Coming up with cool design ideas for your next important PowerPoint presentation doesn’t just happen automatically in your mind.
Even for us Panda’s it’s not always easy to come up with creativity on demand.
Instead of getting frustrated and upset you need to find presentation design inspiration from other design sources to help fuel your creativity.
In the past, we’ve talked about how to come up with a killer theme for your presentation using a mood board for displaying your different inspirational ideas.
To help take your slides to the next level, we have compiled a list of some the best places to find design inspiration for your next PowerPoint presentation.
#1) Note and Point – Hand Selected PowerPoint Decks To Get Your Creativity Flowing
Note & Point is simply one of the best websites I’ve ever seen dedicated to well-designed visual presentations.
While I am a big SlideShare fan (more on that in a bit), Note & Point does a better job at filtering the death-by-PowerPoint (i.e., the ones that suck) to only feature elegant, awesome looking PowerPoint and Keynote decks.
Not only is Note & Point full of awesome prsentation design examples, most of their presentations are actually design related, so you get to learn some great stuff about design along the way!
Here are some great examples of presentations featured on Note & Point. The presentations are a few years old but they are still good looking decks.
#2) Dribble – Where The Best Designers Showcase Their Talents
Dribbble is an awesome site that showcases some of the best digital design on the web.
It’s home to an all-star group of designers, ranging from leaders in today’s design world to outright spectacular up-and-coming designers.
Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creative types share small screenshots (shots) that show their work, process, and current projects.
While the community is invite-only, anyone is free to spectate and soak in the design inspiration.
Using the search bar you can search for PowerPoint inspiration on whatever you heart desires. For example, imagine you’re putting together a presentation and want to use a Game of Thrones theme. Simply type in “Game of Thrones” into the search bar and instantly you will be given tons of awesome designs around that topic (as seen in the image below).
Game of Thrones Image by Awesomed
Pretty cool right?
We browse Dribble all the time when coming up with PowerPoint ideas for clients.
Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
#3) SlideShare – Get Inspired by the Social Media of PowerPoint Presentations
Great SlideShare presentations inspire and entertain. In fact our team of Pandas like SlideShare so much that we have uploaded over 15 presentations over the past couple years which has given us close to 1,000,000 views. If your interested to learn about our SlideShare success click here.
SlideShare is a great place for finding inspirational PowerPoint design.
When it comes to SlideShare not all SlideShare’s are of exceptional quality. And of course you don’t want to be taking in inspiration from sucky PowerPoints.
Therefore, you will need to turn on some filters in order to weed out the good ones from the bad.
The best way to do this is to:
1) Go to a presentation topic such as design “Design”
2) Filter the search results by “Popular”
3) Select More Filters
4) Change the time period to a greater length such as “Last 365 days” or “All Time”
Who knows, you may see even get some ideas from the various PowerPoint decks that we have created when you filter your search :D
#4) Canva – Browse Clean Looking Presentation Layouts for Instant Inspiration
Canva is another great destination for finding unique ideas for PowerPoint.
If you’re not familiar with Canva, the website is essentially a design service that takes the friction out of designing. The website has reached a whopping 2M users in the first two years of launching and has been growing rapidly ever since.
To explore some presentation inspiration from Canva all you have to do is choose one of 11 available templates (including presentation templates) or start from a custom-sized blank canvas. You then use the Layouts and Background tabs to get a rough idea of what you want to design. These tabs are chock-full of options to choose from, whether you want a complete template or just a nice background to build on.
Canva also has a dedicated page for presentation templates that you can browse to get layout ideas for your slides.
#5) Graphic River – These Beautifully Designed Presentation Templates Will Feed Your Creative Mind
We talk about Graphic River all the time here at Presentation Panda.
We obviously hold them in high regard considering we sell our award winning presentation template (The Influencer) over there.
But besides that, Graphic River is an excellent destination for finding PowerPoint inspiration.
Similar to SlideShare, some presentation decks featured on the website are better than others.
To save you some time, here is a list of 10 professional PowerPoint template decks that you should check out. And for extra credit you may want to check out some of the best PowerPoint templates of 2018.
Even if don’t purchase any of the templates, browsing these professionally designed decks should fill your head with plenty of presentation ideas for your next big project.
#6) Pinterest – Scan Presentation Related Boards For Awesome Presentation Ideas
Pinterest is another place for finding awesome ppt ideas for your next important project.
Did you know that Pinterest is one of the biggest and fastest growing imaged-based social media platforms and is a great source for finding inspiration online?
Packed with stunning images, graphics, templates and more Pinterest is easy-as-pie to navigate and search.
If you’re new to Pinterest and do not follow any design related boards, the best way to find cool inspiring ideas is to use the main search bar.
Within the search bar, a few things you may want to consider searching for include “presentation design,” “presentation templates,” and “PowerPoint presentation.
And don’t forget to set up your own Pinterest account to store and refer back to the presentation design examples you like the most.
#7) Creative Market – Another Great Source for Graphic Related Items
Similar to Graphic River, Creative Market is a place for buying graphic related items from today’s leading designers. They have presentation templates that you can browse for inspiration and also purchase if you want to save some time.
