Here’s the brutal truth about PowerPoint presentations:
Most of them are terrible. Ya, I’m talking about the pull your hair out and stab your hand with a pen kinda terrible!
Let me ask you a question …
Are you getting tired of the same boring stock images, the same so-so fonts, the same unengaging text, the same plain vanilla graphics, the same tired vectors?
If the answer is YES, then we have some really awesome presentation design tips that will turn your slides from super lame to sleek and professional in the blink of an eye. We are going to share with you a bundle of really effective slide design techniques, focusing specifically on images, fonts, whitespace, and custom graphics.
Yes, today we are going to be talking about 5 presentation tips and tricks that will set your PowerPoint slides on fire!
So without further ado, let’s kick this one off with a helpful infographic (below), and then we’ll talk more details about each design tip in the descriptions below.
You can embed this infographic on your site (just copy the code below):
<p>Please include attribution to <a href=’Presentation Panda’>Presentation Panda</a> with this graphic.<br /><br /><a href=’http://presentationpanda.com/blog/5-presentation-design-tips/’><img src=’http://presentationpanda.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Presentation-Design-Tips-PowerPoint-Tips-and-Tricks.png’ alt=’5 Presentation Design Tips for Amazing Looking Slides’ width=” border=’0′ /></a></p>
Presentation Design Tip #1: Find Amazing Images For Your Slides With Unsplash
Photography has always been an integral part of presentation design.
A good presentation image of something or someone helps people relate more to what you are talking about, and illustrates the practical rationale behind your presentation – whether you are discussing sea urchin biology or the hottest new nightlife apps for 2016.
Not only are a lot of these stock photos tacky, but some of them cost mucho dinero!
Why waste your money?
Luckily, these days there are now tons of places to find high quality, commercial-free images for presentations, but our personal favorite is Unsplash:
Unsplash has nothing but AWESOME images — no bull$%&# ones. Their high-resolution image library is practically an art gallery in itself.
Their website is also super simple to navigate:
It’s clearly been done by a professional designer — and their search bar makes it quick and easy to find the type of image you’re looking for. For example, if you want to find presentation stock images of someone hiking, you can type in “nature” and you will see tons of beautiful nature images with and without people in the shot (we couldn’t resist linking to the page).
And there are so many different types of images to choose from for your presentations. You can find photos of high rise cityscapes, foggy forests, laughing children, or neatly-organized hipster worktables in all their high-resolution glory. If you know you want to utilize beautiful looking images but don’t want to deal with the burden of choice (how Nietzschean of you) you will probably really like the curated collections on offer. The themes are as varied and plentiful as the oeuvre of Unsplash itself, with different Unsplash users showing off their curatorial talents to come up with the best possible grab bag of designs they can think of.
Keep in mind that these collections aren’t always completely related – for example, you might see a shot of a cute and cuddly walrus in the same collection as a super sleek black and white shot looking up at gleaming steel skyscrapers. But there’s plenty of design inspiration to be gleaned from the Unsplash collections – check out their website if you haven’t already!
Presentation Design Tip #2: Spice Up Your PowerPoint Deck With Cool Fonts From Font Squirrel
Every computer comes with a set of fonts pre-installed as standard. This includes fonts like Arial and Times New Roman (we write these blog posts in Arial. Ugh).
Many people don’t realize that there are other options out there – there are loads of beautiful, simple fonts for presentation slides to choose from.
Today there are tons of custom fonts that you can download for free from places like Font Squirrel.
They have categorized their entire font collection into dozens of different easily searchable categories, making it easy for you to find the ideal font for your type of presentation.
Some personal font favorites that can be downloaded from Font Squirrel include:
Pacifico – a presentation font that is not for the faint of heart, this is a great style to use for headers and your title page. Especially great if you want to give off more of a laidback vibe – it’s all in the California-cool name, after all.
Mathlete – like all good presentation fonts, Mathlete is the perfect choice for you if you want to impress your audience with big multi-syllable words in your headers. It only comes in CAPS, which gives off a go-big-or-go-home element to your presentation. But you’ll go big, we’re sure.
Chunk Five – this bold (literally) font is like Arial with a much louder personality. Don’t use this font if you want your audience to be captivated by your every word.
Lobster – not to be confused with Lobster 2, this versatile font makes a great choice for headers or subheader fonts – you can go anywhere on the spectrum of formal to informal with this one.
You can even click on the “most popular” tab and Font Squirrel will pull a list of the most popular fonts people are downloading.
Since Font Squirrel’s fonts are all free to download, there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t want to browse through their highly extensive collection (they have literally hundreds of them available) and see if there’s one that is particularly eye-catching.
Presentation Design Tip #3: Create Whitespace For Your Presentation Images Using Focused Blurs From PicMonkey
As we have talked about in the past, there are ways to create more whitespace when using “busy images” (images that have a lot going on and make it difficult for any text you may add stand out – not get drowned out by the noise of the image). Blurring is one way to add whitespace and make room for your text to shine.
PowerPoint has its own blur tool under the Artistic Effects Tab ( you can access this tab when you double click an image on the slide)
However, sometimes you may not want to blur the entire image because you want a particular part of your image to remain unblurred. That way you can keep the more aesthetically pleasing parts in the focused section of your photo while you fade the unwanted sections of it into the background. So, how do you go about doing this?
Enter PicMonkey, a free online photo editor that makes it super easy to create all-important whitespace without having to waste a lot of time doing it.
By using my “Focused Blur” technique using Pic Monkey you will be able to create … wait for it … a focused blur on a specific part of your image.
Does it seem a bit too intimidating for you to appropriately blur out a photo yourself?
It’s actually quite simple to pull this off.
Here are the steps:
Find an image you like
Upload it to Pic Monkey
Click Edit Image
Select the “Focal Zoom Feature”
Select the area that you don’t want to blur and the tool will blur everything else other than that area
Of course if you have PhotoShop you can easily create a focused blur using that as well but I assume many people do not have a copy of PhotoShop – and when you have free photo editing tools for presentations like PicMonkey, you don’t really need to have PhotoShop anyways (that’s a lie, but you know what we mean).
