by Adam Noar
Similar to websites, presentation design trends change over time and are influenced by a number of different factors.
The following is a list seven trends I expect to see in the year ahead and what you can look forward to in the presentation design world.
Presentation Design Trend #1: Flat Design
Without doubt, Apple (creators of the iPhone) have greatly influenced the presentation design community.
With the release of iOS7 (Apple’s latest software update) came the design trend most commonly known as “flat design.”
In simple terms, flat design is a revolt against “visual trickery” and aims to SIMPLIFY images as much as possible (as seen in the example below).
When Apple released iOS7, they simply removed all unnecessary pixels for a minimalistic display.
Apple has been setting design trends for quite some time, and often when Apple “changes things up” the rest of the world seems to follow. Thousands of companies have changed their design messaging to this new “flat” designed theme. Microsoft’s Windows 8 design is a perfect example of a company that followed suit with this trend.
This presentation design trend isn’t going away anytime soon.
The nice thing about this trend is that creating flat design images for your presentations is quite simple. In other words, you don’t have to be a hardcore graphic designer to create flat design images.
If you are looking for a place to quickly find “flat” images or icons for your presentations, one website that I recommend using is The Noun Project. Once you download their images you can scale them to any size. Their images are free (as long as you give them attribution).
Of course, you can also create your own flat design images from scratch too.
Presentation Design Trend #2: No Boring Fonts
Incorporating captivating fonts is one of easiest ways to bring your presentations up-to-date.
As a presentation font collector myself, it’s great to see more presentations experimenting with different types of fonts.
When choosing fonts for your presentations they need to look like they stand on their own.
If you have no idea which fonts to use for your presentation here are a few good fonts to get you started.
Presentation Design Trend #3: Videos To Explain Things
Why try to explain a complex idea using images on a slide when you can simply show a video of it?
Videos are becoming easier to produce, and easier to insert into your presentations. Videos are an effective way to communicate something technical or new when images and screen shots just don’t cut it.
Also, adding a video or two will break up your slides in a smooth and effective way that will keep your audience more focused and engaged with the overall content.
So, once you get to a more complicated section of your presentation, quickly introduce a video clip that is both distinct and memorable. Doing this will make it easy for your audience to recall the information afterward.
Remember, emotions (easily generated from videos) are more memorable than words and stats.
Presentation Design Trend #4: Non-Linear Presentations
However, most people don’t realize there are ways to make PowerPoint look like Prezi.
PowerPoint presentations do not need to go from left to right. They can go from top to bottom (in a scrolling fashion), and they even can jump around like Prezi (if you set them up the right way).
Presentation Design Trend #5: Simple Color Schemes
We can’t have an article on presentation design trends without talking about color.
Most of us know now that too many colors can be overwhelming and distracting. In 2014, we will see a lot more presentations using very simple color schemes.
And by simple, I’m talking about using one or two colors.
In fact, I’ve seen some great presentations recently that forgo color all together. Black and white are popular color schemes now, and adding just a hint of another color, such as red, adds contrast, drama, and impact.
When done right this can really grab attention in a powerful way.
Presentation Design Trend #6: Simplified Content
In 2014 we will continue to see the trend of simpler content dominate presentations.
Simplified content means short bursts of content (i.e., Twitter style).
Over the years, human attention spans have become shorter and shorter. So, when it comes to presentations people should be able to understand the point of each slide in 3 seconds or less.
Short simplified content makes it easier and faster for audiences to scan your presentation slides.
So, when you find yourself with long strands of text on your slides, focus on the main keywords instead of everything that you want to say about a point.
Note: It’s okay to cover details verbally that are not in text on your slide. In fact, I think almost all professional presentation designers would encourage this presentation method.
Remember, if you’re just reading the slides to your audience you will be boring.
Presentation Design Trend #7: Creative Images
While it is simple to just throw any old photo into your presentation, it takes a little more time and effort to manipulate the image into something unique and memorable.
In 2014, we can expect to see more people incorporating “modified” images that have things such as color overlays, blurred images, or even images that are reminiscent of Instagram images with filters (as seen in the example below)
Taking the extra time to enhance your presentation images to match your specific presentation theme can make a big difference with the overall look of your slides.
Presentation design is impacted by the design world in many different ways.
It’s important to make sure that your presentation designs are up-to-date with the times in order to show that your business is “with it.”
Here’s my question for you.
After reading this article, do you think you will try incorporating some of these presentation design trends into your upcoming presentations? Let me know what you think below and please try to be specific as possible.
Also, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation design tips? If so, email them the link to this post now.
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