To find PowerPoint inspiration on Creative Market click on the “Templates” category and then select “Presentation” within the drop down menu.
They have lots of presentation templates to get inspired from. Some are better than others so you may want to filter the templates by “most popular” or take a look at the selection of “hand picked” templates from the Creative Market review team.
In my humble opinion, I think the quality of presentation templates over at Graphic River is better than Creative Market. And of course, the better the templates, the better inspiration you will get from them.
I would be interested to hear what others think about this in the comments.
#8) Design Seeds – The Perfect Site for Finding PowerPoint Color Inspiration
When it comes to finding colors for your slides Design Seeds is top notch.
Design Seeds is an awesome website for finding inspiring colors to use in your presentation.
Design Seeds provides you with inspiration to build seamless color combination palettes based on high resolution photos.
What’s super cool about their catalog is that each of the colors that is featured prominently in any given image can be searched for in Design Seeds’ database, so if for example an earthy shade of orange catches your eye in a picture of autumn leaves, you can search for other photos that have that exact same shade.
You can also search the website for an exact color value using their simple color slider or search by themes such as winter, rustic or succulents.
Tips for Better Presentation Inspiration Hunting
1) As you become better at finding PowerPoint design inspiration, one of the best things you can do is to start collecting things you’ve read, seen or listened to that you found interesting or inspiring. You can do this by bookmarking websites to refer back to; pinning images to a Pinterest board; and following designers on SlideShare and Dribble. Creating a collection of images and designs will provide you with a reference source for future projects. Tools like Evernote and Google Drive can also be a good way to capture things you find online.
2) Finding awesome inspiration for your PowerPoint decks can be time consuming. Walking away from your laptop every now and then and and getting some fresh air can do wonders for recharging the mind and energy levels. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, take 5 minutes or 30 minutes to go outside and you’ll be surprised with what your mind can come up with based on the initial inspirations you have come across.
3) Remember, when it comes to finding ideas one piece of design inspiration leads to another and another. Keeping some type of mood board (see example below) will help you think about new things to search for within the various websites mentioned above.
Inspiration is the motivator that drives us from the start of a PowerPoint presentation project and stays with us until all the slides have been successfully designed.
Whether it’s going out and finding the spark that will ignite your vision, or immersing yourself in a pool of inspiration and imagination, the web is filled with good places (like the ones mentioned in this article) to start your idea hunt.
I hope that you go out and explore some of the inspirational sources we’ve talked about today when creating your next presentation.
Here’s my question for you?
Do you have a favorite place for finding inspiration for your PowerPoint presentations. If so, share your go-to source(s) in the comments below. I’m really eager to know where you guys find your inspiration for ppt slides.
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about where to find inspiration when creating PowerPoint decks? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to post this article on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or your other favorite social media spot using the sharing buttons to the left!
Hungry for more information on presentation design tips just like this? Here are some suggested articles:
5 Presentation Tools That Will Make You Stand Out
Presentation Design Trends You Need to Know About
The doors are closed, everyone’s sitting around the conference room table, notepads out, coffee in hand.
This is a moment you’ve been preparing for months now. The chance to raise capital for your business and start down the road to success …
But first you have to pitch the investors.
How do you get potential investors excited about your business idea and engage them in a conversation about funding?
If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive investor pitch deck is perhaps the key component in your fundraising toolkit.
You wouldn’t play baseball without a bat, or paint a picture without a canvas, would you?
Having a winning investor presentation deck on hand is no different.
If there was ever a time to develop a beautiful presentation it would be for your investor pitch deck. If your pitch deck design sucks, what sort of message does that send about your idea?
People won’t trust you can deliver the goods.
To make sure that investors ask for more, not just show you to the door, you need a kickass startup pitch deck that makes the case for your business. Today we’re going to talk about 13 “must have” slides that are essential to any winning investor pitch.
Let’s get started!
Pitch Deck Slide #1 – Vision and Value Proposition – Your elevator pitch in a slide
Thanks to Twitter and memes, pretty much everyone these days is familiar with the art of writing out complex ideas in a short amount of words. Of course, not everyone is very good at this, but you’ve already made it this far!
A quick one sentence overview of your business that proposes the value that you provide to your customers is an essential start to any winning investor deck presentation.
Think about this slide like you approach scrawling out a 140 character tweet, and try to sum it up in a way that your parents (or anyone else who isn’t a technophile) would understand.
One common approach that tech companies make with the value proposition is by comparing their enterprise to another well-known company. For example, you see many pitches that start with things like:
“We’re the Uber for Coffee”
“We’re like Yelp but for Movies”
Drawing these comparisons can help, but just make sure that your comparison makes sense and you’re not just name dropping a big name company like “Uber” to signify growth potential. Your business model has to truly be similar to the company you drawing a comparison to.
The other issue to keep in mind when you make this sort of value proposition is that while a major brand can simplify things, people will automatically envision your app/company/idea working in exactly the same way. So it’s important to distinguish as you go through with your presentation how you follow Netflix or Uber’s model but also explain how things might be different.