There are lots of super neat tools that PicMonkey has on offer. The Focal Zoom Feature is just one of many of our favorites. There are tons of other great editing possibilities including canvas cropping, image sharpening, and color saturation – go ahead and check out what they have to offer. Once you start using PicMonkey to edit your photos and create lots of beautiful white space for your display text, you won’t ever want to go back!
Presentation Design Tip #4: Use Shape Union Make Your Own Custom PowerPoint Graphics By Combining Shapes
Okay, so what if you go to Unsplash or onto Graphic River looking for a good image or template to use for your presentation, but still come up empty?
Sometimes, the quickest way to get your hands on the perfect image is to create one yourself.
You’ll be surprised how the careful combination of shapes and lines can help you to create an awesome looking image, template, or layout for your slides. And, the nice thing is that this can all be done straight from PowerPoint or Keynote – so you don’t have to go onto some unfamiliar website or download a new software program.
Without trying to sound too general, we should point out that the standard drawing toolbars in PowerPoint or Keynote are SOMETIMES no match for the stunning professional stock imagery that professional graphic designers can put together using advanced image creation tools.
Regardless of your skill level you should definitely be able to adapt your slides to accommodate some really nice graphics. Creating your own custom PowerPoint graphics using shapes isn’t difficult.
Voila! Now you have a quick and dirty custom-made graphic for your presentation, and you did it without having to consult with an expensive professional designer.
Presentation Design Tip #5: Save Time Creating Custom Graphics For Your PowerPoint Slides with FreePik
If you have ever come across a stunning presentation there is a good chance that it was filled with nice looking vector graphics.
What are vector graphics?
Vector images are not like bitmap images that are based on pixels. Vector images use a mathematical formula to draw the images onscreen. That’s why they always look nice and crisp when scaled to fit anywhere from a wall-sized projection screen to your laptop.
Generally speaking, vector images are made up of a bunch of shapes that when combined represent the image. Because of this, they can be ungrouped and the individual shapes can be edited. That might sound pretty intimidating if you have never tried playing around with image editing software before, but we promise it’s really not that hard to figure out.
With Freepik you can download the images for free and use them commercially IF you provide attribution (give credit). If you don’t want to provide attribution you can pay a monthly fee of $10. We highly recommend putting up the $10 (just charge it to your company credit card) so that you don’t have lame copyright attribution blurbs making you look like a complete amateur.
The design of your presentation isn’t something to be underestimated or overlooked. If you have a simple, elegant PowerPoint presentation it makes a positive and strong impact on your viewers. Hopefully the presentation tips and tricks we have shared with you here will help you master the important details that make a good presentation great. So are you already using any one of these presentation hacks that we’ve discussed? What are some design deficiencies you have battled before that maybe you can fix by utilizing one of these principles? Let me know what you think and please try to be as specific as possible. Sound off in the comments below!
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? If so, email them this post.
Thanks for reading and be sure to post this article on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever your favorite social media channel is (by using the sharing buttons to the left).
Hungry for more presentation design tips just like these? Check these out:
Greetings, Presentation Pandas! As you know, we’ve been talking about the benefits of professional presentation templates for a long time. Like ballroom dancing, football touchdown celebrations, and Italian sports cars, sometimes presentations need to look fancy, which is when a professional template can really come in handy.
Here are some of the things the best powerpoint templates on the market have to offer:
Save Loads of Time – With a professional template, you can focus more on honing your message and less on building a template framework. Leave the design part to the designers.
Elegant Design – The templates are clean, minimal, and look amazing. That’s EXACTLY what you should be focusing on when you create a presentation.
100% Customizable – A good presentation template is easy to customize. Simply add your text and swap out any images, graphics, or colors that you do not want. It should always be that easy.
Designed for PowerPoint – A good templates is designed to be edited directly in PowerPoint. You do not need any additional software.
Clever Animations Included – Even the best PowerPoint template in the world can look a bit amateur without some slick animations. A good template features custom animations built right into it. And if you decide that animations are not ideal for your presentation, you can easily remove them.
Customer Support – If you ever have any questions about a template you should be able to talk to the person who designed it. Whereas if you design a presentation yourself, you don’t really have anyone else who can help you (unless you’re lucky enough to have an intern you can boss around!) All you need to do is leave a comment and the person who designed the template will get back to you quickly.
At this point you must be wondering where this is all going; after all, we have recommended several of the best PowerPoint templates around over the years. But still our team of Panda’s felt a strong yearning to create our own MAGICAL template that could take your presentations to the next level. So after many a day and night of diligent work, many cups of coffee, and a veritable landfill’s worth of trash bins overflowing with scrapped designs, we have finally developed a professional presentation template that truly rocks!
In this article, we’re going to explain exactly what this template offers, why it ROCKS and why you need to download it right away to use for pretty much every presentation you will ever make it again.
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also critical for creating awesome looking PowerPoint slides. Who wants to see the same boring layout on every single slide? A lot of love and tender care went into making each and every slide–we developed 200 unique slides for you to pick and choose from!!
Yes, we just said 200 slides!
Without coming off as clichéd and overly hyperbolic, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Obviously your next presentation is not going to be 200 slides (or at least we hope not) but we wanted to give you a complete arsenal of good looking slides that you can pick and choose from. We put in a crazy amount of hours to make sure that each and every slide you choose rocks!
There are 12 well organized sections in total; here’s a rundown of what you can expect from each section:
Introduction – Make a positive first impression with an eye-popping display of your company name and logo. Impress your audience with the mission statement template, featuring a half-screen image with your company’s M.O. Or you can include some really cool slides such as a statement from your CEO or a really cool chronological post showing your company’s timeline of growth from past until present.
Team – Show off the members of your team (even if it’s just a team of one) with split screen bio pages that feature headshots of individual members on one side and their accolades, career background, and achievements on the other. You can also include bio pages with multiple team members listed and small bio blurbs beneath each member’s headshot, such as “Bob Smith, Accounting” or “Suzy Jones, Fantasy football junkie and baker extraordinaire.”
Services – You can’t successfully pitch investors or your next big client without talking about what sort of services your company brings to the table. We offer you multiple templates that break down your services in a DYNAMIC manner with the inclusion of customizable infographics. Or you can go for a more informal “what we do” slide that lists your services bullet-style.
