Why Simple Designs Make the Best Slides for Presentations

What are the worst mistakes you can make in a presentation? For starters, you can add too much text, choose low-quality stock images,  use inconsistent fonts and read directly from your slides.

But, if you want to ace a presentation, that’s a different story.  

We know its tempting to load your slides up with tons of graphics and text. But, the best presentations are the simplest ones. Here are some ways you can keep your slides simple for an effective presentation:

Choose a Theme

Do not use a default PowerPoint theme! (Trust me) They may have worked well when Windows 98 came out, and although many of them are simple, they are just not as sleek as your A+ presentation demands. Instead, opt for resources that make designing a presentation easy, even if you aren’t a designer. There are many programs out there that have pre-built and semi-custom templates, like Beautiful AI. A custom, or semi-custom, design makes a larger impact and will prove that you put time and thought into every aspect of your presentation. Choose visuals that are clean, simple, and easy to read. Solid colors are always better over busy designs. Whatever style you decided to use, keep it consistent. It will make your presentation visually more appealing and easier to follow.

Figure Out Your Flow

A simple design hack for making a presentation is figuring out the flow of your slides. Make sure your presentation has a logical progression and don’t discuss multiple topics on one slide. Having your ideas organized and well thought out will make it easier for you to stay on track and easier for your audience to follow along and stay engaged.

Use Quality Visuals

Visuals can make a boring presentation more engaging. Make charts and infographics stand out and easy to read by using bright colors and simple fonts. Using high quality and relevant photographs will bring some life to your slides. Avoid things like clip art, low resolution or outdated photos. There is a reason for the saying, “a picture paints a thousand words.” You might think that adding great photographs is out of your budget. But, there are some sites where that have beautiful, high-quality images that you can use for free:

Look to Typical Typography

Typography, or font, is one area where you want to keep it pretty standard in designing a sleek and effective presentation. In most cases, sticking to a classic font like Helvetica or Arial, that is easy to read is your best bet. Decorative fonts can be used on title slides when they are large enough to read clearly, but use them sparingly. When designing your presentation, it’s also best to consider the appropriate size and color for your font. It needs to be large enough for the people in the back of the room to read, but not so big that it takes up your entire slide. Choose a color that contrasts well with your background color and when choosing the colors take into consideration whether the lights in the room will be off or on as it will make a difference in how well your font color shows up.

Less is More

When it comes to the content on your slides, less is almost always more. Don’t turn your presentation into a “death by PowerPoint” by cluttering your slides with too much information. The more words you have on your slides, the more tempted you will be to read them right off the slide. You definitely don’t want to give the impression that your slides are hand-holding you through your presentation! Too much information can also overwhelm your audience and cause them to tune out. Your audience can’t read your slides and listen to you at the same time, and chances are, they’re going to resort to reading the slides. So, keep it simple and to increase audience engagement keep the text short. Limit text to important points that you can expound upon verbally. The most effective presentations complement you as the presenter, not the other way around.

Published in partnership with Beautiful.ai

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