Pitch Deck Slide #2 – Introduction – Tell people who you are and why you are here
Besides your name and what you’re doing in front of a group of investors, there’s not really much that needs to be said as far as introductions are concerned. If you’re proposing a new app to make travel bookings easier and you once spent a year backpacking around the world, that might be a relevant bit of information to include in your bio.
If it isn’t relevant, cut it out!
A great pitch deck doesn’t have more; it has less. Nowhere is that more true than your intro slide.
Pitch Deck Slide #3 – Target Market Opportunity – Here is the addressable market and the prospects who will buy your product
Once you’ve introduced yourself to your potential investors, it’s time to explain the most important part of your company and the reason why it exists in the first place: your customers!
Use this slide to expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. Do they live in urban areas on the coasts? How many of them hold college degrees? What is the total market size and how do you position your company within the market? If you can find the data, investors will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size.
This is where you tell the story about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving.
If it makes sense for your business, you’ll want to divide your market into segments that you will address with different types of marketing and perhaps different types of product offerings.
Be careful with this slide, though. It’s tempting to try and define your market to be as large as possible. Instead, investors will want to see that you have a very specific and reachable market. The more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.
When you’re looking for a brilliant investor pitch presentation, make sure that it includes easy-to-edit graphics which your audience can look at and instantly understand the data being shown.
Influencer Presentation Template gives your audience a few nifty graphics to include when you talk about your market share and how you’re targeting your customer base.
Pitch Deck Slide #4 – Problems and Solutions – Define the problems people have, and solutions you offer to relieve this pain
If there was no such thing as rain, there would be no need for umbrellas. No problem, no solution waiting to solve it.
If you aren’t solving some problem in the world, you are going to have a long uphill climb with your business. But you’ve no doubt identified a real problem on the market, and it just so happens that you’ve found a solution.
Use this slide to talk about the problem you are solving and who has the problem. This section of your investor pitch deck should tell your audience how it’s raining, and you’ve got one hell of an umbrella to keep them dry. You can talk about the current solutions in the market, but don’t spend too much time on the competitive landscape on this slide—you’ll have a chance to do that on a later slide.
Doing some market research (focus groups, 1v1 interviews, online surveys, etc.) is a great way to learn about the problems your target customers face. The more you can show you understand your customers issues the better.
When talking about your problem focus on a story that people can relate to.
The more you can make investors feel a personal connection to your problem (or somebody else’s problem), the more they will get your business and what you are trying to accomplish. A good slide for this section should explain the problem and solution in 3-5 different steps, and it might be a good idea to include icons adjacent to each talking point when you’re putting it together.
You may also want to include some customer testimonials talking about their initial frustrations and the happiness your product or service has brought to them.
Pitch Deck Slide #5 – Product – Briefly describe your product and benefits it provides to potential customers
Once you have outlined the problem and solution to your potential investors, it’s time to explain to them how your product will change everything.
Ideally, this slide should have a combination of relatable stock image, a mockup (especially if you’re selling an app), and a few major talking points that sum up how your product addresses the problem discussed in the previous slide.
You’ll be tempted to move this slide closer to the beginning of your pitch deck – don’t do that! This is classic story telling at its best; dramatically build up the problem and describe how bad it is for lots of people:
Then, Volia: Now your product or service is coming to the rescue!
Most startups pay a lot of attention on their product when instead they need to be focused on their customers and the problems those customers face. By keeping your investor pitch deck focused on your customers you will tell a more impactful story.
Pitch Deck Slide #6- Business/Revenue Model – How your business strategy is going to make your investors lots of money
Once you have provided lots of exciting info on your amazing product or service, you need to go into some detail on how this is going to bring in the cash!
After all, investors do like being paid back!
For example, will your customers pay a one-time payment to use your service or are there various monthly pricing models available?
It’s important to go into some details here.
The best way to lay all of these ideas out in one slide is to include some sort of sequential layout with icons and text, so that it’s easy for investors to see how you go from A to B and make money along the way.
Pitch Deck Slide #7 – Status and Milestones – Where you are in terms of product delivery, and specify the next key milestones
If you already have sales or early adopters using your product, talk about those accomplishments on this slide
Investors want know that your business model is sound and has already worked at some stage.
I’m sure you have seen this on any Shark Tank episode when the sharks light up with excitement that the product being introduced has already brought in a significant volume of sales.
Any proof you have that validates your solution is extremely powerful.
For example, if you’ve already had five thousand users download your beta version and thirty percent of them said they would sign up for an enterprise edition down the road, this would be a great time to bring that up!
You can also use this time to talk about your accomplishments:
What big milestones have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking?
A product or company roadmap that outlines key milestones is helpful here.
A great design pitch deck should have at least one of these slides, if not two – and they don’t need to be fancy. Notice how in the layout above, you can have an image with a couple bullet points to outline your status and milestones.
Pitch Deck Slide #8 – Marketing and Sales Strategy – How you reach your customers and get them to sign up
Marketing is one of the most important points in your investor pitch deck. No matter how good your product is, if you can’t sell it then you will fail – and no VC is going to give you a penny.