Devices – If you are selling a product of some kind, there’s a good chance that it’s an app or other kind of software that runs on a specific device. So we’ve included templates that show off how your app works while running on a smartphone, or how Bluetooth connectivity is part of the package. Yeah, we pretty much thought of everything.
Customer Analysis – If it is really important for your presentation to talk about who your customers are and what sort of demographics they come from, you will really appreciate these slides. The customer segment profile shows a typical customer and features lots of cool icons jutting out of her—kind of like the guy from that classical children’s game “operation,” but without listing parts of human anatomy.
Portfolio – For agencies or firms that need to include case studies or examples of their work, this section gives you lots of predesigned templates that show off what your team has already accomplished for previous clients. Nothing sells better than experience!
Charts & Tables – Inevitably, you will have to include data in your presentation. That’s why we included templates that show off quantifiable information in a way that –for once!—isn’t boring and stale. All of our graphs are super easy to edit and can be changed directly in PowerPoint.
Business Analytics – You gotta be able to show off what sort of things you do; those numbers are really important, but they should look good when you do it. We have provided slick templates that can be easily edited to include the data that backs up your business.
Infographics – Everyone loves a good infographic! We came up with tons of really cool ones. A competitor analysis infographic features a honeycomb-shaped graph with alternating colored panels that give away little tidbits of data.
Project Management – Our project management slides help you break down the different ways that your team tackles your work. Beautiful background images combined with simple step-by-step breakdowns help you illustrate how your team will get the job done.
Maps – If you want to include the location of your office near the end of your slide or if it’s important to include map features in your presentation, we’ve given you plenty of sleek looking maps to choose from.
Closing & Other – It’s just as important to go out with a bang as it is to start with one, so we have designed powerful closing slides that feature strong customizable CTAs and inspiring images to convince your audience that you are the right choice for them. We have also included plenty of “bonus slides” including multiple title slide variations.
Size Formats 16:9 and 4:3
Responsive design is a touchstone of so much that goes into making everything from apps to websites to PowerPoint slides these days. That is why we created templates in two different size formats, so that when you go about the process of setting up your slideshow, you will not have to worry that your sizing is off. Nothing ruins presentations like having slides that are not the proper dimensions for the projector or TV monitor they are being displayed on! You have two options when it comes to size formatting:
16:9, or widescreen. This is becoming the standard for presentations and is actually the default size in PowerPoint. So I imagine that most people will prefer to work with this size format. You will be able to better maximize the dimensions of the media you use in your presentation, which will look so much better. This will look good on any kind of screen, from your laptop to a full-size 52” monitor in the company conference room.
4:3, or square. If you plan on handing out copies of your slide to members of your audience, this is an ideal size. For people who need to print their slides on normal 8.5” x 11” paper this format is preferable as it fills the page better and is a little less awkward than using a 16:9 ratio.
Two Themes – Dark and Light
You have two choices when it comes to your theme: light or dark. Depending on the topic at hand you might feel that using a white background will look better and be more suitable for the tone or mood. On the other hand, maybe a dark background will help you stand out better and make for a more impressive presentation. We were not completely sure ourselves which one you would prefer, so that is why we created two themes, so you can figure that part out yourself! The most important thing is that they both look really good, right?
Three Colorful Options for Each Theme
On top of giving you dark and light options for your theme, we also created three different color schemes in both the dark and light theme. That comes to a total of six varying theme color possibilities, if you are keeping score at home. The options you have are red/yellow, purple, and blue. Blue is always a safe bet for more formal kinds of projects and presentations, while purple, red and yellow are a bit more edgy. But maybe edge is what you are looking for? We want to make certain that you have all the options you need to select the best looking theme possible for your presentation. Of course if you have a totally different color in mind you can easily edit the colors of presentation to the color of your choice.
Tons of High Quality Images Included
As we have pointed out before, you should absolutely avoid using cheesy stock images at all costs. There is a good reason that we decided to take care of finding images for you; too many times we have seen people fall victim to picking out weird looking or downright dumb stock images. So we have made sure to include tons of sleek looking commercial free images throughout the entire template. You do not have to trawl endlessly through Google Images or Shutterstock to find good pictures for your presentation; we have done that for you! Besides saving you a ton of time from having to search for the images yourself, we have also ensured that you have nothing to worry about copyright infringement (accidental or otherwise) because all the images we have used in the slide templates either came free to download or we bought the rights to them.
That means that you, too, have the rights to them. Which means that you can edit them as you please At your fingertips are hi-res photos that make for elegant slide backgrounds, or practical stock images that look great as part of your design. It’s all up for you to decide.
And if you want to swap out images it’s super simple. We’ve even included a handy “Help Guide” that shows you how step-by-step. More on that further down below.
Tons of Easy to Edit Vector Graphics
There are tons of captivating graphics in this template; everything from presentation graphics to customer analysis data boxes is included. Our designers have made it as simple as possible to pick and choose the vector that best fits your presentation. What’s awesome is that you can easily change the size and colors of the graphics DIRECTLY IN POWERPOINT (no additional software needed), so you don’t need to be some smarmy graphic designer with many years of experience messing around with slides (leave that part to us). When you find the right vector graphics for our presentation it is really easy to insert display text, change the color of the vector, or manipulate the size or placement according to your needs.
Over 500 Ready to Use and Easy to Edit Vector Icons
Oh man, we busted our butts on this one FOREVER. The template is filled with sleek and modern looking icons; in fact, we have included a set of over 500 icons that you can choose from. Since the icons are vectors, you can also easily modify the icons by changing the color and size.
You should really see the variety of icons we have available! We pretty much thought of every possible presentation topic or scenario that you would be in when we were cobbling together this huge list of icons. To name but a few:
Technology Related Icons
Payment Related Icons
Web Related Icons
Location Related Icons
Arrows and Direction Related Icons
Weather Related Icons
Social Media Related Icons
And Much More
Two Free Fonts That Go Together Perfectly
You gotta have a good header/display font combo if you’re gonna properly rock your presentation. We picked two fonts that go really well together: Bebas Neue and Calibri. We have been talking about Bebas Neue for years (OK, maybe since last year)! The font rocks and simply had to be in our template. It also sounds kind of funny. We’ll wait while you say it out loud and then laugh because we’re right.
