by Adam Noar
There’s nothing smoother than a sleek slideshow subsection slide to slake your spectators’ sweet-tooth for seductively simple symposia presentations.
Or, in plain English, today we are going to talk about why PowerPoint subsection slides (i.e., divider slide, transition slide … whatever you want to call them) are important for a well-rounded and compelling presentation. And then because we’re awesome, we’re going to give you a bunch of free subsection slides to use the next time you have a presentation to deliver. Those slides are perfectly compatible with the best PowerPoint template ever (the super cool Influencer template that we released a few weeks ago), so if you’ve already downloaded the Influencer you shouldn’t hesitate to try these subsection slides out, too!
When it comes to presentations you need to keep things organized, because if your ideas aren’t arranged appropriately you’re going to confuse a lot of people.
Put another away …
When your slides are organized you audience can follow along better; when they simply go on, one after the other, you’re just going to leave a lot of people scratching their heads.
One way to keep things organized is by creating a section break slide (like the one seen below); this is a great way to divvy up presentations into manageable chunks — kind of like how before you feed a toddler it’s a good idea to cut their carrots into smaller pieces, otherwise there might be a huge mess for you to clean up (if you’ve ever given a presentation before, you’ve probably felt like you were standing in front of a bunch of toddlers anyways).
In this article we are going to provide you with five tips on how to create subsection break slides that will look AWESOME in your next presentation. Also, as a special gift, you can download all the slides in this article for free …
Just do us one favor and share this article with your friends!
PowerPoint Subsection Slide Tip #1 – Keep Your Text to a Minimum
If you have been following Presentation Panda for a while now you must have heard us talk a million times about keeping text to a minimum during your presentation.
Whether it’s for a list of your talking points, display text for an image slide, or a caption for a photo or video, the rule never changes. It applies to section break slides, too.
Consider what a divider slide’s purpose is: to appear for a second in between major topics or themes, and momentarily wipe the screen clean of visual interruptions.
Organizing your slide into sections is important for a few reasons. Each time you transition from one section to the next it is important that you create a naturally occurring break in the text to give your audience a chance to pause and reflect on what they’ve just learned from you in the previous subsection, plus ask questions as needed about what you just covered. Subsection slides are important because they give you an organic opportunity to give a brief overview, if necessary, about the upcoming slides and how the fit into the greater arc of your PowerPoint presentation.
When you have these breaks in your presentation between sections it is vital to keep the discussion open and receptive to your audience. Minimizing text provides a stimulus for questions to be asked and new ideas to marinate in your viewers’ heads. It also makes for a neater and cleaner aesthetic, which lends a professional edge to your presentation.
PowerPoint Subsection Slide Tip #2 – Use Icons for Emphasis
Last week we talked about where you can find great icons for your presentations and about why certain styles are better than others. Icons serve the vital function of supporting or in some cases expounding your main ideas without resorting to the odious task of summoning words to describe them. They are a handy way of illustrating your talking points with clever illustrations, or giving literal support to the old expression that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Taking advantage of an icon’s visual nature also helps you to cut down on superfluous words and avoid unnecessary verbal clutter!
Take a look at this subsection slide and you will notice that there’s a nice, simple icon that appears in the heart of the image. The slide is titled “Our Technology.” Now, technology can mean a lot of different things depending on the context. Technology in the Paleolithic meant having a piece of flint to start fires with. Technology 15 years ago meant having a cool-looking flip phone with a retractable antenna instead of one of those bulky house phones. We really like how for this particular slide, technology is represented as a simple cog – it’s fitting for our modern age, when there are so many moving parts that make everything from accounting software to Android games work so well. In case you’re curious, we got that icon by downloading it for free as part of the exceptionally generous Lynny icon set, with over four hundred unique icons. For the most part, it’s easy to find icons like our humble yet stylish cog without having to pay lots of money to graphic designers. So there’s really no excuse for not finding cool looking icons to add an extra bit of panache and emphasis to your design.
For more resources on where to find quality icons without having to pay for them, click here.
PowerPoint Subsection Slide Tip #3 – Add Clever Animations for Extra Sleekness
While there is nothing wrong with keeping your PowerPoint slides simple and clean, adding an animation can truly make your presentation stand out.