That’s why you should have a slide that explains how you reach your customers and get them to sign up. A slick infographic like the one you see above is a cool way to do explain the sometimes-complex levels of a sales and marketing funnel in one slide. Each step should have a corresponding icon with a short blurb of text that describes the marketing process for your company.
Targeting and winning over customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a new company.
That’s why it’s important to demonstrate that you know how to reach your customers and what sales channels you plan on using.
If your marketing and sales process is different than your competitors, it’s important to highlight that here.
Pitch Deck Slide #9 – Team – Make investors believe in the people behind your company
Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company? What experience do you have that others don’t? Highlight the key team members, their successes at other companies, and the key expertise that they bring to the table.
Even if you don’t have a complete team yet, identify the key positions that you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to company growth. For example, if you plan on expanding into direct sales but don’t have a head of B2B sales, let investors know. Even if you don’t have a hire yet, it shows that you have a plan and the ambition to reach your lofty goals.
The best investor pitch deck always has a slide that explains why your management team – from your CTO to your Creative Director – is strong and more than capable of paying back the investment. You should include headshots of the key members of your team and a sentence or two (max) describing their roles and importance to your company.
Pitch Deck Slide #10 – Financials – Explain your company’s financial health
OK, don’t actually show your financials off here. In-depth spreadsheets are difficult to read and absolutely the worst idea to include in an investor pitch presentation. Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
You should be prepared to discuss the underlying assumptions that you’ve made to arrive at your sales goals and what your key expense drivers are.
Remember to try and be realistic. Investors see “hockey stick” projections all the time and will mentally be cutting your projections in half. If you can explain your growth based on traction you already have or compared to similar company in a related industry, that is extremely useful.
The slide you use to explain your financial situation should ideally be an infographic and give a bird’s eye view of your financials. Save the actual docs for a more secure environment and keep them in a virtual data room if investors would like to see the nitty-gritty bottom line.
Pitch Deck Slide #11 – Competition – Show who you’re competing against and explain how you’re better
Lebron has Steph Curry. Rocky had everyone from Clubber Lang to Ivan Drago. Your business has its rivals too; sometimes one, sometimes more.
Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today. So you need to describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you’re different than the competitors and alternatives that are on the market today.
What key advantages do you have over the competition? What “secret sauce” do you have that others don’t?
The key here is explaining how you are different than the other players on the market and why customers will choose you instead of one of the other players on the market. A side-by-side comparison of you versus the Stephen Curry’s and Kevin Durant’s of your world is a good way to show investors how you stack up.
Pitch Deck Slide #12 – Investment – In this slide you should define what kind of investment you are looking for and how you are planning to deploy it to meet the specified milestones
Finally, it’s time to actually ask for dough!
That’s why you’re creating this awesome investor presentation, correct? At some point your potential investors will want to know how much money you want
That’s why you need to be able to explain why you need the amount of money you are asking for and how you plan on using the money. Investors will want to know how their money is being used and how it is going to help you achieve the goals you are setting out for your business.
If you already have some investors on board, now is when you should be talking about those other investors and why they chose to invest.
This investor pitch slide is a bit tricky, but this tree infographic is actually a really neat way to detail the various uses for investor capital you have in mind. Will you hire more developers? Rent a bigger office space? Order premium bean bag chairs for all your employees? Best to leave that last one out, but you should visualize your hopes for investment in this slide.
Pitch Deck Slide #13 – Contact – Don`t forget to leave your contact details for investors to reach you quickly
Well, this one is pretty obvious. By the time you finish your investor pitch presentation, hopefully you’ve really given them something serious to think about. Include a final slide with relevant contact information and then cross your fingers and hope for the best!
There are some pretty obvious things you should include in your investor pitch deck, so hopefully you know now what works and what doesn’t. We hope that you’ve liked the sample slides we’ve included here, so the next time you have an investor pitch you come equipped with a stellar looking deck that has all the right information and looks great too.
What pitch deck do you plan on using the next time you have a round of funding come up? We’d love to know! Don’t forget, Influencer makes a perfect investor presentation pitch deck – you can get it here on Graphic River.
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation 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).
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=’https://presentationpanda.com/blog/5-presentation-design-tips/’><img src=’https://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.
Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing lame presentation stock images of people in suits jumping up in the air.
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:
Bebas Neue – just like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce you can put that $*&% on everything. We like this font so much that we decided to included in our award winning PowerPoint template Influencer
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.
For an additional list of awesome fonts that can be downloaded from Font Squirrel click here
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.
Here are the three simple steps:
- Arrange some shapes however you want
- Select all of your shapes you want to combine
- Click on the Shape Union tool
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:
5 Presentation Tools That Will Make Your Slides Stand Out
Impress Your Audience by Following These 5 Presentation Design Trends
5 Presentation Font Trends Worth Seeing
People who create AMAZING presentations do two things very well:
First, they understand the fundamentals of a what makes a good looking slide.
Second, they invest in RESOURCES for creating awesome looking presentations … and one of these resources are professionally designed PowerPoint templates.