So even though Bebas Neue is a pretty sweet lookin’ font, bro, it does not come with the Microsoft Office suite. Does that mean you have to pay for it? Absolutely not! Bebas Neue is a FREE font that can be easily be downloaded from Font Squirrel. Don’t worry we walk you through how to easily install the font step-by-step with our handy Help Guide that is included with the presentation template.
Bebas Neue also goes really well with Calibri which is a font that already comes with PowerPoint. That means you do not need to waste extra time searching for the right font combo, you do not to spend money on paying for the right font, and you get to focus on creating the baddest PowerPoint presentation possible.
If for some reason your heart is set on a different font (just please not Times New Roman), you can always change up the fonts accordingly. Just use your best judgment—in case you are stuck for good font recommendations, you can always shoot us a quick email or refer to the many blog posts we have written for guidance on making the right choice.
A Clickable “Choose Your Own Adventure” Options Menu
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from the 1980s? Those were pretty sweet! You got to go on a mountain climbing expedition or step through a time warp portal and explore a future dystopia controlled by weird dolphin alien hybrid creatures! We took a fresh approach to template design by allowing the template to have a “Choose Your Own Adventure” table of contents. While you can’t end up on the slopes of Mt. Everest or in the slippery clutches of not-so-benevolent dolphin aliens with our table of contents, picking and choosing the perfect PowerPoint slide is now as easy as ever. With this format you can easily jump to any of the 12 sections in the template by clicking on any of the tiles on the slide. Clever right?
How this works in practice is pretty neat. Let’s say that you, the co-founder of a startup selling cool new coffee roasting machines, have to give a pitch presentation to a big tech incubator in San Francisco. In this case, you may find it important to skip to the yourgreat company bio section, since you are so new and people will want to know who you are and what your company was founded to do (in this case sell quality coffee roasting products). You will also want to talk about your strategy for growth, your target demographics, and discuss who you see as the competition. In that case you will probably want to take your audience through our pre-designed slides for “Introduction,” “Our Team” (maybe just you and your co-founder), “Customer Analysis,” “Business Analysis,” and of course a good “Closing” slide to deliver a strong finish. The nice thing about the clickable table of contents is that you can skip to any section in the presentation with a single click of the mouse. No more fumbling through the entire deck to find the particular section you are looking for.
Parralax scrolling is an innovative trend in web design that has been around for a number of years now but has recently become quite vogue. In case that term sounds familiar but you aren’t quite sure what parallax is: it’s a technique where background images move down the screen more slowly than foreground images, which creates a sensation of depth and adds to your user’s immersion and heightens their viewing experience. We implemented this style into several slides throughout the presentation, because it would be kind of selling you short to create an aesthetically pleasing slide template set but not give you beautiful and elegant animation effects to complement it and make it really come alive. This technique adds a new dynamic layer to the slides, and it is the sort of subtle detail that will give your presentation an extra bit of oomph.
Here are a few examples of our parallax scrolling in action, in case you are curious:
Over here, you can see how this slide fills in the agenda for a meeting with horizontally moving topic headers, filling in one below the other. Once the first slide is full, there is a vertical sliding transition to move down the image (don’t you just love these minimalist urban cityscape photos?), followed by the same horizontal topic headers. Parallax is the epitome of smoothness and having these slides at your disposal will only make you and your team look smoother.
For this “Why Work With Us?” slide you can see a few different animations happening. First of all, each one of the talking points fills in vertically up the screen. Then once the talking points have all filled into place, the screen slides vertically in the reverse direction that the talking points were appearing in. It’s smooth and just looks too darn cool!
Clever Animations and Transitions
Almost every slide has clever animations and transitions that made the slide pop even further.
You have to see them live to truly appreciate them. The benefit of animations is that they help introduce the elements of the slide one at time, creating visual separation and letting you carry on your talking points at a rate that is more comfortable for your audience. It also makes it easier for your audience to follow along, since they are not being bombarded with the entire presentation slide all at once.
Not to mention, these animations also look really cool (at least we think so). It’s not like there are any weird Windows 98 PowerPoint animations in here; everything is slick and tasteful (in other words, no shimmering text or images that bounce around your screen before settling into the right place). Of course, you might think that they can get a bit distracting, so if you don’t want the animations you can easily turn them off.
Here’s some more examples of the templates cool animations, just because we feel like it:
Look at how awesome these are! You are practically guaranteed to have someone come up to you after you finish your presentation – which you will probably rock – and ask you how you thought of all these nifty animations and graphics. Then you can just wink at them and say you have a really great design team.
Easy to Understand Help Guide
In case you are stuck with customizing things the way you want, we have put together an easy to follow help guide that shows you step-by-step how to customize the template to fit your needs. Everything from messing around with vector graphics to replacing all the images can be found in the Help Guide. If for some reason the help guide does not answer your question, don’t forget that your questions might already be answered here or on other blog posts on this website. The only thing that does not come with the help guide is actual, real life customer support. Oh wait! We’ve got that too . . .
Fast Customer Support
While this template is EXTREMELY easy to edit and should prove to be the best presentation tool you have at your disposal, our team of highly trained and PowerPoint-savvy customer service pandas provides fast and agile support to answer questions you may have. We make our absolute best effort to reply to all queries within 24 hours during the week, although if you have a question for us on the weekend it will have to wait until Monday, because pandas get kind of grumpy when they have to head into the office on Sundays. No one wants to deal with grumpy pandas; we’re sure you understand.
So, you’ve heard our spiel about how this new PowerPoint template is going to do amazing things for your presentation.
It’s got oodles of great features and content! You have over 200 custom-made slides that cover everything from your company bio to your portfolio for sharing case studies to easily editable infographics and vectors that look awesome and are so much cooler than old fashioned pie charts and bar graphs (but those come with the package too if you need them). The slides come adapted to two main size formats so that you have perfectly proportioned slides and handouts for your audience.
There are three total color combinations to customize your theme with, so that it looks and feels right. Hundreds of high quality images come included in the template and ready to use as they are or edit as you please. There are many awesome looking and completely editable vector graphics for you to use, plus over 500 icons that suit literally every possible topic imaginable. You will not have to go searching on the internet for other icons to use in your presentation!