Animations DONE RIGHT can really make your presentation pop; there’s something extra impressive about a slick sequence of movement as your next slide comes out onto the screen.
Take a look at the sample animation in the GIF above. First the text pops onto the screen (along with a cool paper plane icon, one of our favorites in the Lynny collection), followed by a quickly expanding field of blue. The blue radiates outwards like a wave in a pond, suggesting impactful, actionable content to follow. Finally, a layer of the blue peels upwards like a screen being pulled up over a window, and while the color remains, it has become a transparent sheet over a background stock image of a generic “person doing something with their hands” scene.
The whole PowerPoint animation action happens in about two seconds – just long enough to catch the eye, not too long to aggravate your audience. And when you implement animations correctly for your divider slides, you won’t be aggravating them, you’ll be getting them as excited as they can possibly be for a PowerPoint slide. In other words, as excited as Cookie Monster in front of a plate of cookies.
If you want to see some more examples of animations that look good in a powerful PowerPoint presentation click here.
PowerPoint Subsection Slide Tip #4 – Make Your Subsection Slides Consistent in Style
Consistency is another subject we talk about frequently here at Presentation Panda. Nothing is more embarrassing than delivering your presentation and noticing that, whoops, the font was off in your divider slide. Or, hey, accidentally changed the color saturation of the background in your table of contents but kept it the same everywhere else.
A smart presentation design tip is to double check that every slide you create, including subsection slides, matches up over the course of the whole presentation. Otherwise you are just going to end up with egg on your face (hopefully not in a literal sense, although we’ve heard that crowds can get pretty cutthroat at certain VC pitch conferences).
Here is a checklist of things to keep consistent with your section break slides, along with the rest of your entire presentation:
Icons – The icons you use should all look similar. To make things easier you can download some awesome presentation icons sets found here. Ideally, all the icons you will ever need will come from the same set. If not, at least make sure that your icons are all more or less the same style. Don’t make the tragic mistake of putting a hand-drawn icon on your subsection slide while the rest of your presentation uses modern minimalist icons that couldn’t look any different if they tried.
Colors – Make sure the color of the section break slides is consistent throughout; depending on the topic your presentation might warrant a selection of complimentary colors, but this is different from varying your color selection willy-nilly just because you can.
Have you noticed how all the subsection slides in this article have a similar look and feel?
PowerPoint Subsection Slide Tip #5 – Create a Clickable Table of Contents That Links to Your Subsection Break Slides
One surefire way to make your presentation extra bombtastic is by creating a clickable table of contents slide which will allow you to jump around to your section break slides seamlessly. Instead of having to use a bunch of different subsection slides you can rely on the table of contents to serve as a subsection slide each time you transition from one part of your presentation to the next. This “Prezi-like” clickable Table of Contents slide can be particularly handy when:
* You have a lengthy presentation and want the flexibility of presenting various sections in a non-linear fashion.
* An audience member asks you to “go back” to a particular section of your presentation, and you want to find it quickly.
* You want to add some playfulness to your presentation.
* You don’t feel like making multiple subsection slides when one will do just fine.
Creating this clickable table of contents in PowerPoint is not overly difficult. Watch the short video above for step by step instructions on how to do it. It only takes a couple of extra steps for you to create a quick hyperlink from the end of one presentation section back to the table of contents, so you do not have to worry about a lot of extra work if you decide to try using this handy little trick for your next PowerPoint presentation.
Now that you’ve picked up some useful design concepts the next time you want to split your presentation into subsections, why not try out what you’ve learned and put a couple of divider slides in there? Your presentations will be more straightforward, better organized, and better looking because of them.
Don’t forget that we’ve made those sample slides available for you to download and use on your next presentation – please take full advantage of them! And if you have a friend that could benefit from using subsection slides in their next presentation, don’t hesitate to share this article with them. Go ahead and email them the link to this post, or share it with them on social media.
If you want to skip the process of creating all of this stuff and just want the finished product without the sweat, we highly recommend downloading the our premier Influencer PowerPoint template that comes with all of the awesomeness premade for you, so you don’t have to spend hours making neat slides up – we already did it for you! This beautiful template features over 200+ slides that cover every topic imaginable, not to mention they come with lots of inspiration for you if you decide to make your own presentation set. For more info on the Influencer template click here.
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