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How to create a powerful presentation that seals the deal

August 28, 2018

Powerpoint Presentations seldom get the attention they deserve. All too often they are done on the cheap, left to the last minute then thrown together in a screaming hurry – and it shows!

This is seriously bad for business and for one’s personal career. Whether it’s a presentation to bid for a tender, get staff motivated about a new initiative, launch a fresh product or introduce stakeholders to your brand, a poor presentation is no laughing matter. It means lost sales, disengaged employees, missed opportunities and reputational damage. It’s also a huge waste of resources and a serious blow to morale – all the effort that has previously gone into nurturing relationships, building credibility, developing new ideas and rising to challenges can be ruined in a few minutes of Death by Powerpoint.

For all the reasons the preparation of powerpoint presentations calls for a substantial investment of time and resources. The end result may not come cheap – but it costs considerably less than one that’s excruciatingly dull or embarrassingly bad! We regularly create presentations for clients and have acquired considerable experience in this area. In this post we share some valuable tips that should ensure you avoid the most common pitfalls.

Don’t use a built-in theme

Use built-in themes is the easy way to go. But nearly all of the default themes are as dull as ditch water. Everyone in the audience is familiar with them and you are immediately flagging up the fact you put in the minimum time and effort. So they are absolutely the last resort.

Avoid ghastly stock shots

A picture, as we all know, is worth a thousand words – so choose carefully. The quickest way to turn people off is with images that are clichéd, crass and cheesy. Avoid the following images like the plague: cogs, goldfish, jigsaws, stacked pebbles, lighthouses, archery targets, thumbs-up, and any shots of business people shaking hands/staring at a monitor/looking super-happy in a meeting.

Finally, never forget that no image is better than an embarrassing image!

Solid colours look the business

A fancy photo or crazy custom background can make a presentation sing – but it’s not always the best way to go. Using a strong palette of solid colours is a simple way to create slides that are visually interesting and yet look very professional and authoritative. This approach is perfect for non-designers who still want a high quality slide deck that has a very sophisticated and polished appearance.

Keep it legible

It’s no good having an awesome image if it makes the text hard to read. If you want to run the text across the picture put it in a colour bar. This will improve readability whilst still creating a stylish looking slide.

Size does matter

You also need to keep the type sufficiently large for people to read easily. Which in turn means keeping the word count down – too many words inevitably means smaller type and a more crowded slide. Remember the old adage “less is more”. The less words you use the more people take in!

Use bullet points sparingly

Bullet points are a great way to communicate the main gist of your message in a way that’s quick and economical. You don’t want your script up on the screen, word for word (there’s nothing worse than people reading the whole thing off the screen and ignoring the speaker!). But you do want to make it easy to follow what you are saying.

The trick is to use just enough bullets to highlight the most important points (see previous tip). Keep them short and only have about three or four per slide – any more and you are making it heavy going for the audience. Remember that the bullets don’t have to be self-explanatory. That’s what you’re there for – to fill in the gaps so they make sense.

Ask SandisonPay to design the presentation for you

If we listed all the things you need to bear in mind when creating a truly effective and thoroughly professional presentation your head would soon be in a spin. We’ve given you some of the main things to be aware of but we could also include choosing appropriate typography, designing focal points, adding visual humour, designing eye-catching infographics, charts and graphs, maintaining graphically consistency (to name just a few).

If you like the sound of that give us a call on 01329 835135 or drop us a message.

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