You also get the lovely font combination of Bebas Neue and Calibri to grace the text of your slides, a really easy pick and choose menu of slide templates in twelve different categories, beautiful parallax scrolling to wow your audience along with stunning transitions and animations for an elegant and enhanced viewing experience, not to mention first-class customer support from a team of design professionals who handle any queries with efficiency and urgency.
By now you are hopefully asking where you can get this excellent set of awesome slides. You can download the Influencer template on Graphic River today by clicking here. It will save you tons of time and make your next presentation stand out from the rest of the mediocre presentations out there today. You can use the template as much as you like, forever, so think of it as a good investment in your future business endeavors.
Alright then, it sounds like a good investment! But how much is it going to cost to get? Aren’t these things supposed to be expensive? Not in this case. Which is pretty amazing when you think about it – when we have clients who hire us to create custom-made one-use presentations the cost runs into the thousands of dollars. Whereas downloading the Influencer template – the last presentation template you will ever need, ever — only costs you $20. How much would you be willing to pay to crush your next presentation? Wouldn’t you hand over $20 for that extra bit of confidence to know you had a kickass designed PowerPoint presentation?
We’ll stop the sales schtick now; you know what to do! See you at the finish line and best of luck with your next presentation!
There is nothing more exciting than presenting your pitch to a group of VC investors, your customers, or fellow colleagues in your industry. Conversely, there is also nothing more terrifying than getting up in front of a big audience and knowing that what you say or do in the next ten minutes could make or break your career. So many possibilities are present, and that is why it is up to you to optimize your PowerPoint presentation to woo your audience and make them excited about what you can offer them. Whether you have the next big app to pitch, offer the cure to cancer and world hunger, or perhaps just want to share some of your favorite recipes with some friends (although there are probably better ways of doing so than using PowerPoint), you will definitely benefit by keeping these nine dos and don’ts in mind when you create your presentation. And most importantly, you will beat the competition!
Craft one sentence that sums up your proposal and wins over your audience
Any good copywriter will tell you that if you can’t sum up your idea in one sentence, you probably will not go very far. When it comes to delivering a great presentation, the same is true. Sure, there will be room for exploring some of your key ideas in depth. But especially at the beginning of your presentation and also once in your conclusion, you need to be able to condense all your brilliant ideas into one concise and perfectly weighted sentence. This sentence will be the bedrock of your presentation and at the core of the content you offer up to your audience.
Here are just a few good examples of what that might sound like:
“This plugin has helped our current clients see their conversion rates increase by 20%.”
“Using our software has enabled local businesses to save $10 million in annual online marketing campaigns.”
“My strawberry rhubarb pie is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth and make you feel happy.”
You get the idea—practice writing a few sentences that sum up your message. If you’re still having trouble with it, remember to ask yourself what your audience would want to hear.
Use stunning, beautiful images to inspire your audience, but don’t let them distract from your presentation, either.
One of my favorite moments about designing presentation slides is when I create the presentation design scheme and have to curate a set of images that will complement the topic at hand. In case you have been under a rock, there are so many different, amazing free image databases where you can download commercially available, hi-res photos and images to use in your presentation.
You should definitely go ahead and use an image every slide or so to help set the tone, emphasize your ideas, or simply to provide visual relief against your text. But you should also take care to not go too overboard when you select an image to use in your presentation.
It is a good idea to pick images that match the theme of your presentation, both in terms of the topic at hand and also in terms of the aesthetic. If you are offering a premium service and want to be taken seriously, you want to use images that convey the seriousness of your brand. Likewise, if you are positioning your company as a disruptive, revolutionary force in the market, you want your images selection to reflect that—go for bright or bold colors as well as strong vertical lines when looking for the right image. For more tips on how to pick images for your slides click here.
Whenever possible, use subtle visual cues to express ideas
Such a great way to reduce useless verbiage is to express ideas visually rather than with words. What does that actually mean, in practice? Think of your slide as an infographic, and try designing it accordingly. For example, use icons to illustrate an idea, or insert one or two arrows pointing to the next body of content to guide your audience along visually as you move from one idea to the next. If you do this properly, your presentation will look much less cluttered and you will also be able to save valuable time explaining concepts to your audience because they will already be depicted on the slide. Some other great visual concepts that will help you out include highlighting important ideas in bold, using different colors for key words, or blurring background images to emphasize content in the foreground.
Use the Goldilocks ratio of words – not too many, not too few, just right
A big problem with presentations is that people sometimes get a little too aggressive with their words. All of a sudden, what was supposed to be a quick and short bullet list of three major product features becomes a seemingly endless essay. Before you know it, your audience is asleep and you basically failed.
Generally speaking, less is more, especially when you are writing slides for a presentation. A good tip to follow is to write a complete slide, then review it and take out 20% of the words. Then go over, read your presentation again, and do the same thing one more time, subtracting another 20% of the copy. This will help you achieve a much leaner format and ensure that your ideas are honed into the finest points possible.
On the other hand, it is also crucial to remember not to be too zealous about cutting words. Don’t become some savage word slayer, either! While it is tempting to piece together minimally-constructed talking points, you are not writing a haiku, either.
Use the language your customers are using
This is one of the most underrated ideas in copywriting and sales in general, and there is no reason why you can’t do it with your slide. So do it! The benefits to using the language that your customers, or even your competitors’ customers, language, to describe the features of your product or services are multiple.
First of all, it is always easier to let someone else do the heavy leg work for you, so using language swiped directly from testimonials or product reviews will save you a lot of time (and probably money if you normally pay someone to write your slides). But using customer language is also a really effective way to appeal directly to your audience. Nothing will sound more convincing than reflecting the same words (edited for clarity, of course) right back at your clientele. It will make your audience feel like you empathize with them and are paying attention to their problems. Which, let’s not forget, is the major reason why you are in business in the first place: because you are offering a solution to a problem that other people have. If you write your presentation slides with your customers’ actual words—or at least keep them strongly in mind—it will send a strong and positive message that you listen and you care.
Don’t overdo it with fancy fonts and designs—if in doubt, stick to a minimalist, flat-design aesthetic.