Using a PowerPoint template for your presentation is a lot like having someone pick out a killer outfit for you:
You know you look great, and you can focus on what really matters: the content. Of course, you don’t want to show up to your presentation in cargo shorts and flip flops (unless you work at one of those hip start-ups in Silicon Valley), so we’ve picked out the best million-dollar looks for your big day.
If you’re looking to save a ton of time when you’re putting together your next presentation and instantly get off to a great start, these templates are definitely for you.
If you have no idea where to start looking, you’re in luck …
We have compiled a short list of best PowerPoint templates in 2016 for you.
Consider us your personal PowerPoint project stylist.
What’s even more awesome is that you can instantly download any of these templates from Graphic River and get the immediate CONFIDENCE boost that comes from knowing you’re starting out your presentation project right.
No more bland presentation decks!
No more worrying about whether that font looks good with that color palette! – all the fluffy superfluous design stuff has been taken care of for you.
Read on to find the perfect professional PowerPoint template for your presentation, satisfaction guaranteed.
Future – A Colorful Presentation Template Just Might Make Your Audience Smile
If 3D movies are your thing, this creative presentation template is definitely going to be your new favorite:
Future has over 265 hand-crafted custom slides with General and Advanced designs, so there’s definitely a lot to choose from. It also has a lot of quality graphics, many of them 3D, making it compatible with the most advanced presentation technology on the market. All of this is mixed in with artistic layouts, which come with drag and drop image manipulation compatibility, making it super easy for you to replace demo images with stock images of your own.
It’s also got an impressive color palette of 5-7 colors per slide (like the one seen below):
It’s a bold look, but it’s balanced by clean looking parallax scrolling process slides and seamless animations.
If you’re really into rainbows, this is the amazing PowerPoint template you’ve been not-so-secretly dreaming about. Assuming you dream about PowerPoint templates in your sleep – we thought we were the only ones there for a moment!
The slides are divided into 17 sections, and corresponding subsections, so it really can meet whatever your presentation needs are.
One of our favorites sections is the Business Team Profile, which includes masonry grid images of your team and important information about them, and over a dozen other team bio slides. Our other favorite slide pack in this amazing PowerPoint presentation template is the vector map infographic, which has over 25 slides with map vectors of Europe, Australia, the USA, and Asia;
all the big markets are covered here!
Download the “Future” PowerPoint template here
Influencer – The PowerPoint Template That Will Have Your Audience Saying “YES!” Every Single Time
If you couldn’t tell, we love to geek out about professional PowerPoint presentation templates.
In fact, we love them so much we decided to create our own! Just released, the formidable Influencer is an awesome template with over 200 unique slides and creative layouts.
We also know how important it is to be able to choose images and graphics that are perfect for your project:
That’s why we included a ton of high quality images that reflect the professionalism and dynamic content your audience expects of you. The Influencer also has creative animations, transitions, and innovative parallax scrolling slides that turn up the coolness factor a notch or three.
Here’s an example of some parrallax goodness in action …
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but we’ve added a really cool business infographic section featuring tons of interesting graphs with alternating color panels and lots of customizable vectors that will make any data-driven presenter salivate.
Another one of our favorite features is the clickable “Choose Your Own Adventure” table of contents. We love this because you can easily jump to any of the 12 sections in the template by clicking on any of the tiles in the table of contents slide. This saves you the pain of creating subsection slides and since you can pick and choose which sections to include in your table of contents, it will fit your presentation like a glove.
What can we say, we really liked those Choose Your Own Adventure books (like all kids who grew up in the 80s).
“But that’s not all!” we yell in a cheesy late-night infomercial voice:
As you know, minimalist presentation icons are the latest trend; so we included over 500 of them with The Influencer. We went with a professional Dark and Light theme, versatile Bebas Neue font, and best of all, everything is 100% editable directly in PowerPoint;
No Photoshop needed!
We wanted to make it as easy as possible to customize your presentation, without having to rely on other programs to make your presentation.
Download the “Influencer” PowerPoint template here
Eureka – A Modern Slide Deck That Provides That “Agency” Look and Feel
Warning! This template may make you want to grow a super awesome grizzly beard:
Remember those people we talked about earlier who show up to their presentation in cargo shorts and flip flops? On the other side of things are the presentation hipsters, who are probably wearing a flannel shirt, sporting an impeccably groomed beard, and totally loving this modern presentation template. It’s artsy, creative, and very minimalist — perfect for the everyday hipster-professional who bikes to work and uses terms like “synergy” in their everyday conversation (if that’s you, we’re secretly jealous).
Eureka has got an awesome contemporary design, with cool photo blends, creative brush stroke image effects, which may not be best suited for a more “formal” corporate presentation …
… but is a perfect fit for the artsy creative vibe.
It also boasts an incredible 95 color themes that are all completely synergistic (there’s that word again) for maximum awesomeness.
Pretty much any presentation topic you decide to cover has a matching complementary set of vector icons available in this presentation template, because there are a whopping 3,000 of them at your disposal.
Almost no stone has been left unturned with this template – you can add slides as various as dynamic pricing tables, testimonials featuring moving customer blurbs, and a bundle of extra artsy looking subsection divider slides with edgy looking photo frames and image placeholders.
