal as possible.
- Develop a palette of two to three colors to use throughout.
3. Consistency is key.
- Most slide backgrounds should be the same.
- Stick with the same font for the entire presentation.
- Font sizes should be similar throughout.
4. Beware of Microsoft clip art.
5. Go with the flow.
- Don’t hesitate to rearrange your original source content. A presentation is not a reading document.
- Use section title slides to prepare your audience for new topics.