1. Consider Free Stock Art and Template Options
The biggest problem with creating Microsoft PowerPoint slide decks is that it is common for people to use the same default themes and styles, which means a lot of presentations look nearly identical in a sort of bland and generic way.
"Consider using free or affordable stock photography to freshen up your presentation, said Joanna Liu, Senior Presentation Consultant for Stinson Design, an agency that specializes in creating professional presentations. Liu said a brief web search on royalty-free photography websites can yield great images that can help you create more impactful presentations.
"You don't have to pay a lot of money for a good stock photo, but it can make a great impact and is preferable over commonly-used images that have become cliché," said Liu.
2. Get Inspiration From Attractive Slideshows
Clear, impactful, and attractive slideshows tend to leave a lasting impact so emulating a proven design that works beats having to start from scratch.
"You can be inspired by colors, layouts, and transitions used on other slideshows to successfully develop your own deck," Liu pointed out.
3. Play With Different Fonts
"Fonts are one way to add personality to a slideshow," Liu said. "You can download free fonts, and play with their color, formatting, size, and spacing for the desired impact."
Designers can do a lot with one font and suggest that you limit the number of fonts used in a slideshow to no more than two. "Just make sure that, if you use non-system fonts, meaning fonts that aren't native to your PC, [make sure you] save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF," said Kristy Lam, a marketing strategist for Stinson Design.
Saving as a PDF file ensures that the printed slides can be viewed as intended even on PCs and devices that may not have the fonts you used.
4. Keep Things Simple
"It doesn't need to be super complicated," said Liu. "Use the same layout but add different photos, or add some colors or icons to create a variance."
It is also important not to fill up slides with too much information. The average deck is between 20 to 25 slides, but in some instances, that's restrictive. The key is creating a balance, according to Liu.
"Stick to one point or one key message per slide," said Liu, "but if you need to break up text over multiple slides, then go ahead and do it, even if it takes you over 25 slides."
5. Use Slides as Guides
Slides should serve as guides for presenters to tell their story and add color to their presentation. "The audience will likely be reading the slides, as well as taking down notes, so there's no need to read the slides to them point by point. Add value by elaborating on the slides," she added. "You're telling a story, the slides are your guide."
6. Improve Your Skills With Online Courses
Online course portal Udemy offers some notable PowerPoint courses worth looking at. There's Beginner to Pro in PowerPoint: Complete PowerPoint Training, which promises techniques to help build slides two to three times faster, and will help users fast-track 80 percent of everything they can do in PowerPoint.
Advanced PowerPoint users can take their expertise to the next level with the PowerPoint 2016 2019 - Master PowerPoint presentation and Advanced PowerPoint Training, which are intermediate-to-expert-level training courses.
Have any questions you need answered about Microsoft PowerPoint presentations? Join the [email protected] business community on LinkedIn, and you can ask vendors, other professionals like yourself, and PhonespySoftware24's editors.
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