If you are a data-hungry, this presentation template gives you 12 awesome looking charts, bar graphs, and other number-crunching slides that tell the story of the numbers, but look cool doing it.
The only downside to this one is that you can’t edit the photos if you don’t have Photoshop;
This means that unfortunately, you can’t edit them in PowerPoint.
But still, this is a clean and beautiful presentation template that you’ll be proud to show off in front of a crowd.
Download the “Eureka” PowerPoint template here
The Seven – A Clean Presentation Design That’s Bringing Calibri’s “Sexy Back”
The best part of The Seven PowerPoint template is its clever, one-of-a-kind animations:
For real, we were impressed. And we don’t get impressed easily!
The animations really make this slide template stand out from the others. Of course, that’s assuming you want to use lots of animations in your presentation. One important thing to point out:
As we discussed a couple weeks back in our PowerPoint vs. Prezi post, you do need to be careful about animation overboard:
It can be distracting with the overuse or misuse of animations (which is more common in with Prezi presentations).
Then comes the font situation …
The Seven template comes with with one font:
Calibri which is already included with PowerPoint, so if you’re annoyed by having to install custom fonts that will be a big plus.
If the thought of using only Calibri makes your say “meh” and you love the flexibility of custom fonts, you might find this one boring.
On the flipside, a really interesting aspect of this template is the Modern City subsection, which features pre-set slides with silhouettes of the London, New York, Rome, and Paris skylines, and relevant vectors and content tidbits below them. If your presentation focuses specifically on markets in one or more of these major cities, or any other city for that matter, this particular section could be really useful for you when you talk about your company’s operations and impact in a specific area.
The other important note is that this PowerPoint template only comes in a 16×9 format.
For those 4×3 fanatics out there, you’ll be happy with any of the others on the list, but not this one. We assume the designer figured that most people like the 16×9 format, or he had an irrational hatred of the 4×3. Either way, if you’re particular about your 4×3 presentation, keep reading.
If you are the type of person who loves handing out printouts of your presentation in advance for your audience to follow along, you will definitely appreciate that The 7 comes A4 print-ready, which makes it way less of a hassle to create presentation booklets.
Download “The Seven” PowerPoint template here
Best – A Simple PowerPoint Template That Gets The Job Done
Introducing the Best PowerPoint template …
Will somebody please cue the original Karate Kid movie theme song already:
“You’re the best around, nothing’s gonna ever keep you down”; we assume that the designer of the presentation came up with the name “Best” while watching that movie. That, and they’re probably really cocky. Maybe it’s time to “sweep the leg Johnny!”
OK no more teasing on the name …
To be fair, it does have 300 unique slides and 50 color variations. It also has a light and dark version with lots of graphics that are super easy to edit. The designer was pretty on point with the name (although we’re still pretty biased towards The Influencer – how could we ever say any other presentation was the best)?
There are 8 slide subsections, but by far the two deepest ones in the group are Mockups and Charts/Diagrams.
For Mockups, the biggest mark in its favor is for mobile app developers – it has an incredible 56 mobile device slides! That’s pretty unheard of, which makes this an awesome PowerPoint template for anyone in the mobile app game. This probably explains why it’s named “the best”, because there is no doubt a lot of people who could use a mobile-friendly presentation template.
The Charts and Diagrams are divided into 7 subsections – already off to an incredible start. The subsections focus on a variety of data or processes; for example, the Tree diagrams don’t focus on a linear process, rather, they emphasize a variety of different ideas or actionable concepts that spring up from one source. The Process diagrams are really useful if you are providing a linear solution to any type of problem, as they include a left-to-right beginning, middle, and end sequence of slides in a strict and clean order.
Finally, if you’re a graphic design geek like we are, this PowerPoint presentation template might capture your heart because of the svelte image overlays that give a distinctly Instagram-esque appeal to your slides.
Download the “Best” PowerPoint template here
Although we are pretty proud of our own template, The Influencer, we can’t just toot our own horn all the time. We know we’re in good company!
And we understand that one template can’t meet the needs of EVERY SINGLE customer. Having a variety of creative, awesome PowerPoint templates is a must, which is why we put together this list of 5 awesome templates (including ours, of course) that look great in 2016.
Any of the templates listed would be a great choice for your presentation, though some of them do have their own strengths and weaknesses, depending on your needs. We’ve included these templates because we want you to understand that you have a ton of options when you’re looking for the right presentation tool for you, and we wouldn’t be who we claim to be if we didn’t love sharing other awesome presentation resources.
You can pick the one you love and start your presentation out with the best format, and then get to focus on what matters most: what you have to say.
Speaking of what you have to say, which awesome PowerPoint template is your favorite? Do you have a go-to that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Hungry for more info on presentation templates? Here are some suggested articles worth reading:
10 Professional PowerPoint Templates That Will Cut Your Time in Half
Introducing Influencer … Panda’s Premier Presentation Template!
Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
No, you’re not about to step into a rap battle with Eminem. You’re about to deliver the presentation of a lifetime, and if you’re gonna nail it, you better be showing up with more than just your PowerPoint or Prezi presentation and a laptop. Your presentation toolbox should contain an arsenal of deadly weapons that help you give the delivery of a lifetime.