People get a little too design-happy with their presentation slides sometimes; it’s just a fact of life. But it is important to not get too carried away with all the different choices available. There are plenty of really great sources for free fonts that you can use to design beautiful and functional presentation slides. For starters, Adobe Typekit is an excellent resource for downloading elegant fonts that are sure to impress your audience. If you are going to combine multiple fonts, you can check out the marvelous, 100% free app Type Genius, which creates font matches made in Heaven. If you want something a little bit more bold and daring, you can also peruse the lovely variety of fonts on display at Font Squirrel, where all fonts are free, downloadable, and available for commercial use. Here are some nice fonts to get you started.
As for design, there are plenty of great design trends that you should consider following if you are stuck for ideas. Try to stick with balanced color palettes when you create your presentation design scheme because a color combination palette that’s all over the spectrum will be too uncomfortable to lay your eyes upon. A great way to avoid messing up your color selection process is to use the Adobe Color Wheel. While it’s fine to use a few symbols or other graphic design elements to embellish your work, don’t get too aggressive with them—let your words and images speak for themselves. You should also take care to avoid clashing styles from one slide to the next; the more visually unified your presentation appears, the more professional it will look. And the more professional your presentation looks, the better your chances at delivering a winning pitch, convincing customers, or impressing your colleagues (maybe all three).
Don’t lose track of your focus.
There is a great TED talk that you should watch if you ever want to remind yourself why you’re doing what you do. It’s by a guy named Simon Sinek, and it’s called “Start with Why.” Your presentation should answer the question of why—not necessarily each bullet point, but certainly there should be a consistent and overarching answer. Why are you in business? Why is your product or service better than what the competition is offering? Why is your recipe for apple pie so much better than anyone else’s in the neighborhood?
Asking yourself this question will keep your presentation focused like a laser beam on delivering you to your goal, whatever it may be. Why are you reading this article? Because maybe you needed a reminder of how to create a great presentation, obviously! Ask “why” for each slide you add to your presentation and make sure you can answer it—because if you can’t then your audience won’t be able to either.
Don’t forget to talk about you.
Your audience wants to know who is behind those great ideas you are sharing with them. So do not hesitate to share your story and give yourself a bit of character to help paint a fuller picture of your company or product. These days, who you are is almost as important as what you’re selling, so take the chance to write a quick intro slide that tells your audience who you are and why you decided that you wanted to do whatever it is that you’re doing. Introduce your team if you have one, and give them a quick dose of the spotlight as well. Putting faces to names is a great way to persuade people to work with you or choose your product, so if your audience knows a bit more about you that might prove to be a difference-maker.
Don’t freak out too much!
Keep calm and if you have any doubts, remember that there are tons of other great presentation resources for you here at Presentation Panda. And don’t forget, you didn’t get this far by luck. So hold your head high, follow these tips, and you’ll surely get the results you are looking for.
Coming up with a better, clearer presentation to win over your audience shouldn’t be so daunting anymore, should it? With the right application you can design beautiful and compelling slides that tell your story and beat the competition.
When you design your slide for a big presentation, what are some steps that you take to ensure that you are delivering the best possible pitch? Are there any design dos and don’ts you’d like to share? Let me know what you think below and please try to be as specific as possible. Sound off in the comments below!
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? If so, email them the link to this post.
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At Presentation Panda we talk about fonts quite a bit because they are super, super important. We also talk about them because we’re huge nerds and nothing gets us more excited than a really nicely thought-out typeface. Well—almost nothing else. We’re also super into background textures, design templates, and anything else that can make your PowerPoint design scheme stand out. If you pick a great font, you can almost bet that your presentation will be better received, because who doesn’t love a really pretty typeface? Especially if you combine that typeface with some of our other recommendations for your PowerPoint. But we digress: Today’s a day to talk about presentation fonts—we would like to introduce you to 7 delicious fonts that will surely give your presentations some extra special flair. And what’s really cool is that you can download all of these fonts for free! So let’s get started!
Building has the sort of look that you associate with Chicago in the 1920s or Milan in the 1930s. Maybe this is because its elongated letters make me think of steel girders, or maybe it’s just because of its clever name. It is ever so vertical—the kind of towering, impressive typeface that makes your words leap skywards like steel skyscrapers of ideas blasting off into the clouds. Building is about thin, narrow letters that emphasize the up and down rather than the side to side. The lack of horizontal thrust is really useful because it allows you to type out especially long words without worrying about taking up space on the next line and having one of those awkward moments where a word will not fit on the same line unless you make the font smaller. With Building font, you also need to think about the sort of colors that you are using, because not all colors were made for this sophisticated and vertical font. You definitely want to make sure that you stick to neutral or darker colors when you use a font like this; it looks a little too serious to utilize in brighter shades. Building is an ideal font for a title page or to be used as a header font for the subject areas of a presentation—it will grab your audience’s attention and, like a skyscraper, draw their gazes upwards as you inspire them with your lofty ideas.
Bukhari is a bit more on the playful side of the spectrum, especially when compared to Building, but that does not make it any less useful. It evokes some far away place—maybe the streets look the same and the buildings are pretty, but the language is different and you can’t figure out what to order on the menu without asking someone for help. Everything about Bukhari is rounded off somehow; there are not any sharp points here or abrupt, blunt endings (think of how forceful Building looks in comparison). Curlicues and loopy script are a great, eye-catching way to command attention without being too forceful about it. And there is a certain unity to the design of this font, especially because of the way that all the letters link up to each other and a B becomes a U, and so on. Bukhari is the ideal font to use for a presentation heading when you want something that is not too formal, but without being too whimsical either. Because it is neither too serious nor too informal, it pairs well with a variety of backgrounds; you would be hard-pressed to find a background that did not look good contrasted with Bukhari. The same is also true with font colors, which are a crucial consideration. Lucky for you, this is the sort of font that can adapt to just about any color scheme. Pretty much any sort of color or shade will look good with Bukhari—you simply can’t go wrong. If you combine it with a simpler, easy to read font in the text section such as Bebas Neue or Arimo you will really have something special to look at.
