Slide design for non-designers
We are not designers - yet we need good design!
Having a well-designed presentation can make all the difference. I have written a whole course on this topic, and you can access the chapters of my book Pitch To Win at the end of this section.
Designers do some fancy things with Illustrator and Photoshop sometimes - let's leave those aside! There are five big things which designers do to make slides look great, which you can easily do too;
- Be Consistent
- Use the same font for headlines, the same font for the text in the slides
- Put your logo in the same place on every slide
- Use the same animation for text and pictures (although I would only recommend a simple animation on text - a dissolve or fade-in - because animations don't work very well in online courses.)
- Keep it visual, and not too much text
- Use images and icons as much as possible, and talk around them. Don't jam the slides with text, as it is intimidating for the audience, and too much for them to take in
- You can have a bit more text than in face to face presentations - my guideline is no more than three sentences in one slide
- Align your content
- If you have three items on the slide, make they are evenly spaced and they line up
- PowerPoint and Keynote both have alignment tools, and save you a lot of time.
- Make numbers big and simple
- Don't overdo it with charts and numbers.
- Ask yourself - what is the message with this data? Do I need this chart to get the conclusion or message across? or could I just show the conclusion?
- If you need to show some numbers, present a maximum of three. if you give people more than three numbers at once, they will start to analyse the relationship between them. Keep them following the story by keeping it simple.
- Make content big and use more slides
- More slides is not bad. Spread information across more slides if things get crowded.
- Try to follow this principle - One Slide, One Message. Sometimes that message can be broken into three pieces - but more pieces or more messages starts to be confusing.
- Don't use tiny type - people might be viewing your presentation on their mobiles, so bigger is better.