PowerPoint slides have become the standard for many business presentations, academic reports, and other presentations. While a PowerPoint presentation is an effective way to highlight key information, you can still risk losing your audience if your slide design falls short.
There are three critical components to take note of with each PowerPoint slide design. You will want to pay attention to the structure, simplicity, and emphasis on each slide. Carefully crafting effective slides and presentations could mean the difference between securing a big business deal and walking away empty-handed. Let’s look at the three components of a perfect PowerPoint slide.
Every effective PowerPoint slide has a good structure. Structure refers to the design components that are used across the slide deck. Each slide should be easy to read and maintain a consistently clear message. The best way to accomplish this is with a structured slide layout. One of the most important aspects of slide structure is consistency. When slides are consistent in terms of fonts, colors, and content, they create a cohesive message across the entire presentation. Visual consistency gives your audience the impression that each slide is part of a larger story.
Good structure also includes having logical and precise visual alignment. Alignment helps create order on the slide and organizes your content by grouping relevant items. Creating good alignment in your slides will make your presentation easier to understand and reduce the effort required to comprehend each slide. Using the PowerPoint guides on each slide will help you ensure good alignment.
The other part of creating a good structure is finding balance on each slide. Balance refers to how things are arranged on the slide, and it is closely related to alignment. Achieving symmetrical balance is as easy as ensuring that you have information evenly spread out across all areas of the slide. If your slide is asymmetrical, it could divert your audience’s attention and allow them to focus on less important information.
Another critical PowerPoint design element is simplicity. This is based on the idea that “less is more.” A large display of data and statistics is probably useful for a printed report; however, it can be overwhelming and ineffective on a PowerPoint slide. Each slide is meant to be a visual accompaniment to the verbal presentation. As a result, you don’t want to create text-heavy slides with an overload of information that has to be read in great detail.
If you have ever heard of “death by PowerPoint,” these kinds of overloaded slides directly contribute to that phenomenon. If you find that you cannot reduce the amount of content, you might consider dividing it up among several slides for a simpler presentation. Your audience’s attention will remain active if you explain the main point over several slides rather than a single stop that takes several minutes.
To help reduce the amount of information on your slide, you might consider using infographics and other visuals to explain information. If you are reporting on quarterly gains, it might be more impactful to show your audience a chart or graph rather than a text box full of numbers. Visual elements aid with learning and understanding and can help you keep your slides simple.
The goal of your PowerPoint is to present key information or persuade your audience to agree with a certain point. To do this more effectively, each slide should be designed with emphasis. This is an important component because it helps your critical information stand out. By intentionally using elements like color, size, and placement, you can guide your audience’s attention to the main ideas and key points.
Your PowerPoint presentation is the vehicle for your main ideas. You’ll want to be sure to create slides that are simple, have good structure, and emphasize your key points.