Oh ya! … It’s time to start packing for your presentations like a ninja!
To make sure that you ace your next big spiel — whether it’s in front of the board of directors, a new angel investor, or potential customers — we want to share with you 20 killer presentation survival tips that will make all the difference.
Presentation Tool #1. Presentation Remote
Don’t end up tied to your computer or podium! You want to be fluid when you give a presentation and free to walk around; think of how iconic Steve Jobs looked, being able to walk around stage during his talks. Remember that motion creates emotion (just don’t get too motion-crazy or you might make someone in your audience seasick). That’s why you need to always have a wireless Bluetooth presentation remote.
Presentation remotes come in different forms:
* Traditional Bluetooth remote. We carry the Logitech Professional Presenter R800 with Green Laser Pointer for presentations, but that’s just us.
* Smartphone Remote – There are plenty of apps you can download to control your PowerPoint presentation from your phone — Google makes one especially for Android phones. If you have a Windows phone you can control your PowerPoint straight from your phone.
Presentation Tool #2. Portable Speakers
Many conference rooms have speakers already set up and ready to go, since there may be times that you need to play an important video clip during your presentation or maybe need to speak to a larger audience. If your luck is rotten and the audio equipment in the room is not working correctly, that could spell disaster. So take matters into your own hands and bring along a portable Bluetooth speaker, just in case! We recommend the Beats Pill due to its great design, rich sound, and almost-fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand portability.
Presentation Tool #3. Thumb drive, External Hard Drive, or The Cloud
It’s easy to fall for the temptation of emailing yourself your presentation or keeping it stored on your laptop. Not to make you paranoid, but what happens if your email is hacked, or your laptop crashes? You always want to have a backup of your important presentation whether it’s on a physical thumb drive, an external hard drive, or in the cloud with Dropbox or Google Drive.
Presentation Tool #4. Notepad and Pen
It would look pretty unprofessional of you to not be involved in a conference — whether as a speaker or as a presenter. Be prepared to be asked lots of questions when you give your presentation and write them down, otherwise you will surely forget (and look sort of like a doofus). There is also a good chance your audience will ask for certain follow up items so you need to remember what those follow up items are. An essential element in any presenters toolbox is a good notebook; we recommend splurging on a Moleskine, because they hold up well over a long period of time and give a professional, polished vibe to your presentation.
Presentation Tool #5. Diet Coke (Or Whatever Else Gets You Energized)
OK, so we can’t claim credit for this tip. This is actually a presentation tip from Tim Ferriss. He gets a caffeine buzz going by taking one 16-oz. Diet Coke 45 minutes prior to speaking and another about 20 minutes prior to speaking. Yes, Diet Coke will give you hairy palms and insomnia, but the caffeine dosage has worked well for him when taking the stage, as anyone who has seen him talk will attest.
If you get jittery when you drink coffee or Diet Coke, this might be one to avoid, or you may just want to limit Ferriss’s Diet Coke technique to only one, right before the presentation. Or drink some orange juice or a chocolate milkshake or whatever it is that gives you a good buzz.
Presentation Tool #6. Water
We hate to sound like your mom, but you really should drink water, all the time, because hydration is good for the body. It’s an essential public speaking tool, because when you’re up speaking you need water from time to time to keep your mouth from getting dry. Not to mention, there’s a chance that all that adrenalin coursing through you will get you a bit sweaty.
Presentation Tool #7. Mints
We’re getting ahead of ourselves a little bit, since technically this is more of a post presentation tip. But anyways! When you’re answering questions after you talk you want to make sure you are feeling and smelling fresh. Obviously you should know better than chewing gum, since that looks super unprofessional and you don’t want to look like a cow chewing its cud after a meal. Altoids are yummy and come in handy little carrying packs. Another great alternative are Ricola cough drops, which taste great and also soothe your throat if you’ve really been talking your jaw off.
Presentation Tool #8. Business Cards
You’d think this wouldn’t need to be on a list of business presentation gadgets, but we’ve made this mistake ourselves more than once. After you’ve just nailed your presentation, all your new fans are going to want to get in touch with you. How are people supposed to get in contact after you just gave a great presentation? Make sure to bring plenty of cards to pass out afterwards. If you happen to be looking for a sleek and stylish business card click here.
Presentation Tool #9. Backpack or Laptop Briefcase
You want to make sure that all the awesome presentation tools and accessories that we are talking about in this article are properly cocooned from any potential damage, and also because you want to look as professional as possible when you enter the conference room to deliver your presentation. Invest in a quality bag to carry all of your stuff, and consider something that is waterproof in case it rains.
Presentation Tool #10. Handouts for Your Audience
A great way to really make an impact with whoever you’re speaking to is to give them something to take with them when the presentation is finished. Think about what you want to give your audience during the presentation, and what you want to leave behind for you audience to keep.
Do you want to leave behind a printed copy of the presentation? Maybe a brochure of your company? Think about what you can leave behind besides your business card.