As you can see from the sample above, Choplin is an extremely versatile font which, while preferably used as a header, works just fine as the text font for your presentation design scheme. You really get the sense for how easily adaptable this font is by seeing what it looks like with different weights to it. When you type it in all caps it gets about seven times more serious, and if you set it in boldface it looks even heavier—the sort of popping, pay-attention look that really demands an audience’s gaze. Choplin has that sort of effect without being too aggressive. If your presentation involves infographics you should really think about creating infographics with Choplin as one of the principal fonts, because it is easy to read and can stand its own against bright and noisy graphics or images. You can also see how its rather neutral design aesthetic makes it a pretty generous font to use with just about any conceivable color combination. Being color-blind, so to speak, to an ideal color palette will make your life easier when you search for the right hues for your font. It looks just as good in light colors as it does in dark, and you can show it off in contrast to either dark, neutral, or light backgrounds without questioning your life choices or sense of style. Go ahead and use Choplin with gusto on your next PowerPoint presentation and you’ll see exactly how effective it can be.
Nexa Rust is the kind of spicy looking font that will give your presentation slide a burst of character. Think of it like a dark old mahogany cabinet filled with clear bottles of amber bourbon in a room painted blinding white. The great thing about this font is that you will never find it challenging to make it stand out. It does that just by being on a slide. A big, wide typeface like this has a sort of swagger to it, a commanding presence that makes people catch their breath for just a moment when they notice it. And the occasional patch of “rust” on the letters lends a touch of aging quality to the font. Nexa Rust is definitely in a more serious category of font; it is not the font you want to use in your body text, just the title page—we would hesitate recommending it as a good header font, because it simply is that bold. You also do not want to get too elaborate or fancy with colors or weighting. Try imagining Nexa Rust in neon yellow and it just does not seem possible—that’s because some things are not meant to be pictured! If there is a weak point to this font, it’s that Nexa Rust is so darn assertive that some colors will simply never do—in fact, most of them probably are not worthy of this big, beautiful font. Stick to basic earth tones and background images that have Western themes to them, like red clay colors or golden prairie yellow. Also, when you do pair it with a font, consider something light and delicate, including semi-cursive fonts; the bold, straight lines of Nexa Rust will really look their best that way, and they will be the perfect foil to a more reserved display text.
Bariol is a super versatile font from the Spanish graphic design firm Atipo. Man, those Spaniards sure know how to make some pretty fonts! A font like Bariol can be used in so many different ways; it kind of is like the Goldilocks of fonts. Not too bold, not too quiet. Not too thin, not too fat. Not too formal, but not still important looking enough that you take it seriously. If you change it to boldface and possibly capitalize it, you can use Bariol as a neat header or title font. And if you keep the weight at default or slightly lighter, it works just fine as a killer display text for your slide presentation. Another great aspect of Bariol is how it responds to color. The simplicity of its design also means that it is adaptable across a wide range of colors; Bariol is the one size fits all font for your color wheel. And while it may not have the same swagger as a hyper aggressive font like Nexa Rust, Bariol manages to fill many different roles which is only possible because of its suave neutrality. If you want a headache-free font that goes the distance no matter what sort of topic you are presenting about, Bariol is without a doubt the typeface of your dreams.
Meet Aroly, a highly distinct font that will look absolutely awesome rocking on the front page of your PowerPoint presentation but a complete disaster if you even think about using it in your presentation’s body text. Luckily, there are plenty of good, simple fonts that will pair nicely with Aroly, especially if you use a handy font optimization tool such as Type Genius. Aroly has the look of a 1940s or 1950s movie theatre marquee in Paris; there is a real excitement in it, and also a little bit of nostalgia to the way that its letters seem to be slightly faded out, as if from exposure to time. If you are going to use this classy font in your slide you will want to make sure that there is minimal visual distraction on the page, because any words you type out with Aroly are going to be the showpiece. It is most likely best to stick to a simple background, such as a solid color, because the slight transparency of the letters means that any images behind the words would show through. For best effect, try sticking to colors such as red, black, or white—nothing too out of the ordinary for this retro-chic font.
Borg is, as its name suggests, the kind of font that evokes the future yet to unfurl before our eyes. This is an exciting font—it’s like Blade Runner couture. You want this kind of font to set the tone for a big presentation in front of an audience about to witness the future. You want to use Borg to deliver a big bang on the very first slide, and you want it to do so with minimal fuss around it. Because of its relatively minimal design and lack of pretentiousness there is the potential to be somewhat open with color choices. Anything from black and white to metallic tones of basic colors such as red, blue, or yellow would look great. It would also look great juxtaposed with a flat-design image of some sort, although that isn’t really necessary. Using Borg as your font of choice pretty much guarantees an innovative, forward-thinking look to your presentation slide and will definitely leave an impact with your viewers.
So hopefully you’ve picked up some great new ideas for fonts to use the next time you create a PowerPoint presentation. Whether you are looking for something formal and imposing or something more whimsical and light-hearted, these seven cool looking fonts should give you great ammo to come up with a fantastic design for your slides. Remember that you can download all of these presentation fonts for free!
Now that you’ve seen these fonts and how they can be used, what was your favorite of the group? Which fonts remind you of ones you have already used before, and which ones do you think you would never use? Share your favorite images ideas in the comments below!
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to share this article on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook as well (by using the sharing buttons to the left).
Inspired to learn more about working with fonts in your presentations? Here are some suggested articles:
When you are creating a PowerPoint presentation and want it to look as snazzy as possible, there is a lot you can do to make your slides shine with the brightness and glory of a thousand suns. You can add beautiful background textures, have perfectly complimentary fonts, or avoid the hassle of doing it yourself and just buy a ready-made template from the get-go. Even so, if you are not careful your text can look boring. Another way to make your presentation slides look spiffy (and certainly not boring) is to change up the way you add text to a picture. Here are ten clever and easy to implement presentation design tips for mixing up your text display and maximizing your PowerPoint potential.
1. Add Some Perspective
Sometimes it can be a good idea to play around with the perspective in your slide—keeping your text front and center in the foreground all the time can get a bit stale. A great way to change up the monotony is to set the text so that it appears to be receding backwards into the image, Star Wars opening-credits style. Especially in this image you can see how, with such a strong line receding into the distance—everything from both rows of pine trees to the road moving straight into the background—it is basically a no-brainer to tilt the text backwards to compliment the overall thrust of the photo itself. Don’t forget that you can go in the other direction and change up the perspective so that the text appears to be coming out at your views like in a 3D movie.
