7 tips for a killer presentation

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Nobody wants to sit through another boring PowerPoint presentation full of slides with too many graphs and bullet points. The question is: how do you design a presentation that won't send your audience to sleep, or reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee? I've put together seven design tips to help you put together an engaging presentation.

1. Communicate your message in a clear and concise way. Summarise the content with bullet points on the slide, and then talk about your message in more detail. Your audience is there to listen to you, not to read the slides, otherwise you could have sent them an email.

2. Keep your slides simple. Keep one main message per slide, with no more than 6 lines of text, and around 3-4 bullet points. If you have too much information, you'll end up talking for 30 minutes over the same slide and quickly lose your audience's interest.

3. Use strong visuals. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Too much text is sure to send your audience to sleep; brighten things up with relevant images, photos, and even some humour! Just make sure the images are actually related to the content.

4. Use Infographics where possible. Infographics are a great way to summarise complex topics with graphics. If an infographic is not available, try using icons to highlight key points.

5. Keep your audience in mind when designing the slides. As per any design project, think about your audience and the kind of style or imagery they would respond better to. A bit of humour often works wonders, but it may not be appropriate in all situations. Don't forget that every single design choice in your presentation contributes to the overall style: colour, font and imagery.

6. Use divider slides. If your slides have a very 'serious' theme, brighten things up with striking divider slides. Use colour, big fonts, or humour - try to surprise your audience. The more striking your presentation is, the more likely it is people will remember it (and therefore remember you!).

7. Legibility. Make sure people can see and read what's on the slides from where they are sitting. Putting too much text means the font size will be reduced and therefore unreadable. Also make sure you're placing copy on a clear, uncluttered background with enough contrast.

Get in touch if you have any questions about presentation design or if you need help with your presentation. Or have a look at my presentation package if you would like me to take care of everything for you!