Of course you can also email them something as a follow up but sometimes a physical copy can be more memorable than an attachment in an email.
Presentation Tool #11. Laptop Display Adapters
You always want to make sure that your laptop is going to be compatible with the display equipment (most often this would be a flat screen TV these days).
If you have a newer laptop there is a good chance that it no longer has the classic VGA port that we are all accustomed to. Most of these VGA ports have been replaced by HDMI ports, rendering them mostly obsolete.
Except for the conference room you’re presenting in, which for some reason is still set up to run off of VGA adapters. Just your luck! Be prepared for the worst and keep an HDMI to VGA adapters to solve this issue.
Presentation Tool #12. Tablet
Sometimes having a tablet such as an iPad Mini is all you need to get your message across. It can come in handy if you want to present and then take notes using your laptop. This can be useful if you are getting lots of questions and follow up items and you prefer to type rather than write. An iPad mini can also come in handy if you’re presenting 1 on 1 to somebody at your local coffee shop and don’t want your larger laptop in the way looking ostentatious.
Presentation Tool #13. Smartphone
Pretty much everyone these days has a smartphone, and as we’ve already pointed out, you can use yours to download a remote app. But there are other reasons why you should carry your smartphone with you.
* You can use your phone to set a timer if you’re under a strict time limit
* You can use your phone to poll your audience (more on that next)
* You can use your phone as a remote
* You can throw your phone at hecklers (just kidding, don’t do that)
Presentation Tool #14. Live Audience Polling Software
The best presentations are the ones that are the most engaging. If you are delivering a presentation to a decent-sized audience you may want to make the presentation more interactive by polling your audience live.
One way to do this is by using a audience polling technology software like PollEverywhere. The way the app works is by typing in a question, selecting the kind of poll you want to make, and then sharing it with your audience in real time. They can answer the poll using their mobile phones, or Twitter. What’s really neat about this type of PowerPoint polling software is it brings about the possibility of integrating your presentation into the rest of the world, not confining it to the conference room.
Presentation Tool #15. Computer Mouse
If you are making your presentation from a laptop, it helps to have a mouse with you. A mouse will make you faster and more efficient than the trackpad built into the laptop. Every serious video gamer reading this right now is nodding in agreement with us.
Presentation Tool #16. Watch
While many people don’t carry a watch anymore due to smartphones replacing them, they can still be of use when it comes to presentations. This can especially be true if you’re on stage and you want to be able to quickly glance at the time without fumbling around with your phone in front of everyone.
Presentation Tool #17. Microphone
You literally must be heard if you are going to have an effective presentation. If you’re speaking in front of a large group of people you will probably need a microphone. Most of the time a mic will be provided for you but having a backup of your own can’t hurt.
Presentation Tool #18. Batteries
Just in case you forget to fully charge your phone or laptop, you’ll also want an extra set or two of batteries for every device you use. Take inventory and have plenty of extras on hand. If your client or conference room staff agrees to supply these devices, ask if they also supply fresh batteries.
Presentation Tool #19. Extension Cord and Power Adapter
One extension cord is probably enough if you also have a power strip handy. The cord’s length is up to you, but the longer the better. Never know how far away your device(s) will be from an outlet. Just be prepared to secure it and stow the coiled up excess in a safe spot, perhaps under your table or on a podium shelf. Also carry a plug adaptor if you’re delivering your talk in an older building, since many of them still have two-prong outlets. Also, if you’re going to a different part of the world for a presentation, don’t forget to bring an adaptor with you!
Presentation Tool #20. Duct Tape
Duct tape is useful for more than MacGyver episodes. You can purchase duct tape in travel-size rolls. It’s worth having around to tape down and secure extension cords and other objects that could potentially be tripped on while you’re speaking.
Don’t forget your own small space either. Tripping on a cord in the middle of a presentation is embarrassing and could displace equipment or even bring the presentation to a halt while you replug, reboot, and pretend that didn’t just happen in front of people you’re supposed to be impressing.
Presentation Bonus Tool: Video Camera
But wait! There’s more! If you have a spectacular presentation (that is not subject to NDAs or other confidentiality agreements) then why not share it with the rest of the world? Set up your favorite video camera, record the whole thing, and then broadcast it on YouTube like you’re the next big TED talks darling.
Reviewing presentation on video can also turn you into a better presenter. You may hate seeing yourself on video but it will make you aware of what your doing right and what you can improve on.
Preparing, sustaining, and ending a presentation with few to no glitches require a lot of foresight. Some of these tools will serve you well while others just may not be part of your personal style.
Choose what works best for you and have fun choosing your alternatives. And even if you don’t foresee needing to use any of these tools, if you’re going to be at a conference where others are also speaking, consider bringing a few extras for others. Imagine a scenario where another important speaker has forgotten something crucial like and HDMI cable, and then you step forward with yours. What a great way to make an instant, positive connection with someone else!
Alright, we’re out — when it’s your turn to step up, don’t forget these presentation tools at home. And going back to our Eminem reference don’t forget to lose yourself, because this might be the only shot you get ;)
Video Camera – VFS Digital Design – Ryan Honey