2. Make the Text Part of the Scene
I swear I’m not a forest hermit or something—I really like this first image because it is a perfect example of integrating your display text into the scene of the image you’re using.
In this image example you see a slightly different version to this same approach. This time, the display text is manipulated to conform to the contours of the mountain that is the focal point of the image, creating a clear tie-in between the image itself and the idea being expressed. It’s a great concept and in theory should not be too hard to mess up, unless you overthink it. This cool PowerPoint text effect is a brilliant way to get your audience’s attention and help them better understand the talking point you might have in a slide, because rather than separating the idea from the picture, you make those two components into the same thing.
3. Add Icons for Emphasis
Sometimes the best way to get your point across is to add simple, preferably flat-designed icons to your presentation slides. It goes without saying that if you do use an icon or vector, make sure that it compliments your image. In this case I took a photo of a mysteriously misty lake and forest (OK, maybe I am actually a forest hermit) and added a cool looking wolf icon that for obvious reasons compliments not only the display text, but also the image. When you add an icon to your presentation slide you have the opportunity to reinforce the message you are trying to send to your audience (like building a blazing campfire in the woods) without having to rely solely on words.
4. Go Big
Size matters (at least when it comes to the size of your display text). Sometimes you do not have to do anything else to an image to make it stand out other than smack some size 225 font text on that puppy and let it do all the talking. A few caveats to this tip, however: if you do decide to go for some XXL-sized display text, pick a font that will look good doing it. Notice that I used Bebas Neue, a no-nonsense font that is easy to read while big or small. If you go big, there is really no reason to use a fancypants font. Another tip to keep in mind is that you should make sure that the image you match it up with is not too cluttered, visually, if you use a mega-sized display text. Keep the compositional clutter to a minimum so that your huge words have less commotion going on in the background—that way you can really maximize the effect.
5. Combine 2-3 Different Font Sizes
Playing off the concept of using ultra-sized fonts, another great way to create eye-catching visuals with your display text is to mix up the size of your text. As you can see, this technique looks great and is quite effective at drawing your attention to the bigger, more significant keywords in the text. To optimize the visual impact of this sort of display, it probably is best to have a longer phrase with anywhere from 5 to 12 words in them, that way you can vary the font size in sizeable chunks of words. Did you notice that I applied the same text effect in tip #2 to make the words part of the scene? It looks as though the woman in the picture is reading the words on the slide.
6. Be Bold with Keywords
As you know by now, it is very important to be concise with the text you use on presentation slides, because no one wants to hear you reading an essay during a PowerPoint presentation. So when you create display text for a slide, it should already be pared down to the essentials. A useful method for conveying the most prominent information to your readers is to highlight keywords in your image. There are a few ways to pull this off. The first one, as mentioned before, is to draw attention to the most significant words in the text by making them significantly larger than the other words in the text.
As you can see in the image example, the keyword “definitely” dwarfs the rest of the text. It also helps that is placed front and center in the middle of the image—you just can’t miss it. This is a good example of not relying just on increasing font size, but also playing around with more eye-popping fonts or using bold typeface or italics to draw your audience’s attention. And always try to select font colors that, like in both these cases, especially pop out in contrast to the image color scheme.
7. Play with Orientation
The orientation, or angle at which you present your text, is another variable at your control when you are designing effective display text for your presentation slides. You can achieve all sorts of different effects by playing with the orientation of the words.
As you can see in the image I made the display text appear more whimsical. Here the orientation fits into a cohesive scheme, as it compliments the loopy, cursive font choice (a great example of being bold with keywords) and the quirky, swooshing curlicue that finishes extravagantly beneath the text. It is a great example of how you can shift the orientation of the text, but also other elements in the image to create a balanced composition and a beautiful slide.
8. Add Shapes for Emphasis
Especially if you are using a bright, catchy image background it can sometimes be difficult to make your display text stand out. While making the font really big is one solution, this detracts from the image itself, and you probably do not want to resort to using overly flashy colors of font styles (again, with exceptions) to highlight your text. Instead, a perfect solution to creating instant contrast and drawing attention to your words is to add semi-transparent shapes as background filler behind your display text.
In the example image, not only are the words in the display text superimposed over a circle, but then a series of dotted concentric circles accompanies it, with the circles fading into ever gentler shades as they radiate outwards from the words. Using a dark, simple shape to slip in between a white-dominated image and the light font color is an elegant solution to creating contrast and maximizing visual balance between the image and the display text.
9. Stack your Text Into an Invisible Shape
A particularly clever arrangement involves grouping the display text into an invisible shape in contrast to whatever is in the image background. The effect works best with a good number of words, and acts as a compositional foil to the tangible image that is presented with it. In the case of this example, the display text is shaped into a vertical rectangle in front of a jagged mountain peak, with swirling clouds filling in the foreground. Ideally you would shape your words in a way that compliments the message. Here, “life begins outside your comfort zone” is compressed into an invisible box, with the wild scenery in the background implying that life is metaphorically just beyond the comfort zone written in words. Get creative with your words and try this the next time you want to add an extra, implicit layer of meaning to your presentation slides.
10. Combine Light and Bold Fonts Together for Impact
The last tip I have to share with you is combining light and bold fonts together to highlight your most important ideas. Uniform fonts are a little bit dull, so adding boldface to your font or choosing one font that is narrow and another one that tends to be on the thick side is a great way to create visual impact. For this to work best, you do need to make sure that the color saturation and contrast of the image you use does not interfere visually in places where your display text overlaps, because thin fonts will stand out in different ways from bold fonts.
Coming up with better ways to display text in your slide presentations doesn’t have to be rocket science, but as you can see it is a very effective and ultimately enjoyable task. With the right application you can design beautiful, varied text that brings your slideshow to another level.
If you follow any of these ten cool text effects your presentations will no doubt look spectacular! Don’t forget that if you are still not sure what sort of text looks good, you can consult some of our other articles here on Presentation Panda to make sure that you have the best presentation possible.
So, here’s my question for you: Are there any other methods you use for adding text to a picture? Any other tricks that I missed? Let me know what you think below and please try to be as specific as possible. Sound off in the comments below!
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to post this article on Twitter of Facebook as well (by using the sharing buttons to the left).
Hungry for more information on how to add text to images? Here are some suggested articles: