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design of a slide in a presentation

Learn about slide design, its importance, and principles and strategies for designing strong slides.

design of a slide in a presentation

What is Slide Design?

Through the use of different elements, including visuals, colors, typography, style, layout, and transitions, slide design provides a visual representation of the important points of your presentation. It not only complements your research, but can also enhance your presentation. Slide design can impact how much an audience understands and retains the content that you present.

Slide design strategies that thoughtfully consider and prioritize the experience of the audience can result in stronger presentations. Melissa Marshall —an expert in understanding how technical presentations can be transformed—advocates for an innovative approach to slide design. Her well-researched methods have been successful in the scientific community and we recommend her strategy.  In an article on how to transform your technical talks , Marshall discusses the science behind the impact of slide design and how the overuse of text on slides while engaging in verbal communication during presentations increases the chances of cognitive overload for audience members. Marshall advocates for an “audience-centered speaker” approach, a technique in which you shift your focus from the speaker to that of the audience.

design of a slide in a presentation

-Melissa Marshall

Audience engagement is an important indicator about the level of success of a presentation. Marshall argues that “a critical insight is to realize that your success as a speaker depends entirely upon your ability to make your audience successful.” In order to prioritize the experience of your audience and how they receive your presentation, Marshall advocates for a design strategy called assertion-evidence design which uses a succinct headline in the slide with the key assertion in the form of a sentence that is accompanied by visual evidence, such as charts, graphs, and flowcharts. This method prioritizes the utilization of strong visuals and minimizes the amount of text on slides. As needed, presenters can provide the audience with a handout of their slides that contain more detailed notes from their presentation as a reference. If you have not used assertion-evidence slides before, it is a good technique to further explore and consider as its approach can enhance a presentation when carried out effectively. Examples of strong assertion-evidence slides and a self-assessment checklist for this design strategy can be found on Create and Assess Your Slides , and a template can be accessed below.

Assertion Evidence Slide Page 1

(Click to Enlarge)

An assertion-evidence slide template that includes tips and layout suggestions by melissa marshall. .

To learn more about creating strong visual representations of your data and the importance of forming a mutual exchange between you and your audience, visit our pages on Data Visualization , along with Consider Your Audience which is part of the section on how to Deliver Authentically . 

Watch these short videos by Marshall to further explore the impact of slide design, strategies for fostering audience engagement, and helpful ways to approach the scope and focus of your presentation.

Learn more about the impact of slide design.

Further explore how to analyze your audience.

Consider scope and focus of your slides and talks.

For additional resources to help you think about the organization and framing of your talk visit Deliver Authentically and Prepare for Any Talk .

What Does it Look Like to Design Effective Slides?

There are techniques and tools that can be utilized to strengthen the design of your slides in order to enhance the quality of your presentation. The following section presents one approach. Review this list and explore how each strategy can improve your slide design.

design of a slide in a presentation

A more comprehensive slide design checklist and other resources can be found on Create and Assess Your Slides .  

Inclusive Slide Design

Creating slides that are inclusive and accessible for different learners is a critical part of the design process. Consider the implications of your design on the viewer’s interpretation, including visual representation, language and color choice. As you engage in this process, explore the role of slide design in creating an inclusive environment that considers multiple perspectives, values, beliefs, identities, disciplines, abilities, experiences, and backgrounds. To learn more about what it means and looks like to design visuals that are inclusive, visit Visual Storytelling as part of the section on Data Visualization and Preferred Terms for Select Population Groups & Communities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Are You Ready to Create Your Own Slides?

To begin the process of designing your slides or to improve an existing deck, visit Create and Assess Your Slides . Use the provided resources to learn more about helpful design strategies, how to create effective slides and ways to assess them.

  • Data Visualization
  • Create and Assess Your Slides
  • Visual Design Tools

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Presentation design guide: tips, examples, and templates

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

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Anete Ezera January 09, 2023

Presentation design defines how your content will be received and remembered. It’s responsible for that crucial first impression and sets the tone for your presentation before you’ve even introduced the topic. It’s also what holds your presentation together and guides the viewer through it. That’s why visually appealing, easily understandable, and memorable presentation design is what you should be striving for. But how can you create a visually striking presentation without an eye for design? Creating a visually appealing presentation can be challenging without prior knowledge of design or helpful tools. 

With this presentation design guide accompanied by Prezi presentation examples and templates, you’ll have no problem creating stunning and impactful presentations that will wow your audience.

In this guide, we’ll start by looking at the basics of presentation design. We’ll provide a simple guide on creating a presentation from scratch, as well as offer helpful tips for different presentation types. In addition, you’ll discover how to organize information into a logical order and present it in a way that resonates with listeners. Finally, we’ll share tips and tricks to create an eye-catching presentation, and showcase some great presentation examples and templates you can get inspired by!

With our comprehensive introduction to designing presentations, you will be able to develop an engaging and professional presentation that gets results!

a man working on his laptop

What is presentation design?

Presentation design encompasses a variety of elements that make up the overall feel and look of the presentation. It’s a combination of certain elements, like text, font, color, background, imagery, and animations. 

Presentation design focuses on finding ways to make the presentation more visually appealing and easy to process, as it is often an important tool for communicating a message. It involves using design principles like color, hierarchy, white space, contrast, and visual flow to create an effective communication piece.

Creating an effective presentation design is important for delivering your message efficiently and leaving a memorable impact on your audience. Most of all, you want your presentation design to support your topic and make it easier to understand and digest. A great presentation design guides the viewer through your presentation and highlights the most essential aspects of it. 

If you’re interested in learning more about presentation design and its best practices , watch the following video and get practical insights on designing your next presentation:

Types of presentations

When creating a presentation design, you have to keep in mind several types of presentations that shape the initial design you want to have. Depending on the type of presentation you have, you’ll want to match it with a fitting presentation design.

1. Informative

An informative presentation provides the audience with facts and data in order to educate them on a certain subject matter. This could be done through visual aids such as graphs, diagrams, and charts. In an informative presentation, you want to highlight data visualizations and make them more engaging with interactive features or animations. On Prezi Design, you can create different engaging data visualizations from line charts to interactive maps to showcase your data.

2. Instructive

Instructive presentations teach the audience something new. Whether it’s about science, business strategies, or culture, this type of presentation is meant to help people gain knowledge and understand a topic better. 

With a focus on transmitting knowledge, your presentation design should incorporate a variety of visuals and easy-to-understand data visualizations. Most people are visual learners, so you’ll benefit from swapping text-based slides for more visually rich content.

presentation design guide to design presentations

3. Motivational

Motivational presentations try to inspire the audience by giving examples of successful projects, stories, or experiences. This type of presentation is often used in marketing or promotional events because it seeks to get the audience inspired and engaged with a product or service. That’s why the presentation design needs to capture and hold the attention of your audience using a variety of animations and visuals. Go beyond plain images – include videos for a more immersive experience.

4. Persuasive

Persuasive presentations are designed to sway an audience with arguments that lead to an actionable decision (i.e., buy the product). Audiences learn facts and figures relevant to the point being made and explore possible solutions based on evidence provided during the speech or presentation.

In a persuasive presentation design, you need to capture your audience’s attention right away with compelling statistics wrapped up in interactive and engaging data visualizations. Also, the design needs to look and feel dynamic with smooth transitions and fitting visuals, like images, stickers, and GIFs.

persuasive presentation design

How to design a presentation

When you first open a blank presentation page, you might need some inspiration to start creating your design. For this reason, we created a simple guide that’ll help you make your own presentation from scratch without headaches.

1. Opt for a motion-based presentation

You can make an outstanding presentation using Prezi Present, a software program that lets you create interactive presentations that capture your viewer’s attention. Prezi’s zooming feature allows you to add movement to your presentation and create smooth transitions. Prezi’s non-linear format allows you to jump between topics instead of flipping through slides, so your presentation feels more like a conversation than a speech. A motion-based presentation will elevate your content and ideas, and make it a much more engaging viewing experience for your audience.

Watch this video to learn how to make a Prezi presentation:

2. Create a structure & start writing content

Confidence is key in presenting. You can feel more confident going into your presentation if you structure your thoughts and plan what you will say. To do that, first, choose the purpose of your presentation before you structure it. There are four main types of presentations: informative, instructive, motivational, and persuasive. Think about the end goal of your presentation – what do you want your audience to do when you finish your presentation – and structure it accordingly.

Next, start writing the content of your presentation (script). We recommend using a storytelling framework, which will enable you to present a conflict and show what could be possible. In addition to creating compelling narratives for persuasive presentations, this framework is also effective for other types of presentations.

Tip: Keep your audience in mind. If you’re presenting a data-driven report to someone new to the field or from a different department, don’t use a lot of technical jargon if you don’t know their knowledge base and/or point of view.

3. Research & analyze 

Knowing your topic inside and out will make you feel more confident going into your presentation. That’s why it’s important to take the time to understand your topic fully. In return, you’ll be able to answer questions on the fly and get yourself back on track even if you forget what you were going to say when presenting. In case you have extra time at the end of your presentation, you can also provide more information for your audience and really showcase your expertise. For comprehensive research, turn to the internet, and library, and reach out to experts if possible.

woman doing an online research

4. Get to design

Keeping your audience engaged and interested in your topic depends on the design of your presentation.

Now that you’ve done your research and have a proper presentation structure in place, it’s time to visualize it.

4.1. Presentation design layout

What you want to do is use your presentation structure as a presentation design layout. Apply the structure to how you want to tell your story, and think about how each point will lead to the next one. Now you can either choose to use one of Prezi’s pre-designed templates that resemble your presentation structure the most or start to add topics on your canvas as you go. 

Tip: When adding content, visualize the relation between topics by using visual hierarchy – hide smaller topics within larger themes or use the zooming feature to zoom in and out of supplementary topics or details that connect to the larger story you’re telling.

4.2. Color scheme

Now it’s time to choose your color scheme to give a certain look and feel to your presentation. Make sure to use contrasting colors to clearly separate text from the background, and use a maximum of 2 to 3 dominating colors to avoid an overwhelming design.

4.2. Content (visuals + text)

Add content that you want to highlight in your presentation. Select from a wide range of images, stickers, GIFs, videos, data visualizations, and more from the content library, or upload your own. To provide more context, add short-format text, like bullet points or headlines that spotlight the major themes, topics, and ideas in your presentation. 

Also, here you’ll want to have a final decision on your font choice. Select a font that’s easy to read and goes well with your brand and topic.

Tip: Be careful not to turn your presentation into a script. Only display text that holds significant value – expand on the ideas when presenting. 

presentation design tips

4.3. Transitions

Last but not least, bring your presentation design to life by adding smooth, attractive, and engaging transitions that take the viewer from one topic to another without disrupting the narrative. 

On Prezi, you can choose from a range of transitions that take you into the story world and provide an immersive presentation experience for your audience. 

For more practical tips read our article on how to make a presentation . 

Presentation design tips

When it comes to presentations, design is key. A well-designed presentation can communicate your ideas clearly and engage your audience, while a poorly designed one can do the opposite.

To ensure your presentation is designed for success, note the following presentation design tips that’ll help you design better presentations that wow your audience.

women working on her laprop

1. Keep it simple

Too many elements on a slide can be overwhelming and distract from your message. While you want your content to be visually compelling, don’t let the design of the presentation get in the way of communicating your ideas. Design elements need to elevate your message instead of overshadowing it. 

2. Use contrasting text colors

Draw attention to important points with contrasted text colors. Instead of using bold or italics, use a contrasting color in your chosen palette to emphasize the text.

3. Be clear and concise. 

Avoid writing long paragraphs that are difficult to read. Limit paragraphs and sections of text for optimum readability.

4. Make sure your slide deck is visually appealing

Use high-quality images and graphics, and limit the use of text to only the most important information. For engaging and diverse visuals, go to Prezi’s content library and discover a wide range of stock images, GIFs, stickers, and more.

5. Pay attention to detail

Small details like font choice and alignments can make a big difference in how professional and polished your presentation looks. Make sure to pay attention to image and text size, image alignment with text, font choice, background color, and more details that create the overall look of your presentation.

6. Use templates sparingly

While templates can be helpful in creating a consistent look for your slides, overusing them can make your presentation look generic and boring. Use them for inspiration but don’t be afraid to mix things up with some custom designs as well. 

7. Design for clarity

Create a presentation layout that is easy to use and navigate, with clear labels and instructions. This is important for ensuring people can find the information they need quickly and easily if you end up sharing your presentation with others.

8. Opt for a conversational presentation design

Conversational presenting allows you to adjust your presentation on the fly to make it more relevant and engaging. Create a map-like arrangement that’ll encourage you to move through your presentation at your own pace. With a map-like design, each presentation will be customized to match different audiences’ needs. This can be helpful for people who have different levels of expertise or knowledge about the subject matter.

9. Be consistent 

Design consistency holds your presentation together and makes it easy to read and navigate. Create consistency by repeating colors, fonts, and design elements that clearly distinguish your presentation from others.

10. Have context in mind

A great presentation design is always dependent on the context. Your audience and objective influence everything from color scheme to fonts and use of imagery. Make sure to always have your audience in mind when designing your presentations.

For more presentation tips, read the Q&A with presentation design experts and get valuable insights on visual storytelling.

Presentation templates

Creating a presentation from scratch isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s better to start with a template and dedicate your time to the presentation’s content. To make your life easier, here are 10 useful and stunning presentation templates that score in design and engagement. If you want to start creating with any of the following templates, simply go to our Prezi presentation template gallery , select your template, and start creating! Also, you can get inspired by the top Prezi presentations , curated by our editors. There you can discover presentation examples for a wide range of topics, and get motivated to create your own. 

Business meeting presentation

The work desk presentation templates have a simple and clean design, perfectly made for a team or business meeting. With all the topics visible from start, everyone will be on the same page about what you’re going to cover in the presentation. If you want, you can add or remove topics as well as edit the visuals and color scheme to match your needs.

Small business presentation

This template is great for an introductory meeting or pitch, where you have to summarize what you or your business does in a few, highly engaging slides. The interactive layout allows you to choose what topic bubble you’re going to select next, so instead of a one-way interaction, you can have a conversation and ask your audience what exactly they’re interested in knowing about your company.

Mindfulness at work presentation

How can you capture employees’ attention to explain important company values or practices? This engaging presentation template will help you do just that. With a wide range of impactful visuals, this presentation design helps you communicate your ideas more effectively. 

Business review template

Make your next quarterly business review memorable with this vibrant business presentation template. With eye-capturing visuals and an engaging layout, you’ll communicate important stats and hold everyone’s attention until the end.

History timeline template

With black-and-white sketches of the Colosseum in the background, this timeline template makes history come alive. The displayed time periods provide an overview that’ll help your audience to grasp the bigger picture. After, you can go into detail about each time frame and event.

Storytelling presentation template

Share stories about your business that make a lasting impact with this stunning, customizable presentation template. To showcase each story, use the zooming feature and choose to tell your stories in whatever order you want.

Design concept exploration template

Not all meetings happen in person nowadays. To keep that face-to-face interaction even when presenting online, choose from a variety of Prezi Video templates or simply import your already-existing Prezi template into Prezi Video for remote meetings. This professional-looking Prezi Video template helps you set the tone for your meeting, making your designs stand out. 

Employee perks and benefits video template

You can use the employee benefits video template to pitch potential job candidates the perks of working in your company. The Prezi Video template allows you to keep a face-to-face connection with potential job candidates while interviewing them remotely.

Sales plan presentation template

Using a clear metaphor that everyone can relate to, this football-inspired sales plan presentation template communicates a sense of team unity and strategy. You can customize this Prezi business presentation template with your brand colors and content.

Flashcard template

How can you engage students in an online classroom? This and many other Prezi Video templates will help you create interactive and highly engaging lessons. Using the flashcard template, you can quiz your students, review vocabulary, and gamify learning.

Great presentation design examples

If you’re still looking for more inspiration, check out the following Prezi presentations made by our creative users.

Social media presentation

This presentation is a great example of visual storytelling. The use of visual hierarchy and spatial relationships creates a unique viewing experience and makes it easier to understand how one topic or point is related to another. Also, images provide an engaging and visually appealing experience.

Leadership books presentation

Do you want to share your learnings? This interactive presentation offers great insights in an entertaining and visually compelling way. Instead of compiling leadership books in a slide-based presentation, the creator has illustrated each book and added a zooming feature that allows you to peek inside of each book’s content.

Remote workforce presentation

This is a visually rich and engaging presentation example that offers an interactive experience for the viewer. A noteworthy aspect of this presentation design is its color consistency and matching visual elements.

A presentation about the teenage brain 

Another great presentation design example that stands out with an engaging viewing experience. The zooming feature allows the user to dive into each topic and choose what subject to view first. It’s a great example of an educational presentation that holds the students’ attention with impactful visuals and compelling transitions.

Remote work policy presentation

This presentation design stands out with its visually rich content. It depicts exactly what the presentation is about and uses the illustrated window frames in the background image as topic placements. This type of presentation design simplifies complex concepts and makes it easier for the viewer to understand and digest the information.

Everyone can create visually-appealing presentations with the right tools and knowledge. With the presentation design tips, templates, and examples, you’re equipped to make your next presentation a success. If you’re new to Prezi, we encourage you to discover everything it has to offer. With this presentation design guide and Prezi, we hope you’ll get inspired to create meaningful, engaging, and memorable content for your audience!  

design of a slide in a presentation

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Blog Data Visualization

Presentation Design Guide: How to Summarize Information for Presentations

By Midori Nediger , May 15, 2023

presentation design

Bad presentations. We’ve all had to sit through them.  Heck, we’ve probably all given one or two. I know I have.

You know the type: twice as long as they need to be, slides chock-full of text, no visuals in sight. 

How can you ensure you don’t fall victim to these presentation faux-pas when designing your next presentation for your team, class, or clients?

In this blog, I’ll walk you through tips on how to design an impactful presentation and how you can deliver it with style to leave a lasting impression.

Let’s get started:

  • Include less text and more visuals in your presentation design
  • Identify one core message to center your presentation design around
  • Eliminate any information that doesn’t immediately support the core message
  • Create a strong presentation outline to keep you focused
  • Use text to reinforce, not repeat, what you’re saying
  • Design your presentation with one major takeaway per slide
  • Use visuals to highlight the key message on each slide
  • Use scaffolding slides to orient your audience and keep them engaged
  • Use text size, weight, and color for emphasis
  • Apply design choices consistently to avoid distraction
  • Split a group presentation by topic
  • Use a variety of page layouts to maintain your audience’s interest
  • Use presentation templates to help you get started
  • Include examples of inspiring people
  • Dedicate slides to poignant questions
  • Find quotes that will inspire your audience
  • Emphasize key points with text and images
  • Label your slides to prompt your memory

Watch: How to design a presentation [10 ESSENTIAL TIPS]

Tips for designing and delivering an impactful presentation

What makes a presentation memorable?

It usually comes down to three things:

  • The main idea.
  • The presenter.
  • The visuals.

All three elements work together to create a successful presentation. Just like how different presentation styles serve different purposes, having a good presentation idea will give the audience a purpose for listening. A good presenter communicates the main idea so that the audience cares about it. And compelling visuals help clarify concepts and illustrate ideas.

But how the presenter delivers their presentation and what visuals they use can vary drastically while still being effective. There is no perfect presentation style or presentation design.

Here are some top tips to consider to help you design and deliver an impactful presentation:

Tip #1: Include less text and more visuals in your presentation design

According to David Paradi’s annual presentation survey , the 3 things that annoy audiences most about presentations are:

  • Speakers reading their slides
  • Slides that include full sentences of text
  • Text that is too small to read

The common thread that ties all of these presentation annoyances is text. Audiences are very picky about the text found in presentation slide decks .

In my experiences speaking at conferences and in webinars over the past few years, audiences respond much more positively to presentations that use visuals in place of text.

Audiences are more engaged, ask more questions, and find my talks more memorable when I include lots of visual examples in my slide decks. 

I’m not the only one who has found this. We recently surveyed nearly 400 conference speakers about their presentation designs and found that 84.3% create presentations that are highly visual.

A great example of a high visual presentation is the iconic AirBnB pitch deck design , which includes no more than 40 words per slide. Instead of repeating the speaker’s script on the slides, it makes an impact with keywords, large numbers, and icons:

design of a slide in a presentation

Learn how to customize this presentation template:

To help you take your presentations to the next level, I’d like to share my process for creating a visually-focused presentation like the one above. I’ll give you my top presentation design tips that I’ve learned over years of presenting:

  • Class presentations
  • Online courses

You can then apply this process to our professional presentation templates  or pitch decks , creating unique presentation decks with ease! Our user-friendly editor tools make customizing these templates a breeze.

To leave a lasting impression on your audience, consider transforming your slides into an interactive presentation. Here are 15 interactive presentation ideas to enhance interactivity and engagement.

We’ll cover the most important steps for summarizing lengthy text into a presentation-friendly format. Then we’ll touch on some pre sentation design tips to help you get visual with your slide decks. Read on for the best creative presentation ideas.

Tip #2: Identify one core message to center your presentation design around

We know from David Paradi’s survey that audiences are easily overwhelmed with lots of text and data, especially when presentations are long.

confused woman meme

(You when you see a presentation with lots of text and data and it’s long)

So unlike in a white paper , report , or essay , you can’t expect to tackle many complex ideas within a single presentation.

That would be a recipe for disaster.

Instead, identify a single central message that you would like to communicate to your audience. Then build your presentation around that core message.

By identifying that core message, you can ensure that everything you include in your presentation supports the goal of the presentation .

As seen below, a great presentation tells you exactly what you’re going to learn (the core message), then gets right to the facts (the supporting information).

Nutrition Creative Presentation Template

To ensure you create an asset that’s clear, concise, impactful, and easy to follow, design your presentation around a single core message.

Tip #3: Create a strong presentation outline to keep you focused

Think of your outline as a roadmap for your presentation. Creating a strong presentation outline straight away helps make sure that you’re hitting all of the key points you need to cover to convey a persuasive presentation .

Take this presentation outline example:

  • Introduction and hellos
  • Vision and value proposition
  • Financial profit
  • Your investment
  • Thanks and questions

These are all things that we know we need to talk about within the presentation.

Creating a presentation outline makes it much easier to know what to say when it comes to creating the actual presentation slides.

Corporate pitch deck template

You could even include your presentation outline as a separate slide so that your audience knows what to expect:

Topics of discussion presentation outline example template

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

Tip #4: Eliminate any information that doesn’t support the core message

Next, use that core message to identify everything that doesn’t belong in the presentation.

Aim to eliminate everything that isn’t immediately relevant to the topic at hand, and anything remotely redundant. Cut any information that isn’t absolutely essential to understanding the core message.

By cutting these extra details, you can transform forgettable text-heavy slides:

Infographic Presentation Template

Into memorable slides with minimal text:

Infographic Presentation Template

Here’s a quick checklist to help you cut out any extra detail:

Get rid of:

  • Detailed descriptions
  • Background information
  • Redundant statements
  • Explanations of common knowledge
  • Persuasive facts and figures
  • Illustrative examples
  • Impactful quotes

presentation design

This step may seem obvious, but when you’re presenting on a topic that you’re passionate about, it’s easy to get carried away with extraneous detail. Use the recommendations above to keep your text in check.

Clarity is key, especially if you’re presenting virtually rather than in-person. However, Lisa Schneider (Chief Growth Officer at Merriam-Webster) has had plenty of experience making that adjustment. She recently shared her tips for adapting in-person presentations into virtual presentations on Venngage that you can check out. 

Tip #5: Use text to reinforce, not repeat, what you’re saying

According to presentation guru  Nancy Duarte , your audience should be able to discern the meaning of your slides in 6 seconds or less.

Since your audience will tend to read every word you place on each slide, you must keep your text to an absolute minimum. The text on your slides should provide support for what you’re saying without being distracting.

Never write out, word for word, what you’re going to be saying out loud. If you’re relying on text to remember certain points, resist the urge to cram them into your slides. Instead, use a tool like Venngage’s speaker notes to highlight particular talking points. These can be imported into PowerPoint — along with the rest of your presentation — and will only be viewable to you, not your audience.

Speaker notes by Venngage

For the actual slides, text should only be used to reinforce what you’re saying. Like in the presentation design below, paraphrase long paragraphs into short bulleted lists or statements by eliminating adjectives and articles (like “the” and “a”).

design of a slide in a presentation

Pull out quotes and important numbers, and make them a focus of each slide.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip #6: Design your presentation with one major takeaway per slide

As I mentioned above, audiences struggle when too much information is presented on a single slide.

To make sure you don’t overwhelm your audiences with too much information, spread out your content to cover one major takeaway per slide.

By limiting each slide to a single simple statement, you focus your audience’s attention on the topic at hand.

My favorite way to do this is to pick out the core message of whatever I’m talking about and express it in a few keywords, as seen in this presentation slide below.

design of a slide in a presentation

This helps ensure that the visuals remain the focus of the slide.

design of a slide in a presentation

Using the text in this way, to simply state a single fact per slide, is a sure-fire way to make an impact in your presentation.

Alternatively, pull out a significant statistic that you want to stick in your audience’s minds and make it a visual focus of the slide, as seen in this popular presentation by Officevibe .

presentation design

This might mean you end up with a slide deck with a ton of slides. But that’s totally ok!

I’ve talked to many professionals who are pressured by their management teams to create presentations with a specific number of slides (usually as few as 10 or 15 slides for a 30-minute presentation).

If you ask me, this approach is completely flawed. In my mind, the longer I spend sitting on a single slide, the more likely I am to lose the interest of my audience.

How many slides should I use for a 10 minute presentation?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least as many slides as minutes in your presentation. So for a 10 minute presentation you should have at least 10 slides .

Use as many slides as you need, as long as you are presenting a single message on each slide, (as seen in the lengthy presentation template below). This is especially important if you’re presenting your business, or delivering a product presentation. You want to wow your audience, not bore them.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip #7: Use visuals to highlight the key message on each slide

As important as having one major takeaway per slide is having visuals that highlight the major takeaway on each slide.

Unique visuals will help make your message memorable.

Visuals are a great way to eliminate extra text, too.

You can add visuals by creating a timeline infographic to group and integrate information into visual frameworks like this:

design of a slide in a presentation

Or create a flowchart  and funnels:

design of a slide in a presentation

Or by representing simple concepts with icons, as seen in the modern presentation design below. Using the same color for every icon helps create a polished look.

Using visuals in this way is perfect for when you have to convey messages quickly to audiences that you aren’t familiar with – such as at conferences. This would also make the ideal interview presentation template.

design of a slide in a presentation

You can alternatively use icons in different colors, like in the presentation templates below. Just make sure the colors are complimentary, and style is consistent throughout the presentation (i.e. don’t use sleek, modern icons on one slide and whimsically illustrated icons on another). In this example, presentation clipart style icons have been used.

design of a slide in a presentation

Any time you have important stats or trends you want your audience to remember, consider using a chart or data visualization to drive your point home. Confident public speaking combined with strong visualizations can really make an impact, encouraging your audience to act upon your message.

One of my personal favorite presentations (created by a professional designer) takes this “key message plus a visual” concept to the extreme, resulting in a slide deck that’s downright irresistible.

presentation design

When applying this concept, don’t fall into the trap of using bad stock photos . Irrelevant or poorly chosen visuals can hurt you as much as they help you.

Below is an example of how to use stock photos effectively. They are more thematic than literal and are customized with fun, bright icons that set a playful tone.

design of a slide in a presentation

The content and visual design of a presentation should be seamless.

It should never seem like your text and visuals are plopped onto a template. The format and design of the slides should contribute to and support the audience’s understanding of the content.

Impactful presenation templates

Tip #8: Use scaffolding slides to orient your audience and keep them engaged

It’s easy for audiences to get lost during long presentations, especially if you have lots of slides. And audiences zone out when they get lost.

To help reorient your audience every once in a while, you can use something I like to call scaffolding slides. Scaffolding slides appear throughout a presentation to denote the start and end of major sections.

The core scaffolding slide is the agenda slide, which should appear right after the introduction or title slide. It outlines the major sections of the presentation.

At the beginning of each section, you should show that agenda again but highlight the relevant section title, as seen below.

design of a slide in a presentation

This gives audiences the sense that you’re making progress through the presentation and helps keep them anchored and engaged.

Alternatively, you can achieve a similar effect by numbering your sections and showing that number on every slide. Or use a progress bar at the bottom of each slide to indicate how far along you are in your presentation. Just make sure it doesn’t distract from the main content of the slides.

design of a slide in a presentation

You can imagine using this “progress bar” idea for a research presentation, or any presentation where you have a lot of information to get through.

Leila Janah, founder of Sama Group, is great at this. Her  Innovation and Inspire  talk about Sama Group is an example of a presentation that is well organized and very easy to follow.

Her presentation follows a logical, steady stream of ideas. She seems comfortable talking in front of a crowd but doesn’t make any attempts to engage directly with them.

Tip #9: Use text size, weight and color for emphasis

Every slide should have a visual focal point. Something that immediately draws the eye at first glance.

That focal point should be whatever is most important on that slide, be it an important number, a keyword, or simply the slide title.

presentation design

We can create visual focal points by varying the size, weight, and color of each element on the slide. Larger, brighter, bolder elements will command our audience’s attention, while smaller, lighter elements will tend to fade into the background.

design of a slide in a presentation

As seen in the presentation template above, this technique can be especially useful for drawing attention to important words within a long passage of text. Consider using this technique whenever you have more than 5 words on a slide.

And if you really want your audience to pay attention, pick a high-contrast color scheme like the one below.

presentation design

When picking fonts for your presentation, keep this technique in mind. Pick a font that has a noticeable difference between the “bold” font face and the “regular” font face. Source Sans Pro, Times New Roman, Montserrat, Arvo, Roboto, and Open Sans are all good options.

Presentation Fonts

The last thing to remember when using size, weight, and color to create emphasis on a slide: don’t try to emphasize too many things on one slide.

If everything is highlighted, nothing is highlighted.

Tip #10: Apply design choices consistently to avoid distraction

Audiences are quick to pick out, and focus on, any inconsistencies in your presentation design. As a result, messy, inconsistent slide decks lead to distracted, disengaged audiences.

Design choices (fonts and colors, especially), must be applied consistently across a slide deck. The last thing you want is for your audience to pay attention to your design choices before your content.

To keep your design in check, it can be helpful to create a color palette and type hierarchy before you start creating your deck, and outline it in a basic style guide like this one:

design of a slide in a presentation

I know it can sometimes be tempting to fiddle around with text sizes to fit longer bits of text on a slide, but don’t do it! If the text is too long to fit on a slide, it should be split up onto multiple slides anyway.

And remember, a consistent design isn’t necessarily a boring one. This social media marketing presentation applies a bright color scheme to a variety of 3-column and 2-column layouts, remaining consistent but still using creative presentation ideas.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip #11: Split a group presentation by topic

When giving a group presentation it’s always difficult to find the right balance of who should present which part.

Splitting a group presentation by topic is the most natural way to give everybody the chance to attempt without it seeming disjointed.

design of a slide in a presentation

When presenting this slide deck to investors or potential clients, the team can easily take one topic each. One person can discuss the business model slide, and somebody else can talk about the marketing strategy.

Top tips for group presentations:

  • Split your group presentation by topic
  • Introduce the next speaker at the end of your slide
  • Become an ‘expert’ in the slide that you are presenting
  • Rehearse your presentation in advance so that everybody knows their cue to start speaking

Tip #12: Use a variety of page layouts to maintain your audience’s interest

Page after page of the same layout can become repetitive and boring. Mix up the layout of your slides to keep your audience interested.

In this example, the designer has used a variety of combinations of images, text, and icons to create an interesting and varied style.

Yellow start up pitch deck presentation template

There are hundreds of different combinations of presentation layers and presentation styles that you can use to help create an engaging presentation . This style is great for when you need to present a variety of information and statistics, like if you were presenting to financial investors, or you were giving a research presentation.

Using a variety of layouts to keep an audience engaged is something that Elon Musk is an expert in. An engaged audience is a hyped audience. Check out this Elon Musk presentation revealing a new model Tesla for a masterclass on how to vary your slides in an interesting way:

Tip #13: Use presentation templates to help you get started

It can be overwhelming to build your own presentation from scratch. Fortunately, my team at Venngage has created hundreds of professional presentation templates , which make it easy to implement these design principles and ensure your audience isn’t deterred by text-heavy slides.

Using a presentation template is a quick and easy way to create professional-looking presentation skills, without any design experience. You can edit all of the text easily, as well as change the colors, fonts, or photos. Plus you can download your work in a PowerPoint or PDF Presentation format.

After your presentation, consider summarizing your presentation in an engaging manner to r each a wider audience through a LinkedIn presentation .

Tip #14: Include examples of inspiring people

People like having role models to look up to. If you want to motivate your audience, include examples of people who demonstrate the traits or achievements, or who have found success through the topic you are presenting.

Tip #15: Dedicate slides to poignant questions

While you might be tempted to fill your slides with decorative visuals and splashes of color, consider that sometimes simplicity is more effective than complexity. The simpler your slide is, the more you can focus on one thought-provoking idea.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip #16: Find quotes that will inspire your audience

A really good quote can stick in a person’s mind for weeks after your presentation. Ending your presentation with a quote can be a nice way to either begin or finish your presentation.

A great example of this is Tim Ferriss’ TED talk:

tim ferriss inspiration presentation example

Check out the full talk below.

Tip #17: Emphasize key points with text and images

When you pair concise text with an image, you’re presenting the information to your audience in two simultaneous ways. This can make the information easier to remember, and more memorable.

Use your images and text on slides to reinforce what you’re saying out loud.

Doing this achieves two things:

  • When the audience hears a point and simultaneously read it on the screen, it’s easier to retain.
  • Audience members can photograph/ screencap the slide and share it with their networks.

Don’t believe us? See this tip in action with a presentation our Chief Marketing Officer Nadya gave recently at Unbounce’s CTA Conference . The combination of text and images on screen leads to a memorable presentation.

Nadya Unbounce Presentation Example

Tip #18: Label your slides to prompt your memory

Often, presenters will write out an entire script for their presentation and read it off a teleprompter. The problem is, that can often make your presentation seem  too  rehearsed and wooden.

But even if you don’t write a complete script, you can still put key phrases on your slides to prompt jog your memory. The one thing you have to be wary of is looking back at your slides too much.

A good presentation gets things moving! Check out the top qualities of awesome presentations and learn all about how to make a good presentation to help you nail that captivating delivery.

Audiences don’t want to watch presentations with slide decks jam-packed with text. Too much text only hurts audience engagement and understanding. Your presentation design is as important as your presentation style. 

By summarizing our text and creating slides with a visual focus, we can give more exciting, memorable and impactful presentations.

Give it a try with one of our popular presentation templates:

presentation design

Want more presentation design tips? This post should get you started:

120+ Best Presentation Ideas, Design Tips & Examples

presentation design

A Beginner’s Guide To Presentation Design [+15 Stunning Templates]

A Beginner’s Guide To Presentation Design [+15 Stunning Templates]

Table of Contents

  • What Is Presentation Design? 

What Is the Significance of Presentation Design?

Understanding various forms of presentations.

  • 10 Tips to Create a Compelling Presentation Design 

5 Inspirational Presentation Design Trends

  • 15 Best Presentation Design Templates to Consider 
  • Key Takeaways 
  • Conclusion 

Once you’ve mapped out your presentation, it’s time to tackle the intimidating task of creating a visually stunning presentation design . Creating an excellent presentation design becomes simpler by learning and adhering to fundamental presentation design standards. Here is a presentation design guide to creating an engaging and well-designed presentation,  regardless of the kind of project you are putting together. 

What Is Presentation Design?

Presentation design focuses on the visual facet of your presentation to captivate your audience. An outstanding presentation design may significantly impact your target audience, whether it is investors, employees, collaborators, or potential customers. The design must ideally complement the material of your presentation to help get your views across and convince your audience.

Creating a presentation for the first time to present in a professional setting or to a large audience might feel challenging. This guide to presentation design will walk you through the elements required for building a visually appealing presentation. 

design of a slide in a presentation

A presentation is much more than just a layout of slides with text and graphics on them. You need to make sure it’s visually appealing too. It is mainly because visuals are much more engaging than written words in your presentation slides. Presentation design is crucial because it allows you to combine your ideas, narrative, graphics, facts, and statistics into one cohesive tale that drives your audience to the decision you desire.

A robust presentation design may unlock doors you never imagined could be opened. An effective design is much simpler to understand and earns a lot of credibility for your brand. You can communicate your message effectively, encourage your audience to take subsequent actions, and get them to engage with what you’re saying with excellent presentation design.

You have the potential to communicate your point of view, create a brand identity, and get your audience to see and hear you loud and clear when you build a presentation with impeccable design. The material of your presentation is crucial to your project’s success, but a poor design may divert the listener’s attention (and not for a good reason). Don’t let a lousy presentation design force you to lose out on a huge business opportunity.

Creating a winning presentation design involves combining design components to produce slides that will neither bore nor exhaust your audience. Instead, it will engage and inspire them effectively. So, instead of creating a lousy presentation using shoddy designs, it is significant to master the fundamentals of creating the best presentation design.

Presentations may be used for several purposes and can come in different forms. A quarterly sales presentation with your team will not be the same as a presentation focused on employee training. 

In the first scenario, you’ll strive to advance your team to achieve targeted sales growth. In the second, you’ll focus on imparting essential knowledge and skills to your employees. Looking at some of the most prevalent presentation types can give you a better idea about presentation design and when to begin constructing your own.

1. Investor pitch presentation

Using facts to convince rather than enlighten is the primary goal of this presentation style, as indicated by the name. If you’re a startup or a small firm looking for investment, you’ll need to use this form of presentation to your advantage. An investor pitch presentation will be required when you’re explaining your company’s user acquisition growth rate to prospective investors. Such presentations are created using the classic pitch deck concept to make the perfect, thoroughly professional pitch.

2. Educational presentations

Educational presentations are sometimes misunderstood as informative presentations since they are designed to teach viewers new skills and educate them on a new subject. You may need to produce a presentation for a school for various reasons, such as presenting an idea or providing an academic report.

Academic and corporate training programs often employ this presentation format. A video tutorial with comments and suitable themes may be added to the slides to improve them. Educators are always looking for new and unique methods to provide engaging and enthralling presentations for their students. Using an educational presentation template may guarantee that your presentation is visually appealing as well as easily comprehensible.

3. Webinar presentations

Webinar presentations are the newest craze, and they’re a win-win for presenters and the audience alike. A webinar refers to an online presentation, but unlike a video posted elsewhere, the webinar takes place in real-time and with the active participation of the audience. There are several themes and settings for which webinar presentations might be utilized. 

Short surveys, quizzes, and Q&A sessions let participants feel more involved in the webinar. Most commonly, a webinar is meant to disseminate information, but it may also act as a marketing tool, a source of leads, or a way to generate new sales and sign-ups.

4. Report presentations

A report presentation is intended to offer the necessary information to those engaged in a process or project. Report presentations are critical in ensuring these stakeholders that the procedures that must be followed for the project’s completion are effectively planned and executed. Sample reports are also accessible to these stakeholders. 

A report presentation may take numerous forms, such as a business report or an infographic. Reports on sales and marketing performance, website statistics, income, or any other data that your team or supervisors wish to know about can be presented during the report presentation.

5. Sales presentations

Sales presentations are often the initial phase in the sales cycle, and are, therefore,  critical. A sales presentation, often known as a sales pitch deck, is a form of presentation you would need to provide a prospective customer or client with when pitching a product or service.

Not every sales presentation is designed to close a deal right away. The goal might be to pique the curiosity of the people concerned. Sales presentations often include your company’s unique selling proposition (USP), product price points, and testimonials. Your sales presentation must be engaging and successful in influencing potential customers, using a well-thought-out approach.

6. Inspirational presentations

An inspiring presentation is a standard tool used by managers, team leaders, motivational speakers, and business owners to stimulate and encourage their audience. Inspirational presentations are essential to influencing others and achieving your individual and business goals. 

To get a desirable result from this kind of presentation, elicit an emotional response from the audience and motivate them to act. Using a presentation template that has been professionally developed provides you with an advantage over others. 

7. Keynote presentations

Keynote presentations are given in front of a larger audience. A good example can be those shown at TED Talks and other conferences. While the presenter gives the entire speech, there are advantages to using slides, such as keeping an audience engaged and on track.

10 Tips to Create a Compelling Presentation Design

If your presentation is lousy, you might come across as unprepared, uninterested, and lacking any credibility. A well-designed presentation makes you appear reliable and competent. Here are some fantastic points to help you develop the best presentation design.

1. Outline your content and fine-tune the message

It’s crucial to prepare your content and fine-tune your main message before you begin developing your presentation. Try to figure out what your target audience wants to know, what they may already know, and what will keep them engaged. Then, when you create your presentation’s content, keep those things in mind and furnish designs accordingly. It is vital to remember the key takeaway of each deck you create.

Too much information shown on a single slide is difficult for most viewers to comprehend. Make sure you don’t overwhelm your viewers; each presentation slide should include no more than one key point. Make your information as brief as possible, yet make it detailed enough and valuable.

2. Use more visuals and less text in your decks

Your audience recalls information considerably better when images complement it because they can better understand visual features than simple text. Presenters that employ images instead of words get more favorable feedback from their audience than those who rely only on text.

design of a slide in a presentation

Using visual examples in slide decks increases audience engagement, encourages more questions, and registers your message in the minds of your audience. Remove any unnecessary text from your slides and replace it with visuals that will engage your audience.

You may use various methods for adding images, but the most common is using your data’s visual representation. It’s important to note that adding visuals does not mean sprinkling fancy images and symbols across your slides. Relevant images and iconography are a must.

3. Limit the use of fonts and colors

It is vital to pay attention to color schemes and other design components, such as fonts, to ensure your presentation succeeds. Although it may be thrilling to employ as many fonts and colors as possible, the best presentation design practices imply that you should only use two or three colors overall. Also, make sure the content in your slides is of a different font than the headers.

When it comes to color schemes, certain combinations work better than others. When choosing colors, keep in mind that they should not detract from the message you want to convey. Add an accent color to one or two of your primary hues for a cohesive look. It’s critical that the colors you choose complement one another and communicate your purpose effectively. Headers should be in one typeface, while body content should be in another. Add a third font for the accents, if you’d like. 

4. Create a visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is an important consideration when including text in a presentation. Visual hierarchy is one of the most significant but underappreciated presentation design principles. Color, size, contrast, alignment, and other aspects of your slide’s elements should all depend on their value.

When creating a visual hierarchy, you must clearly understand the story and its structure. Your audience’s attention should be drawn to the most critical components first, then to the second-most essential aspects, and so on. When creating your presentation, think about the story you want to tell and the visual hierarchy you need to support it. If you do this, the essential ideas you wish to convey will not be lost on your audience. 

5. Incorporate powerful visuals

It is important to use visual aids to make a compelling presentation: think images, icons, graphics, films, graphs, and charts. You should also ensure your slides’ aesthetics accurately portray the text they contain. Alternatively, if you don’t have words on the slide, make sure the visuals mirror the words you’re saying in your speech.

Visual aids should enhance your presentation. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that your slide has some form of visual representation so that you’re not just dumping a bunch of text onto a slide.

6. Avoid using bullet points

These days, any excellent presentation design instruction would encourage you to avoid bullet points as much as possible. They’re dull and old-fashioned, and there are more effective methods to display your material. 

A slide consisting of icons, images, and infographics is more exciting and conversational than one written in list form. Using bullet points for each slide’s primary theme is a standard PowerPoint design recommendation that you should refrain from while designing your presentation.  

7. In group presentations, segregate slides by theme

While making a group presentation, finding an appropriate balance of who should be demonstrating which presentation segment is often challenging. Arranging a group presentation by topic is the most natural technique to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak, without the presentation becoming incoherent. Your group presentation should be divided into sections based on the subject.

Prepare your presentation ahead of time so that everyone understands when it’s their turn to talk. It’s up to each person in the group to pick one thing to talk about when they give this presentation to investors or potential customers. For instance, the business model slide may be addressed by one person, while another can discuss the marketing approach.

8. Maintain consistency

Consistency is essential when you work on the design of your presentation. Your presentation is still one presentation, no matter how many slides it has. Design elements, color schemes, and similar illustrations can all be used to achieve design consistency.

Although some of the slides in your presentation may appear to be styled differently than the others, the overall presentation must be held together by a single color scheme. To ensure that your viewers don’t lose track of what you’re saying, make sure each of your slides is visually connected.

9. Emphasize important points

It is pertinent to use shapes, colorful fonts, and figures pointing to your material. They help emphasize vital information to make it stand out. This not only keeps the reader’s attention on the page but also makes your design more streamlined. Emphasizing the point you’re trying to put across with visual elements makes it easier for your audience to grasp what you’re saying.

10. Integrate data visualization

Consider utilizing a chart or data visualization to drive your argument home, especially if you have vital figures or trends you want your audience to remember. This might be a bar graph or a pie chart that displays various data points, a percentage indication, or an essential value pictogram. 

Confident public speaking mixed with good visuals may greatly influence your audience, inspiring them to take action. The use of design features makes it simpler for your audience to grasp and recall both complex and fundamental data and statistics, and the presentation becomes much more enjoyable too. 

Even though trends come and go, effective presentation design paired with some inspiration to get you started will always be in style. Think about what’s current in the world of graphic design before you create a staggering presentation deck for a creative proposal or a business report. To help you better, we’ve come up with a list of the most popular presentation design concepts. 

1. Dark backdrops with neon colors

While white backgrounds have long dominated web design, the advent of “dark mode” is gradually altering that. Designers may use dark mode to play with contrast and make creative things stand out.

design of a slide in a presentation

This is a great way to get your audience’s attention and keep them interested in what you have to say. The key is to pick one or two bright colors and utilize them as highlights against a dark backdrop, rather than using an abundance of them.                                                                                            

2. Monochromatic color schemes

In recent years, color schemes originating from one base hue, such as monochromatic color schemes, have been given a subdued pastel makeover. The usage of monochromatic color schemes in presentation design is always seen as clean and professional. It’s ideal for pitch decks and presentations since monochrome is generally utilized to assist people in concentrating on the text and message, rather than the colors inside a design.

3. Easy-to-understand data analysis

The fundamentals of data visualization should be restored. In other words, even the most complicated measurements may be made easy to grasp via effective design. Designers, marketers, and presenters are generating snackable stats in the same way infographics have found a place on visual-first social networks.

Create a dynamic proposal or presentation with the help of an infographic template that is easy to use. You can create distinctive slides with animations and transitions to explain your point more effectively. With the help of templates, you can convert your data into bar graphs, bar charts, and bubbles that represent your idea simply, guaranteeing that every data point is simple to comprehend.

4. Straightforward minimalism

Minimalism is a design trend that will probably never go out of style. It has always been a show-stopper. Each slide should offer just enough information to let the reader comprehend what’s going on. You should use a color palette that isn’t distracting. Your simple presentation will enthrall your audience if you boldly highlight your most significant points and use trendy fonts.

5. Geometric structures

There’s a good reason why designers are so fond of geometric patterns, 3D objects, and asymmetrical layouts. They’re basic yet stunning, making them perfect for times you want to make a lasting impression with the information you’re sharing. 

More cutting-edge components, such as 3D shapes and floating objects, are used in presentation graphics these days. Go for a presentation template that contains editable slides that enable you to easily add your visuals and material to brighten your presentation. 

15 Best Presentation Design Templates to Consider

In the case of presentation designs, you should never sacrifice quality. Ideally, you should have a design that improves your brand’s image, amplifies your message, and enables you to deliver various content forms efficiently. 

The problem is, it’s pretty challenging to locate premade themes and templates of this merit. We’ve made it easy for you by putting together a list of the best 15 presentation design templates out there. These presentation design suggestions are a great place to start.  

1. Business plan presentation template

This is a crucial business presentation template with a significant emphasis on visualizations and graphics. To create a business strategy, you need this presentation template. It consists of several crucial elements, such as a mind map, infographics, and bar graphics. Replace the placeholder text with your own to complete the presentation.

design of a slide in a presentation

2. Pitch deck template

Startups seeking financing require a clean and eye-catching pitch deck design to impress investors. You may use it to present significant aspects and achievements of your company to investors. You can include slides for mockups, testimonials, business data like statistics, and case studies.

design of a slide in a presentation

The pitch deck presentation template is excellent for your next client pitch, as it allows you to pick from a range of different startup tales to showcase the most crucial features of your firm.

3. Brand guidelines presentation template

Creating a bespoke presentation talking about the company dos and don’ts may be a terrific approach to discuss your brand rules with your team and stakeholders. You can easily show off your brand’s typeface and color schemes using this presentation template.

design of a slide in a presentation

4. Marketing plan presentation template

Marketing is a vast concept, and the slides included in this design stock set reflect that broadness. A well-executed marketing strategy is essential to the success of any team. A marketing plan presentation template should ideally include slides for charts, timelines, and competition research. You can create executive summaries or mission statements with the below-mentioned presentation’s elegant and minimalistic slides.

design of a slide in a presentation

5. Keynote presentation template

This keynote template has a lovely color scheme that is equal parts captivating and professional. You can employ a keynote presentation template if you’re going to be a keynote speaker at an upcoming event and want to ensure that your design stands out.

design of a slide in a presentation

In addition to several slides, the template comes with various predefined color schemes. This template is perfect for any business presentation requiring a well-designed layout.

6. Training manual presentation template

A training manual presentation template may be used to convey new hire training to your workforce. It is essential for the design to be as clean and straightforward as possible.

design of a slide in a presentation

These training material decks created with a predesigned template make it easy for new employees to learn the ins and outs of their jobs. 

7. Case study presentation template

A case study is an excellent way to illustrate a point in your presentation. The best way to attract new consumers using a case study presentation is to show them how your existing customers are using your product or service. Make sure to highlight how your product solved their pain points.

design of a slide in a presentation

8. Interactive brief presentation template

It’s common to provide a creative brief when working with a contractor, freelancer, or designer to ensure everyone involved understands what the final product should look like.

design of a slide in a presentation

An interactive presentation template like a creative brief is a terrific concept for absorbing and memorizing that information.

9. Workforce handbook presentation template

When hiring a new employee, your company needs to create an employee handbook to ensure they know the company’s objective and general working norms. You may connect this presentation to your intranet or website, or just distribute the digital version through a password-protected or private link.

design of a slide in a presentation

10. Ignite presentation template

Using this template as a starting point for an Ignite presentation would be ideal. An Ignite presentation is a five-minute presentation consisting of 20 slides, compelling the speaker to speak fast and concisely. As a result, an Ignite presentation template prevents you from using too much text on any slide. 

design of a slide in a presentation

11. Informative presentation template

The need to create an educational presentation may arise due to several reasons, such as onboarding new hires, explaining a concept to students, and more. An informative presentation template is a suitable solution in all cases.

Regardless of who they are meant for, presentations are the optimal format for sharing information with any audience. Create an educational presentation that you can embed in a blog post or publish on several platforms online. Make presentations to provide knowledge at conferences and other meetings.

design of a slide in a presentation

12. SWOT analysis presentation template

A strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis is a valuable tool for gauging where your business stands, and how your strategic planning measures are paying off. This presentation template is an excellent tool for SWOT analysis or refining your marketing strategy.

design of a slide in a presentation

It comes in several formats; circular design and hexagonal shapes being two of them. You may modify the colors as desired.

13. Competitor analysis presentation template

Knowing your competition and what they offer is essential for a successful business. Competitor analysis means researching your competitors’ key strengths and weaknesses, which can, eventually, help you define your goals and USPs more clearly. 

design of a slide in a presentation

There are built-in interactive elements in this competitor analysis presentation template, which can help hook your audience. 

14. Bold presentation template

Ideal for non-corporate sales presentations, a bold and daring presentation template includes slides with a vibrant, attention-grabbing theme that is neither overbearing nor distracting. The color combination is striking without being oppressive.

design of a slide in a presentation

15. Company overview template

Creative presentation templates are all the rage today. Using a lot of negative space will allow your audience to take a breath and direct their attention to the most crucial parts of your presentation. It is suitable for corporate presentations, since it doesn’t stick out more than is necessary.

design of a slide in a presentation

Key Takeaways

  • Audiences tend to forget a large percentage of what was addressed before the presentation is through. This is why it is important to create a presentation design that is memorable.
  • A presentation is much more than just a layout of slides with text and graphics on them. You need to make sure it’s visually appealing too. 
  • Use a wide range of best presentation design tools, components, and styles until you discover the one that resonates with your target audience. 
  • Consider the most recent trends and best practices, and dedicate time to thoroughly crafting every presentation.
  • Fine-tuning your message, avoiding the use of bullet points, incorporating visual hierarchy, and incorporating data visualization are a few design tips to create a winning presentation. 

Both your presentation style and design are crucial. You can deliver more dynamic, memorable presentations by creating visually pleasing decks. It’s advisable to create a resourceful presentation design if you want to elevate your personal as well as professional credibility.

Take cues from some popular presentation templates, and enhance one little aspect at a time. Now is the time to practice everything you’ve learned in this presentation design guide. As with any other visual communication, creating the best presentation design requires time, effort, and patience. Never be afraid to try something new; you’ll quickly see the benefits a strong presentation can have on your project.

A presentation design puts ideas, tales, words, and pictures into a series of slides that convey a narrative and engage your audience.

A presentation design template is used to achieve a uniform look for your slides. Templates are pre-made presentations into which you may insert your data.

People remember images and words better than just words. The design of your slides should be simple and consistent. This way, your audience will focus on the most important points.

Use high-quality images to back your message, but don’t use too many special effects. Make sure you don’t read from your slides.

A well-presented, memorable introduction and conclusion are two essential parts of a presentation. Don’t forget them when you write your outline.

Presentation design is essential, because it helps you weave your ideas, narrative, images, facts, and statistics into a unified story that leads your audience to the choice you want them to make.

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Presentation Design: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nailing your presentation structure can have a big impact on your target audiences, whether they are investors, coworkers, partners, or potential customers. It helps get your ideas across and persuade others. 

For a presentation to work, its contents must be paired with great design. In fact, 91% of presenters feel more confident with a well-designed slide deck.

Now, design may not be something that interests you or something you’re good at. But like it or not, the moment you fire up Powerpoint, or Keynote you are a designer. And there is no escape. 

So instead of designing a poor presentation with lousy templates, why not learn the essentials of designing a beautiful presentation?

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to design a captivating presentation, and break down the whole process into small chunks so you can tackle each step easily. 

If you’re eager to put these principles into practice, create a Piktochart account and start creating beautiful presentations in minutes.

What makes a presentation well designed?

A bad presentation can give the impression that you lack preparation, care, and credibility. A well-designed presentation, on the other hand, makes you look professional and trustworthy. Here’s what it means: 

Less text and more visuals

Humans are visual beings. Our comprehension of visual elements is way more than just plain text. And we retain any information much better when it’s paired with imagery. 

If you want your message to connect with your audience, remove the extra text in your slides and replace it with visual content .

There are many ways to add photos , one of which is visualizing your data into timelines , flowcharts, graphs , and other frameworks. For example, this presentation by Trinh Tu uses data visualization really well to convey key stats and details.

Example of data visualization used in a presentation.

However, adding visuals doesn’t mean just throwing some fancy pictures and icons onto your slides. Your icons and photos need to be relevant.

Before you add a visual element, always check if it contributes to the message you are trying to communicate. 

Well-placed pictures can go a long way in helping the audience connect with your presentation. So use them cautiously and strategically. 

Summarize points instead of writing them all out

According to a survey by David Paradi , the three things that annoy audiences most about presentations are:  

  • Speakers reading their slides 
  • Slides that include full sentences of text 
  • Text that is too small to read 

Graph of top three things that annoys the audience most about presentations.

Notice what’s common to all these annoyances? The text. People have extremely short attention spans, especially when it comes to reading heaps of text. 

So the text in your presentation slides should be just enough to complement the speaker, no more. It should not compete with what’s being said. 

For example, this simple presentation does a great job of summarizing the message of each slide in just a few words and breaking up the text nicely into multiple slides. 

Example of simple design which perfectly uses fonts, bullet points, and other elements.

Crowding your slides with all the information you have makes you unnecessary. You don’t want people to be distracted by reading when they’re trying to listen to you. 

Instead, the slides should only be considered as a visual aid. So keep them simple. Focus on the message, not the slides themselves. 

One takeaway per slide

As we discussed, people find it hard to absorb too much information from a single slide. So don’t overwhelm your audience, and remember that less is more. Make sure not to have more than one key point in each presentation slide.  

For example, this presentation about startup weekend has minimalistic slides walking viewers through one message at a time. It also shows that you don’t need a ton of fancy elements to make your presentation visually appealing.

Example of one takeaway per presentation slide.

Limit each of your slides to a simple statement, and you’ll easily be able to direct your audience’s focus to the main topic and subtopics. 

Arranging your text this way is one of the best ways to make a powerful impact on your presentation design.  

Clear hierarchy in design

Visual hierarchy is easily one of the most important yet most overlooked design principles. Simply put, it means the color, size, contrast, alignment, and other factors related to each element of your slide should be based on its importance. 

The most important elements should capture the attention of your audience first, followed by the second most important elements, and so on. 

Needless to say, you must know the whole narrative and outline before you start planning the visual hierarchy. It’s all about the message you want each slide and your whole presentation to get across. 

For example, in this presentation about building a good team, see how the header text, the description text, and the button text are different from each other. The header font is the largest and placed at the top, catching immediate attention. 

Then your eyes go to the button text because it captures attention with a red background. And finally, you see the description, the illustration, and other elements. 

Example of visual hierarchy in a presentation design.

So as you design your presentation, consider the narrative and plan the visual hierarchy needed to justify the story. This will ensure that your audience will not miss out on the key points you want to emphasize. 

Design consistency across slides

People are quick to identify inconsistencies in a presentation design, and these inconsistencies prevent them from having a fully engaging experience. So keep your presentation design consistent with a single theme.

Consistency creates a better flow and shows that each slide in your presentation belongs to the same story. To understand this better, see the below slide from this presentation . 

Example of consistency in presentation slides.

Notice how the slide primarily uses only two colors (white and red) for all the elements. And the image dimensions, fonts, and styling for each team member are exactly the same. 

You’ll notice the same thing in other slides of this presentation too. The same colors, the same font family , and similar backgrounds have been used in the overall design . This is what we mean by consistency. 

If the presentation you’re making is part of a company, the company may already have a style guide that dictates how to keep your presentation consistent with the company’s branding. If not, it’s never too late to create one . 

Call to action

A presentation is not complete without a call to action (CTA). If there is no CTA, your audience will think, “Is that it?” and you’ll leave them wondering what they’re supposed to do next with the information you provided.

The best CTAs are simple and easy. For example, you can ask the audience to contact you, connect on social media, sign up for a product or webinar. 

Call to action button in the presentation.

Also, make sure to highlight the incentive. Your audience should be clear on the main benefits they will get by following through with your call to action. 

The bottom line is: Make it a no-brainer and make it easy for people to take action right away. 

Designing a great presentation

Now that you know the ingredients of appealing presentation design, let’s see how to design a presentation that wows your audience, and also drives your key points home at the same time. Follow the below presentation, ideas, steps, and best practices to create a stunning presentation.

Prepare slide backgrounds and images

Backgrounds and pictures go a long way in setting the right mood and feel for your presentation. And there is no one right way to do this. Your options are limited only by your creativity.

For example, this presentation from Zuora makes masterful use of background images. Almost every slide has a beautiful background photo, along with a color overlay above the background to make the text easy to read. 

Example of usage of images as background in presentation slides.

Pay attention to the following best practices as you work on your backgrounds and photos:

  • Make sure your images have enough contrast with your words. 
  • Use simple images that are closely relevant to your messages. You can use multiple free and paid stock photo sites to find photos that resonate with what you want to convey. These include Picography , Unsplash , Freepik , and Gratisography .
  • Don’t pick common, generic stock images that people have already seen hundreds of times elsewhere. Also, avoid clipart for the same reasons. 
  • Don’t crowd too many pictures into a single slide.
  • Ensure that your images are of high quality, with a resolution that allows a comfortable viewing experience. They should come off as clear and crisp on both small and large screens. 

Zero in on your slide layouts

Contrary to what you may believe, great presentation design is not about being very artistic or creating complex layouts. Instead, your focus should be on communicating information in a nice, user-friendly way.

For example, this presentation has many slides that emphasize a great alternative to the conventional approach of putting text over an image. It leverages a split-screen layout for each slide, resulting in clean and elegant quotes paired with stunning visuals. 

Alt-Text: A presentation slide with split-screen for image and text.

Pay attention to the following best practices as you work on slide layouts:

  • Make sure you have a reason for aligning elements in a certain way for each slide. If possible, use frames or grids to align your images and text appropriately. 
  • When used too often, center alignment makes your design look amateurish. Use it only as a last resort.  
  • Don’t keep using the same layout for consecutive slides. It makes your presentation dull and repetitive. Mix up the layouts to keep your audience engaged. 
  • Have enough white space around each element. Don’t feel like you have to fill vacant spaces with more objects. Giving each visual room to breathe makes your whole design easier on the eyes, while a cluttered composition is hard to make sense of. 

Pick your colors wisely

Colors influence emotions and contribute to the identity of your brand. They also lift the audience’s overall sense of enthusiasm and move people to action. So you must use colors strategically to pull the audience into your presentation. 

For example, this colorful presentation for Adidas was designed to show how its deck could give a combination of fun and luxurious vibes. 

Usage of colors to make Adidas presentation engaging

Notice the colors used in the above slide. There is a lot of white, purple, and blue, with some variations used sparingly around the illustrations. Only three main colors are doing most of the heavy lifting. That’s why the overall design still works even with some extra colors thrown in. 

Pay attention to the following best practices as you work on your presentation colors:

  • If your company already has a color palette in place, stick to it. If not, pick a strong color scheme with no more than five colors to serve as a base for your presentation design. Too many colors can make your audience frantic. 
  • Use tools such as Adobe Color CC , Kuler , Piknik , and 0to255 to play around with different colors and color schemes and see what works with what. 
  • Make sure your color scheme has colors that can contrast and complement each other. Colors that don’t clash will make your presentation look clean and polished. 

Select the right fonts

Typography is another factor that can make or break your presentation. Fonts have a subtle but powerful impact on how the audience views both your presentation and your brand. 

But choosing fonts is a major challenge for those without any form of design education or experience. They mistakenly think that simple and basic fonts are too dull and boring. So they try to look for some fancy fonts to make their presentation exciting, eventually ending up with some hideous or outdated font such as Comic Sans.

Instead, you should consider the readability of the message you want to convey. For example, this presentation by With Company makes great use of modern typography . 

Crisp and clean use of text in a presentation.

Since many of the slides have lengthy quotes, they are split in ways to make the message easy to digest. In addition, see how all the text is super clean and concise. 

Pay attention to the following best practices as you work on your presentation fonts: 

  • Just like with your color scheme, use the same set of fonts and the same font sizes in all the slides of your presentation. For example, if your slide heading is Verdana 40pt, then each slide heading should be Verdana 40pt. In fact, you don’t need more than three fonts that work well together. 
  • If you feel like using some animated text that bounces, soars, or glitters, just don’t. Curb the temptation. Hyperactive words and phrases are annoying and distracting. 
  • If you already have standard font pairs based on your company’s brand identity, use those. If not, choose fonts that convey the voice and tone you’re aiming for. 
  • The best fonts for presentations are simple, professional, modern, and readable. Pick a font such that there is a significant difference between its regular and bold font faces.
  • Don’t shy away from using standard fonts. Avoid using some rare font that’s unlikely to be available on all computers and mobile devices.
  • Pair fonts that work well with each other. Granted, this can be tricky and hard for an untrained eye to pull off. But there are many collections known to be effective. So you can pick from those. Resources like FontPair and FontJoy make it easy to find great font combinations.
  • As discussed before, size the fonts based on visual hierarchy. For example, headlines should be larger than body text. But even the least significant texts should be large enough to read, with appropriate line and letter spacing. 

Wrapping up

We know this may be a lot to take in. It’s not easy to design a mesmerizing presentation. But the final result is worth all the trouble. A great presentation can open doors that you may have never thought to be possible. 

A clean design is much easier to take in. It makes you and your brand look more credible and professional. So use the above steps to push your design skills as far as you can. 

Start improving one thing at a time, and your efforts will add up to a point where you’ll design stunning presentations without thinking. You can also accelerate the process with a tool like Piktochart that comes with hundreds of ready-made templates and intuitive features. So get started today.

About The Author


Hitesh Sahni is an editor, consultant, and founder of http://smemark.com/ , an upscale content marketing studio helping brands accelerate growth with superior and scalable SEO, PPC, and copywriting services.

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design of a slide in a presentation

The Golden Rules of Presentation Design

design of a slide in a presentation

You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to master the ins and outs of what makes a visually enticing presentation. While building a super-polished template from scratch might seem daunting, all you really need to know are a few basic principles of presentation design to take your slides from messy and unprofessional to clean, informative, and on-brand.

These days, presentation slide templates and tools abound – from the default options in Powerpoint and Google Slides , to services like SlidesCarnival , Canva , Envato and more that specialize in compiling eclectic template options. While these resources can take the guesswork out of creating sleek and professional deck designs, it’s still up to you to optimize each slide to communicate your ideas as clearly as possible. Furthermore, just because a presentation template looks nice, doesn’t necessarily mean it fits your brand aesthetic and message – and seeing the same common templates reused repeatedly can make yours more forgettable. 

No matter what program you use to build your presentations, there are a few principles of presentation design you should always bear in mind.

The Most Important Rule: Less is More

We’ve all heard this one before, yet it’s still tempting to try and cram as much information as you can onto a slide. Remember that the focus should always remain on the presenter and the story they’re telling – your presentation is an accompaniment to help you illustrate the ideas you’re communicating, not a textbook to be studied. 

Let’s break down a few of the easiest ways to declutter your slides:

  • Use key words, not full sentences What’s the main idea for each slide? Try to distill it into a single word or short phrase, rather than spelling out the complete thought as a sentence. When in doubt, use the 6×6 rule: no more than 6 bullet points per slide, with less than 6 words per line.
  • Utilize white space – balance is your friend! Afraid that you’re wasting real estate by not filling every corner of your slide? The eye naturally needs a place of rest, so don’t be afraid of white space. This also helps funnel and direct the viewer’s attention where you want it to go. Avoid the temptation to blow your content up to fill all the available space on your slide. Even if it’s still just a couple sentences of information, this can make it look overwhelming. 

design of a slide in a presentation

  • Break up your ideas if needed Don’t be shy about spreading out information between multiple slides, and pace yourself! A “title slide” to introduce a new topic can provide a nice (and necessary) breather that balances out the pace of your presentation, preventing audience exhaustion.
  • Use fewer fonts (aim for 2 or maybe 3 max) Mixing and matching typefaces takes a fairly well-trained eye, but there are a couple of handy resources on the web to help: FontJoy and Typ.io will both auto-generate a pairing of fonts that go well together visually. Other rules of thumb: keep body copy typefaces simple and sans-serif (using too much of a display typeface hurts legibility), use caps lock only for emphasis and visual contrast, and understand how typefaces can help convey brand sentiments.
  • Choose colors and fonts wisely You may be designing a presentation for work, in which case you likely have a couple established brand colors to use throughout your presentation. If you’re making up a color scheme from scratch, bear in mind: (A) Don’t use too many colors. Using too many different colors will make the presentation look messy, busy, or incoherent – so focus on one or two key, recurring colors that’ll lend a sense of cohesion throughout all your slides. (B) Try to get one or two vibrant, saturated colors to energize your presentation with a more youthful energy – muted and neutral tones run the risk of boring your audience or looking overly corporate.

design of a slide in a presentation

Use Visual Hierarchy

Create a clear delineation between the most and the least important information. This can be done in a few ways:

  • Contrast Don’t let your text or other elements disappear in a monochromatic fog; up the contrast to make things pop off the page.
  • Background vs. Foreground images If you want to overlay text on top of an image, make sure to use photos with copy space and more subtle, uncluttered background elements. Can’t find enough white space in the pic to give your text breathing room? Consider adding a photo filter, color block, or even a gentle and more subtle gradient block to put beneath your text.
  • Size Use 30+ pt. text sizes to keep your copy legible even from a distance – and keep it bolder for titles, headings, and key words. Be sure that the size you use for headings is at least 50% larger than the size you’re using for body text to better call out your main ideas.
  • Alignment One of the single biggest threats to legibility – and your professional credibility – is a “scattershot” slide with text and images thrown together with no rhyme or reason. Instead of combining alignments (center-aligned with left-aligned headers or body copy, for example), stick with left-alignment for quick scanning. Your best bet? Use a grid system instead of plopping elements on the page and hoping for the best. Align similar elements along vertical and horizontal lines to give each slide a sense of rhythm and repetition. Tidy groupings of similar items (e.g. having all your headings, descriptions, pictures and icons along the same lines) bolsters scannability.

design of a slide in a presentation

Use Icons to Get Your Message Across Faster (and More Beautifully)

Icons are a critical component of presentation design, as they help your audience digest the ideas you’re covering quicker than words alone. In fact, studies have shown that audiences will remember an image paired with a verbal cue 55% better than a verbal cue alone – a phenomenon known as the Picture Superiority Effect (and a critical component of Dual Coding Theory ).

Some may even argue that icons can (and should!) take the place of bullet points.

It’s especially critical to bring in visual aids like icons when you’re covering topics that are more abstract or technologically complex – consider how much words on a page can fall flat and fail to “click” in your audience’s minds, vs. bringing in a quick and concise visual that will help people place the key ideas in a clear, real-world context.

design of a slide in a presentation

Visual cues like this “deliver the punchline” for your viewers before you even need to – so your ideas can not only jump off the page, but stay in your audience’s memories for longer.

Nonetheless, you’ll need to make sure you’re using your icons as effectively as possible. 

Using Noun Project Icons in Your Presentations

  • Search Icons Get all the icons you could ever need from Noun Project . Our collection is literally millions of icons deep – and each one can be customized, colored, and downloaded as a PNG or SVG.
  • Use Apps & Plugins Instantly insert icons without leaving your workflow – Noun Project has apps and plugins for Google Slides , Powerpoint , Adobe Products and more. (Plus, Noun Project apps now support SVG icons – so you can use and customize vectors directly inside apps like Powerpoint).
  • Go Pro for Royalty-Free Downloads Customize and insert unlimited icons royalty-free with a Noun Pro account. When you go Pro, you can instantly recolor and click-and-drag icons straight from the Noun Project window without needing to worry about attributions.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip: Icons are essential to help an important point “click” in people’s brains more quickly. The Noun Project Add-On for Powerpoint lets you instantly search, recolor, click and drag icons instantly all without having to leave your window (and a Noun Pro account lets you insert unlimited icons).

Use Icons to Make Your (Bullet) Point

  • Condense & Summarize Your Big Ideas with Icons Use icons as a direct translation of your information – or an obvious metaphor that won’t leave people guessing. Noun Project offers a dazzling range of icons, from the extremely literal (bar graphs, money, medical icons and more) to more broad and abstract concepts (gerrymandering, sanctuary city defunding, you name it)…. But with any icon you need, choose one that doesn’t need too much deciphering, or provide an explanatory caption where necessary. As with all things design, go by the famous maxim “ Don’t Make Me Think .”

design of a slide in a presentation

  • Aim for Visual Consistency Icons come in numerous styles: thin line icons, thick “glyph”-style icons, sharp, rounded, pixel-perfect or hand-drawn. Pick a style that suits your brand and message, then stick with it. Selecting icons from the same collection, or the same creator, will help maintain visual consistency – whereas a mixing and matching of styles will appear messier and less professional.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip: Try to select icons from the same collection so that they have a consistent visual style. ( Basic Interface icon collection by Caesar Rizky Kurniawan ).

  • Use Icons to Accentuate Your Theme Icons don’t need to be used merely to reinforce your statistics – they can usher people through your narrative and play off your visual theme as well. Think about the stylistic possibilities of your overall presentation – e.g., bringing in a nostalgic ‘80s theme with 8-bit pixel icons or discussing holistic health with naturalistic, ecological icon collections. 

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip: Browse the latest topical icon collections on Noun Project .

Use Photos to Suit the Mood

Icons aren’t the only must-have in packing a visual punch. While we’ve already written dedicated articles about the best ways to use stock photos in Powerpoint or even in social media campaigns , here are a few quick rules of thumb:

  • Use photos that are natural, authentic, diverse, and inclusive Ditch the overly-posed and unnatural corporate stock photoshoots of bygone eras. It’s important to make sure your photos feature a variety of ages, ethnicities, body types, sexualities and more so that no matter who your audience, they’ll feel included (Hint: check out photo collections like Diversity in Tech and Empowered Women on Noun Project).

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip: Search for diverse stock photos that don’t feel too “stock-y.” Relaxed poses and natural lighting and textures will look more suitable than the overly staged corporate photo shoots of yore. Explore the Diversity in Tech or Empowered Women collections on Noun Project for inspiration.

  • Focus on single background images – not a whole album. Usually one supporting image is enough – there’s no need to include multiple images on a single slide as this muddles your message. If, perhaps, you want to show multiple photos to recap an event or show steps in a process, be sure to align your photos, use a grid system, or give each one even dimensions through thoughtful cropping.
  • Visually unify your photos using color overlays Apps like Powerpoint will typically let you adjust brightness and hue or overlay a color so that multiple disparate photos can appear unified – and reinforce your brand.

design of a slide in a presentation

Tip: While a full-color photo may be eye-catching, consider using a color overlay (at right) with your brand or theme colors to give a stronger air of sophistication and cohesion to disparate photos. (In Powerpoint, with an image selected, go to Picture Format > Color > More Variations to set your own color).

Get Started on Your Next Presentation Design With Noun Project.

Explore icon and photo collections, and unlock unlimited royalty-free icon downloads with Noun Pro .

Ready to try out different types of presentation design apps? If you’re looking for friendly, web-based alternatives to the classic Powerpoint, try out free options like Google Slides or even Canva .

Hungry for more design tips? View more on our blog at blog.thenounproject.com .

design of a slide in a presentation

Marketing Communications Manager at Noun Project, Designer and Illustrator.

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Presentation design principles for better PowerPoint design

  • Written by: Richard Goring
  • Categories: PowerPoint design , PowerPoint productivity
  • Comments: 17

design of a slide in a presentation

I’m often asked how to make presentations more effervescent. How they can have more fizz. Or, worst of all, “Can you make my presentation pop?” Well, the answer is yes. By applying some key principles of presentation design , you can make your PowerPoint design really standout and deliver both a more ‘popping’ – but also more effective – presentation.

I’ve split this out into a couple of topics, across two broad categories. One is presentation design, which is really the core graphic design principles that work across any form of visual communication. The other I’ve classed as PowerPoint design, which is a little more specific to using PowerPoint as a tool to create or deliver content. All the ideas have practical applications in PowerPoint, but I thought this breakdown was potentially useful.

Presentation design with images

What if I told you that your presentations could look like these examples?

design of a slide in a presentation

They’re all using images to enhance your PowerPoint design, both by looking good, but also contributing to the story and helping your audience understand your messages. We’ll get more into the visual storytelling aspect of this later, so for now, just think about the quality of your images. All of these come from one of my favourite free stock photo sites, Unsplash , which gives you royalty free images for commercial use, and they’re all beautiful.

design of a slide in a presentation

So, it’s not just a case of dropping nice images on the slide. You need to understand how to lay them out well, and use the crop, colour, and artistic effects tools in PowerPoint to treat the images appropriately, and give your presentation a professional look.

design of a slide in a presentation

To see how we’ve created these kinds of slides, check out the image crop , and crop to zoom and full bleed step-by-step guides. Simple, but considered use of the crop tool can work wonders with your PowerPoint presentation design.

Presentation design incorporating white space

Big, bold, flood fill images are great, and an easy way to make your slides stand out. But it’s not all about pictures and Presentation Zen;  inevitably you’ll need to place other content onto your slides, whether that’s facts, figures, charts, or even dare I say it… bullet points. This is where the use of white space in presentation design becomes crucial.

White space is not about purely adding ‘white space’ onto your slide. This one has plenty of it, but it still looks terrible:

design of a slide in a presentation

It’s about creating areas of contrast, with clear focal points to draw your attention to the important parts, and even create a flow and hierarchy across your slide.

design of a slide in a presentation

This example gives you that luxurious feel of the full bleed image, but crops it so that the focal point – the watch – is off to one side, leaving plenty of white, or ‘negative’ space around the arm for your content. The two sections work nicely together, and we’ve anchored the text in a content placeholder and given it some structure too, by actually reducing the size of the text to give it more room. Again, we’ve got a full tutorial on how to incorporate white space like this here .

Presentation design using grids

Grids are pretty much design 101, and to be honest, I’m surprised that we’ve got this far into presentation design without me having brought them up. You’ll likely be familiar with grids from magazines and newspapers – these mainly use column grids. The page is divided into columns and then content is designed to sit across these columns in any combination, which balances the content.

Well, the same thing applies to PowerPoint presentation design: a grid system helps to lay out your content in clear, easy to follow areas.

design of a slide in a presentation

You can use a grid to create distinct sections, such as telling the start, middle, and end of a story. It’s much easier for your audience to follow, as everything is better organized.

And, it helps bring text into line – if you have any – which is important as it minimizes distractions for your audience when trying to read.

Using a grid also helps you decide where to position content, as there are only so many places that you can put things. Here, for example, one third of the slide has been taken up with the supporting image, so we’ve created a grid within a grid to lay out the three pie charts, which helps to create a feeling of harmony and sophistication:

design of a slide in a presentation

And don’t think that your divisions have to be straight along the gridlines. Here’s an example that doesn’t apply the rule exactly, but still works really well.

design of a slide in a presentation

Also, by using a grid, you achieve a consistent feel across all your slides for overall presentation design cohesion.

What does all of that mean? Well, you can transform a slide like this:

design of a slide in a presentation

It’s really quick and easy to do in PowerPoint too, and you can see our tutorial on using grids and the guide tools in PowerPoint to bring your presentation design up a level.

Presentation design with colour themes

Another key presentation design principle is colour. Setting the right colour palette is essential, as it gives everything a consistent feel, allows you to adhere to your brand, and can give you the ability to assign meaning to specific colours to help your audience understand things. The best way to handle colours in PowerPoint is to set your template correctly and use a colour theme. You can find out how to  change your PowerPoint colour theme here . It’s really quick and easy to do. Once you’ve done it, the theme will save with the file (or template), so you don’t need to worry about it again.

Once set, you can use colour in interesting ways to convey meaning.

design of a slide in a presentation

For example, a heat map is a great way to show data ranges, like metrics, using a scale, rather than just plain numbers. That’s more helpful to your audience, as it allows them to immediately see both the absolute and relative values, rather than having to spend time deciphering it.

You can also use colour to focus attention.

design of a slide in a presentation

In complex data sets, using contrast colours can help to highlight primary datasets. Here, for instance, you can clearly see the main data series, compared to the ‘everything else’ data series.

Again, once you’ve set your colour theme, using these techniques as part of your presentation design is pretty easy, and you can find more specific guidance on how to manipulate colours in PowerPoint here .

PowerPoint design with text formatting

With your grids, colours, and white space considered from a high-level presentation design perspective, you now get into the specifics of creating slides in PowerPoint. As much as you, I, and your audiences, love presentations that make use of effective visuals, we know there are always going to be slides that are stuffed to the gills with boring text and even boring-er bullet points.

But, by applying the presentation design techniques already mentioned, you can fairly easily transform your text-heavy slide into something that’s far easier on the eye:

design of a slide in a presentation

By using grids, appropriate colour, and white space, your PowerPoint slide design could look like this. Breaking out the text with decent paragraph spacing helps your audience parse the content more efficiently. Everything is easier to follow with consistent fonts and the use of colour highlighting. And the white space around the content actually gives the slide greater impact – particularly the use of the large margins around the text, created by the contrasting placeholder. There are a great many more options, and for ten in-depth typography techniques, check out this post . But if you’re just looking for nice fonts to use, this rundown of ten of our favourite fonts for presentations is a must-read.

As you’ve probably come to expect by now, this is something you can do using only PowerPoint, and you can see how in this tutorial on text formatting .

PowerPoint design to manipulate images

While it’s not Photoshop, PowerPoint has some neat tools to manipulate images.

design of a slide in a presentation

What if I were to tell you the picture you see here had been constructed out of this…

design of a slide in a presentation

PowerPoint design tools for images are all found on the Format tab on the ribbon. There are plenty of options to choose from, but only some actually enhance your design. For PowerPoint design tools, you should really focus on the left-hand side of the ribbon. The good features include the Remove Background tool, which does what its name suggests. The Color section allows you to put a colour wash over everything, but also, at the bottom of the menu, you can choose Set Transparent Color, which will remove a single colour from any image, which is how I’ve cut out the phone image in this example. Artistic Effects are generally terrible, except blur (which is great for changing focus on an image) and the Transparency tool – newly available in Office 365 – which makes pictures transparent. For a full tutorial on making the above example image, watch this short video .

PowerPoint design with visual storytelling

And finally, my favourite thing is to use these design techniques as part of visual storytelling, which helps dramatically improve your presentation.

Think about how you can use an image to convey meaning, as well as provide aesthetic appeal. For instance, you could use a skyscraper being constructed to show elements that are taking you higher, with labels up the building showing the key metrics:

design of a slide in a presentation

Or use a common sight from underground stations – the advertising boards on escalators – to show a data series increasing. The image also gives the figures room to breathe:

design of a slide in a presentation

It doesn’t need to be complicated, and this example has been constructed from an image, some text, and an arrow, to show the 20% of business highlighted on the office photograph:

design of a slide in a presentation

And of course, we have a short video tutorial to show you exactly how to do it. Sometimes, just finding the right image can be a real help coming up with the right PowerPoint design ideas, but you may also want to look to other design resources for inspiration .

The main thing to remember about effective presentation design is that you probably don’t have the time to create a totally new concept each time, or a mood board for your work. These ideas, especially the PowerPoint design ideas, are all about helping you create beautiful and effective presentations quickly, with minimal effort. A solid basis in design principles – coupled with a few PowerPoint tricks -will set you on your way. So, hopefully next time someone asks you to make a presentation ‘pop’ you can uncork the champagne and tell them you already have.

design of a slide in a presentation

Richard Goring

Related articles, how to create powerpoint templates that work.

  • PowerPoint design

Without a proper PowerPoint template, presentations can be a bit of a mess. Here are the building blocks for developing a PowerPoint template that works!

design of a slide in a presentation

How to create visual presentations and eLearning

  • PowerPoint design / Visual communication
  • Comments: 4

Most presentations are a cascade of text-heavy Death-by-PowerPoint slides. Online learners suffer the torture of brochures converted to click-through-eLearning. Most people now recognize that using visuals is the way to go. But how do you make visual presentations and eLearning that work? We think there are six steps you need to follow.

design of a slide in a presentation

How to print multiple slides on one page

  • PowerPoint design / PowerPoint productivity

What’s the secret for how to print multiple PowerPoint slides on one page? We've got a few solutions up our sleeves, from simple and quick to completely custom!

design of a slide in a presentation

LOVE LOVE this . .. so helpful and fun to work with. .

Your design concepts and tips were highly recommended by BiancaWoods.weebly.com and after downloading a template and reading your articles – now I see why.

Impressive resources!

Brilliant, thanks so much! Bianca is pretty awesome too. Glad that we’re all able to share with the community.

Nice way of explaining the information

Richard I have been following you since I met you at an ATD regional conference. You have always responded generously with the best in class PowerPoint tutorials and aids. Thank you for your excellence.

You’re most welcome, thanks so much!

Really useful and inspiring presentation.

It’s helped me see how to go beyond the mechanics of what PowerPoint can do towards creating a compelling and coherent design and story

This was really engaging, beautiful and extremely useful. Looking forward to using ideas into my slides.

The way you showed the Before and After is fantastic.

Very useful read .short video of 7 minutes on presentation is great to improve our presentation skills

Very creative and inspiring! You continue to amaze me with the quality of your desin6!

Really nice ideas – solid information. Thanks.

Amazing tutorials. Thank you for so generously sharing your skills, tips, and creativity!!

very interesting topic and very well presentation,thanks for this blog

very interesting topic

Excellent session as usual.

Thank you Richard for your amazing presentation! Very helpful.

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First of all the deck looks great, once again you guys have done an outstanding job. Second, I’d like to comment on the quality of the training provided by your colleagues - quite simply it was exceptional. I have spoken to the whole team and that view is unanimous. Please pass this on. James Bagan MyLife Digital

design of a slide in a presentation


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Best practices for designing presentation slides

September 20, 2018 - Gini Beqiri

When designing presentation slides, you need to find a balance between keeping the interest of your audience and maintaining their attention, while not distracting them from your key message.

The aim of presentation slides is to enhance learning and understanding, by supplementing what you’re saying (not be the main focus of your talk).

Below we discuss the best practices for designing presentation slides.

Keep it simple

If your slides are more important than what you’re saying then your message will lose impact. Your slides must be an accompaniment and not distract from your words.

  • Avoid slides with lots of text, especially if it’s just a repetition of what you’re saying. The audience may be reading rather than listening to you. If you need text-heavy slides then gradually reveal the text when needed.
  • Ideally you should only include main speaking points in the form of short and concise bullet points on your slides. This is far less dull for the audience and the best slides have no text – some speakers just use images.
  • Don’t fill up empty spaces with unnecessary elements as this won’t help the audience understand what you’re saying. The less clutter there is on a slide the more impact your visual message will have.
  • The design elements should be kept to a minimum to prevent distraction, such as, ensuring you have a clear and simple background.

Decide your presentation’s slides ratio

You must decide which  ratio for your slides  will best suit the context of the presentation:

  • A 4:3 ratio if beneficial for presentation slides that need to be viewed across multiple devices.
  • A 16:9 ratio should be used conference presentations.

Consider creating your presentation slides in both sizes to be prepared.

Presentation slide ratio, 4:3 ratio vs 16:9 ratio

Have a title page that stands out

Create a visually engaging title page so the audience is interested and ready to listen before you begin speaking.

Limit transitions and animations

Using lots of animations is distracting and amateurish. It doesn’t add much meaning to your presentation and it’s boring for the audience if they are watching constant animation. It can also be problematic and frustrating to view the presentation on different devices due to this.

  • Only use animations for a purpose, such as, to reveal the stages of a process.
  • Your animations should subtle and professional, for example, “Wipe” is effective for introducing bullet points but “Move” and “Fly” are too slow.
  • Don’t animate every element in your slide.
  • Avoid using animations between every slide and don’t use more than three different types of animations for this.

Use visual aids

Visual aids are chosen depending on their purpose, for example, you may want to:

  • Summarise information.
  • Reduce the amount of spoken words.
  • Clarify and show examples.
  • Create more of an impact by making the audience feel a certain emotion.
  • Emphasise what you’re saying.
  • Make a point memorable.
  • Enhance your credibility.
  • Engage the audience and maintain their interest.
  • Make something easier for the audience to understand.

Jill Bolte using a visual aid in her presentation

We go into detail on specific visual aids later in the article but here are some general tips for using visual aids:

  • Think about how can a visual aid can support your message. What do you want the audience to do?
  • Ensure that your visual aid follows what you’re saying or this will confuse the audience.
  • Avoid cluttering the image as it may look messy and unclear.
  • Visual aids must be clear, concise and of a high quality.
  • One message per visual aid.
  • Use visual aids in moderation – they are additions meant to emphasise and support main points.
  • Ensure that your presentation still works without your visual aids in case of technical problems.

Read our article on  Using visual aids during a presentation  for more information.

Use high-quality graphics

If you want your presentation slides to look professional then you need to use high-quality graphics. Main points can be illustrated with images but these images shouldn’t be a stretched low-resolution photo as this will look sloppy. Also, avoid using Clip Art as it’s likely the audience has already seen the images and it generally looks unprofessional.

Photographs are particularly valuable to enhance understanding because they allow the audience to see what you’re saying. Ensure that you use simple photos that relate closely with your speech.

Find free stock photos here:

Alter images to focus on elements

If an image is not the focal point consider decreasing its opacity and if it’s the current focus then make the image more pronounced. Masking can be a useful way of achieving these results and it can also be used to direct attention to something important within an image. It looks more professional than highlighting or using arrows etc.

Use panning for large images

You may want to show a large image in your presentation, such as, a web page. Consider using the Chrome extension to capture this. This will prevent you from scaling the image and distorting it. Instead you’ll be able to pan as you talk about it.

Use suitable charts and diagrams

Present data using charts and diagrams because they display data in a visually compelling way and you’ll avoid overwhelming the audience compared to, for example, presenting a list of statistics. Select data most relevant to the points you’re making and ensure that your charts are necessary.

  • Horizontal bar charts should be used for comparing quantities.
  • Vertical bar charts are for displaying changes in quantities over a length of time. There should be a maximum of eight bars.
  • Pie charts highlight percentages. They should include a maximum of six segments.
  • Line charts show trends.
  • Tables are useful for side-by-side comparisons of quantitative date but charts are generally better as they are quicker to understand and they clearly emphasise significance.

Use suitable charts and diagrams in presentation

Use video or audio

Using videos and audio clips are a great wait to engage the audience and increase their interest because they introduce a change of pace and they enhance understanding.

  • Ensure that any videos or audio clips used are relevant to the presentation’s content.
  • Only play as much of the clip as necessary.
  • Never show a really long clip.
  • Video and audio can be difficult to fit into the structure of a presentation so ensure that you tell that audience why you’re playing them a clip and tell them what to look for or listen out for.

Avoid using autoplay for videos

With autoplay it can take a moment for a video to start playing which can lead to the speaker clicking in this time. This causes the slideshow to move on to the next slide rather than playing the video. Instead of allowing autoplay ensure that you have to click something for the video to play as this will give you more control.

Research suggests that using colour increases people’s motivation to read and their enthusiasm for a presentation. Colours also evoke emotions and can improve understanding by, for example, highlighting certain themes in specific colours.

Using the colour wheel can help when choosing your presentation’s colours: insert picture of colour wheel

  • Colours opposite each other in the wheel are complementary and they create contrast. Using complementary colours makes your text more readable and it allows you to draw the audience’s attention towards desired elements.
  • Colours next to each other are analogous and they are harmonious. Using analogous colours makes your presentation more unified.

Avoid using too many colours in your presentation as this can look cluttered and unprofessional and keep your colour themes continuous, for example, if you use the colour blue to highlight all the key words on your second slide continue to do this throughout the presentation. Also be careful with colour associations, for example, in many cultures red is linked to danger. Try to represent your words and topics with “appropriate” colours that make sense.

Many people are blue-green or red-green colour-blind so avoid putting these colours next to each other in, for example, a graph. If you cannot avoid placing these colours next to each other then use text to clearly label items.

There are websites that can help you pick colour schemes, such as,  Adobe Color CC  shown below.

Adobe Color CC colour wheel

Choose fonts carefully

Use the same clear fonts throughout your slideshow and use no more than two fonts that go well together. Avoid using Serif fonts, such as Time New Roman because: they’re designed to be used in text-heavy documents, they’re easier to read in smaller sizes and they cannot be seen well when projected. San-serif fonts, such as Arial are usually better for presentations.

A popular choice of font is Gill Sans but whatever font your choose make sure it looks professional and can be read from the back of the room.

Avoid using custom fonts that are unlikely to be on all computers because this can be problematic on the day of your presentation.

Use large font sizes

Your font size should be a  minimum of 24pt  so everything can be easily read. Ensure that you keep font sizes consistent throughout the slides or it can look messy.

Create consistent slides

The slides should have the same design, including colour scheme, font size, font type, etc. This makes the presentation flow better and emphasises that each slide is part of same story you’re telling so this consistency will help with understanding and it’s less frustrating for the audience.

However, some speakers like to have one style for the main slides and other styles for transitions between topics, for example, you may switch around the background and text colours for transition slides so it feels like part of the same presentation but it shows the audience that you’re moving on to a new theme or subject.

Sort your slides

Use the  Slide Sorter view  to confirm that your presentation’s structure is effective. Slide Sorter shows you how logical the flow of your presentation is and it’s easy to re-arrange your slides in this view.

Sort your slides with Slide Sorter view

Include white space on your slides

Empty space is needed on your slides or it will look too cluttered. Make sure that you have empty space between each element in your slides. Don’t try to fill the white space unnecessarily or you’ll reduce the significance of your points.

Premade templates

Experts do not agree on the use of premade templates but if you do use a premade template, ensure that there is consistency and that it looks professional.

  • Presentation templates  which you can download and use

Presentation slides come last

Design your presentation slides after deciding on your message and your supporting evidence. Remember that the slides enhance the experience but the actual speech needs to stand out on its own.

10-20-30 slideshow rule

Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a  10-20-30 rule :

  • There should be a maximum of 10 slides – people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there’s no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
  • The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
  • The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.

10-20-30 slideshow rule

The above are common preferences rather than absolute suggestions – you have to design your presentation slides in a way that works best for you and the situation.

You must take into account the type of person you are, the characteristics of the audience, your topic, the context of your presentation etc. All of this will affect what you find suitable for your presentation’s design.

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

powerpoint tricks

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

design of a slide in a presentation

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

  • Creative templates.
  • Data-driven templates.
  • Professional templates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

design of a slide in a presentation

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Create Slides That Suit Your Superiors: 11 Tips

When you’re pitching ideas or budgets to execs in your organization, you need to deliver slides that fit those particular people just right. This checklist identifies the key considerations.

design of a slide in a presentation

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I recently interviewed 20 of my customers, all in senior roles at Fortune 100 companies, and asked them their biggest pain point in presenting to higher-ups and even colleagues. What I heard consistently was that it can feel like Goldilocks bouncing from one option to the next, testing to figure out what’s “just right.” Does the audience want deep reports? Sparse slides? Something in between? Like … what?

Teams often come to presentation meetings with vast amounts of backup content just in case an exec wants to take a deep dive on any given point. There’s often a struggle to anticipate every direction attendees might want to go. It’s frustrating, and it’s not efficient.

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There are many ways to build slides. I’m not just talking about crafting them well versus poorly. I’m talking about all of the important decisions regarding how to organize them, how much text to use, when to lean into a chart, the best ways to use bullets and color, and whether to include an appendix with additional information. Before you make your next proposal or request of the executive team, use this list of 11 tips for your next set of slides as a guide.

Four Things You Must Have in Every Exec’s Slides

Before we drill down into the harder aspects, the ones where your executives’ tastes may vary widely, let’s quickly cover four aspects that you can consider the building blocks — the basics you should never proceed without.

Start with an executive summary. Begin the slide deck with a tight executive summary that follows a three-act structure. First, start with stating the current realities. Second, clearly state the problem or opportunity your idea addresses and its potential impact. Third, explain how your recommendation solves the problem or exploits the opportunity and the next steps you’re proposing.

Have a logical organization. The arc of the deck — the package from beginning to end — should make sense. If your audience reads only the headline of every slide, the order should be coherent and make most of the case for you. The content below each slide’s headline must support the statement made in the title. Remove everything that doesn’t support your point; as writers will tell you, you sometimes need to “kill your darlings” when you’re editing.

Begin the slide deck with a tight executive summary that follows a three-act structure.

Make it skimmable. Help your audience to quickly grasp the point without getting bogged down in details. Create a clear visual hierarchy. Guide the reader’s eye through the content: Use bold headings, bullet points, and numbered lists to break down information into digestible pieces. Highlight key takeaways or conclusions in a different color or font size to draw attention to these critical points.

Focus on concise insights. Succinct statements with clear insights are everyone’s jam. Every slide should serve a purpose and contribute directly to the decision-making process. Distill complex information. Don’t use 100 words when 20 words will nail it. If you’re having difficulty trimming, consider using company-approved AI tools to help you take out the fluff.

Five Preferences to Confirm With the Person You Want to Reach

Now we’ll delve into what your particular audience does and does not want. If you haven’t yet, start by asking the person you’re presenting to what they generally prefer. They probably know themselves well but have not been asked to articulate how they like to receive information.

Ask how dense is too dense. Some executives prefer detailed slides with comprehensive data. Others favor a more high-level approach. You’re weighing how to balance informative content with readability, ensuring that slides are not overloaded yet are sufficiently detailed to support decision-making.

Confirm the delivery format and timing. Some execs like information presented to them. Others prefer a pre-read of the material followed by a discussion. I always recommend our tool Slidedocs (I’ve written a free e-book on them), which are visual documents using both words and images. The templates help presenters organize their thoughts into a document for a pre-read or a read-along. They are designed to be skimmable and able to travel through your organization without the help of a presenter.

I’m a huge fan of pre-reads and prefer to use my time in meetings to ask questions and build alignment. If your audience didn’t review your material in advance, ask at the top of the meeting whether they would like you to present it or would prefer to read through it and then discuss it.

Find out how much data visualization they prefer. Charts, graphs, photos, and illustrations often communicate complex data more clearly than words alone. When execs can see what you’re saying, they often can better understand the impact of your idea. Does the exec want to understand exact numbers? Bar charts allow them to move their eyes across a series of specifics. Does the exec want to know the shape of a trend over time? Line charts can show the pattern. (See “Classic Charts Communicate Data Quickly.”) Some prefer charts with annotations that draw attention to what you think is the most important point. Others want to make their own conclusions from the data.

One of my clients, the CEO of a massive commercial real estate company, doesn’t want anything visualized. He prefers numbers, only in a table, and only in two colors — black and red. You might think this is archaic. But the fact that he’s clear to his teams about what he wants takes all the mystery out of how to communicate with him.

When the stakes are high, have a conceptual thinker help with diagrams and concepts. If you don’t have one on your team, and when it’s high stakes, find an internal designer to help you or hire one. You can’t afford to have the baby (your idea) thrown out with the bathwater (terrible slides).

Identify which details need spelling out. How well do the people you’re presenting to know the landscape and function of the company and products you’re talking about? For example, if your engineering team threw a slide into a deck about an issue that requires executive approval, do the execs all speak geek? Or do you need to explain the technology so that they will really understand the ask? Either eliminate internal jargon and acronyms or unpack those bits, especially if your proposal deeply involves expertise outside of the executives’ domain.

Ask whether appendices will be useful. When you’re organizing a presentation, you often troll data, read through complicated reports, and even hire external experts to figure out what’s best for the company. Do your execs want access to that supporting data? You can add a document to the end of the presentation as an appendix to show all of the data and source material. This allows the main content of the slides to remain focused and accessible while still providing comprehensive background information for those who want more.

Two Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Getting materials in place is the biggest step. They will be your best tools for selling your ideas. But there are two extra areas to pay attention to as a presenter: how you handle questions and how you use every experience to improve.

Anticipate questions, and practice your answers. Before you have your meeting, gather a small team to challenge every point you make. Invite colleagues you trust to role-play as “a rapidly inquisitive exec” or “the doubting naysayer exec” so you are prepared to present your idea well. They’re gonna grill you, and practicing will help you remain unruffled when it happens.

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Ask for feedback after the presentation. Establish a feedback loop with those you presented to. Ask what worked well and how you can improve. If attendees don’t have the time, find people who have had their ideas funded and talk to them about what they did that worked. Advice and some perspective will help you nail your performance even better next time.

Empathetically understanding your audience members and how they process information, whether it’s executives or peers, sets up your ideas for success. Clarity creates efficiency. When a presentation fits just right, you’ve given your great thinking the best chance of moving through your organization and having maximum impact.

About the Author

Nancy Duarte is CEO of Duarte Inc. , a communication company in the Silicon Valley. She’s the author of six books, including DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story (Ideapress Publishing, 2019).

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How to Make a “Good” Presentation “Great”

  • Guy Kawasaki

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Remember: Less is more.

A strong presentation is so much more than information pasted onto a series of slides with fancy backgrounds. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others. Here are some unique elements that make a presentation stand out.

  • Fonts: Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica or Arial are preferred for their clean lines, which make them easy to digest at various sizes and distances. Limit the number of font styles to two: one for headings and another for body text, to avoid visual confusion or distractions.
  • Colors: Colors can evoke emotions and highlight critical points, but their overuse can lead to a cluttered and confusing presentation. A limited palette of two to three main colors, complemented by a simple background, can help you draw attention to key elements without overwhelming the audience.
  • Pictures: Pictures can communicate complex ideas quickly and memorably but choosing the right images is key. Images or pictures should be big (perhaps 20-25% of the page), bold, and have a clear purpose that complements the slide’s text.
  • Layout: Don’t overcrowd your slides with too much information. When in doubt, adhere to the principle of simplicity, and aim for a clean and uncluttered layout with plenty of white space around text and images. Think phrases and bullets, not sentences.

As an intern or early career professional, chances are that you’ll be tasked with making or giving a presentation in the near future. Whether you’re pitching an idea, reporting market research, or sharing something else, a great presentation can give you a competitive advantage, and be a powerful tool when aiming to persuade, educate, or inspire others.

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  • Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist at Canva and was the former chief evangelist at Apple. Guy is the author of 16 books including Think Remarkable : 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference.

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Presentation Design: Everything You Need to Know! [+Tips]

PowerPoint Design PowerPoint Presentation Presentation Design Professional Presentation Design

Presentation design is more than just putting together information in an organized manner.

Whether you're new or experienced in making slides, it's important to learn how to make a great presentation. You must keep your audience interested and listening.

In this guide, we're going to dive into everything about making great presentations. You'll get to know what presentation design is all about, and we'll show you how it's both an art and a bit like science too.

This article is like your go-to guide for all things about designing presentations. We'll explain different presentation styles, offer simple slide tips, and share the newest design ideas.

Presentation design is always changing and growing. This means that there's a lot of important information you need to know. By the time you're done reading, you'll have all the tricks up your sleeve to create presentations that look amazing and get your point across.

What is Presentation Design?

Presentation design is about making slides with pictures, words, and colors that help share your ideas.

You pick just the right mix of these things to make slides that teach people and look great. A good presentation provides a clear message while keeping people interested from start to finish.

A skilled presentation designer is integral to this process. They work to understand the core message and the target audience to create a cohesive set of slides. There are special design principles put in place to organize information so it's easy to understand and make an impact. A presentation designer's job is two-fold. He or she must simplify information and make it interesting in a presentation.

In a world where attention spans are short, effective presentation design is crucial. It's not only about aesthetics; it's a critical tool for communication. Presentation designers turn your spoken ideas into compelling graphical stories. This way, they make sure your presentation connects with people and sticks in their minds.

Is Presentation Design Important?

Yes, presentation design is essential for several reasons:

Presentation design organises your thoughts and data visually, preventing confusion. It helps you simplify information into digestible pieces, ensures that your main points are easy to grasp, helping your audience understand your message quickly and accurately. This is especially helpful when you sit through business presentations or even financial presentations.

Engaging presentation design goes beyond words; it uses visuals, diagrams, and animations to keep your audience interested. A visually stimulating PowerPoint slide design can transform a mundane talk into a dynamic experience, encouraging viewers to pay attention from start to finish.

Brand Consistency

Consistent branding in your PowerPoint design reinforces your identity. It allows every slide to resonate with your corporate colors, logos, and themes, fostering brand recognition and professionalism in the minds of your audience.


A polished presentation design speaks volumes about your attention to detail and dedication. It suggests you value your audience's time by providing a well-thought-out, aesthetically pleasing, and organised presentation.

Humans are visual creatures or rather, lean towards visual thinking . A PowerPoint design that uses compelling imagery and key points is memorable, helping your audience remember the presented information long after they've left the room.

In a pitch deck design, every slide is an opportunity to persuade. When you show data and ideas in a way that's clear and attractive, you have a better chance of convincing your audience.


Unique presentation design sets you apart. It shows you're not another voice in the crowd but an innovator who takes the time to present creative and effective ideas.

Using various colors , pictures, and fonts in your slides can make people feel things, helping you connect with them better. This can help get your message across faster.

Presentation design conveys information fast. A well-designed chart or graph in your PowerPoint can simplify tricky data, giving you more time to talk and answer questions.


A great presentation tells a story. With a well-planned PowerPoint, you can take your audience on an adventure, telling your story in a way that sticks with them.

In summary, presentation design is an essential part of any presentation. Great presentation makes it easier to share what you want to say. It also makes your presentation more fun to watch. Plus, it makes your brand or business look professional. Taking time to make your PowerPoint or any presentation great is a smart move. Spending time on making your PowerPoint, pitch deck, or any presentation really good is worth it.

Types of Presentations

Various presentations exist, each designed with a distinct goal and approach. Here are a few of the most common types of presentations :

Demonstrative Presentations

These are hands-on, showing how things work. Crafting a presentation design that's detailed and clear, helps people better understand what you're showing them. This is especially useful during a product demo or a new launch.

Decision-driven Presentations

Here, presentation design helps lay out choices for a clear decision. For example, using an organized slide layout can guide a team during strategic business meetings.

Emotive Presentations

Emotive talks stir feelings with stories that resonate. When you design your slides to make people feel something, it can be really strong. Like when a charity uses slides with touching stories to help people want to give money.

Every kind of presentation has its special role in making your message click. When you get what each type does best, you can pick the perfect one to connect with your crowd and get your point across. Remember, the way you lay out your slides counts too. Nail that, and you'll whip up a presentation that’s both engaging and memorable. Want to see all the different kinds of presentations ? Just hit the link.

12 Simple Steps for Designing an Effective Presentation

Creating an engaging and effective presentation is both an art and a science. It involves careful planning, thoughtful design, and strategic execution. You can split presentation design into steps. These steps help you from the start of your idea to when you finish your presentation. Whether you're crafting a PowerPoint presentation design for a business meeting or an educational seminar, following these steps can help you communicate your message with clarity and impact. Here's how you can design a presentation that captures attention and achieves your goals.

Establish Your Goal

Understand your audience, draft your content, choose a design template, refine your slide layouts, incorporate visuals and graphics, review and edit your slides, practice your delivery, gather feedback, make final adjustments, prepare for questions, set up ahead of time, presentation design vs. presentation templates: what are the differences.

Two things are synonymous with presentations: presentation design and presentation templates. They may seem the same, but they do different things to make a great presentation. Understanding how they're different helps you make a presentation that people will remember. We'll show you what sets them apart and why that's important for a great presentation. We'll explain how these small differences can make your presentation stand out or not.

Presentation Design

Presentation design is about making a set of slides that help tell your message. You pick colors, fonts, and pictures that look good and explain the speaker's words.

Presentation Templates

On the other hand, presentation templates are pre-designed frameworks for slides. They help make your slides look the same with consistent colors and layouts. They have spots where you can easily add your words, pictures, and charts. Templates are like a ready-made start for your presentation.

Note: Keep in mind that Deck Sherpa makes custom templates you can use again later.

Here are the key differences laid out:

Creation vs. Usage

  • Presentation design is about creating a unique visual narrative for a specific message.
  • People use presentation templates to apply a standardized design across different presentations.


  • You can customize your presentation design according to your message and audience.
  • You can't change presentation templates since they are pre-designed.

Time and Effort

  • Designing an effective presentation from scratch requires more time and design skills.
  • Using templates saves time and effort, as the basic design elements are already in place.


  • Presentation design is original and can be as creative and unique as you want it to be.
  • A lot of people use presentation templates to save time. While it helps, it's important to understand these pre-designed slides are not original.


  • A well-designed presentation considers the following - the flow of information, - the importance of visuals - the way slides transition
  • Templates provide a basic setup, but they might not be optimal for the flow of information

In short, presentation design helps you make slides that tell a story your way. Presentation templates help you make consistent-looking slides fast. Below you’ll find some amazing tips that could be of tremendous help in your slide design.

10 Tips You Need to Know for Stunning Slide Design

Creating a great presentation is part art, part smart thinking. Think of each slide as a piece of your story's puzzle. You might want to teach, inspire, or persuade your audience. No matter what, how your slides look is crucial for success.

Here are 10 top tips to polish your presentation and make your slides pop. They'll help make sure your next pitch or talk is both eye-catching and memorable.

Embrace White Space

Use high-quality images, consistent theme, contrast for clarity, limit text quantity, readable fonts, use charts and graphs, use color wisely, animate with purpose, end with a strong close.

These tips can make your slides go from okay to amazing, helping people remember your message. Keeping the above points in mind, let’s learn what 2024’s presentation design trends look like.

Exciting Presentation Design Trends That You'll Need in 2024

Back in 2023, we shared a list of amazing trends in presentation design that we hoped you used as much as you could. As 2024 is getting closer, the way we make presentations is changing. It's mixing new technology with cool design ideas. Some exciting new trends are coming up, and we've listed them for you. Let's see how you can use these to make your presentations stand out.

Minimalist Presentation Design

It’s no secret that most people today prefer to follow the less-is-more philosophy. You'll see slides that are simple and not too busy, with lots of space. This helps keep the focus on the main point. It makes your stories come alive and keeps your audience hooked all the way through.

Immersive Storytelling

PowerPoint’s animations and transitions capabilities are set to become more advanced. They'll liven up stories, keeping the audience interested and involved in the presentation. You can make your PowerPoint presentations easier and way more interesting.

AI-Enhanced Presentations

We're leaning into Artificial Intelligence (AI) more than ever these days. This technology is set to give our presentations a personal touch like never before. Imagine getting smart design tips from AI or having your slides tweak themselves automatically after sensing the audience's reactions. You’ll be able to streamline your PowerPoint designs, making them not only easier to create but also more engaging and impactful.

Bold Typography

Big, bold fonts are the most popular way to catch your audience's attention and make your point. As a bonus, bold fonts also make your slides instantly readable and more effective.

Data Visualisation

People are going to use cool, interactive data visualisation in the form of infographics, tables, charts, etc. a lot more. They make hard information easy and clear to remember. This helps your audience understand and remember the important information.

Inclusive Presentation Design

Making slides easy for everyone to see and understand will be important. This means creating accessible presentations so all kinds of people can follow, no matter their abilities.

Using the newest trends to design presentations can make your slides way better. They'll look great, be clear, grab attention, and include everyone. A well-made presentation is awesome for connecting with your audience. Staying up-to-date with these new ideas can make your connection even stronger in 2024.

8 Important Presentation Rules To Know and Follow

When it comes to presentation design, various rules can guide you to create effective and engaging slides. Here are some key ones:

The 10/20/30 Rule

The 5/5/5 rule, the rule of thirds, the 6x6 rule, the contrast rule, the picture superiority effect, the font consistency rule, the 7x7 rule.

Each of these rules serves as a guideline to make your presentation design more effective. While it’s important to know these rules, remember that the best PPT layout design is one that effectively communicates your message and engages your audience.

Presentation Design Prices: Choosing What's Better For You

When you look at prices for presentation design, they're different all over the world. In India, the prices are usually between $100 and $500 for packages. It's cheaper because living in India costs less. This lets the agencies offer good work at lower prices. But for really tough projects, they might charge more.

But in Western countries like the USA or UK, the prices for presentation design packages are higher. They often start at $500 and can go up to a few thousand dollars for really detailed or special designs. That's because living and working there costs more. People who choose these agencies often pay extra for their special knowledge about local styles or new design ideas.

So, when picking an agency, it depends on how much money you want to spend and what you need. Indian agencies are good for great work at lower prices. Agencies from the USA or UK might have more knowledge about local styles or new design methods. It's all about what you value more: saving money, local know-how, or a mix of both. That's why we've made a list of the best presentation design agencies from around the world for you to see.

The Most-Acclaimed Presentation Design Agencies Across the World

Lately, the presentation design industry has been booming and getting more creative. Using high-quality images and strong communication is crucial in the corporate and educational world. That's why more people are looking for expert help with their presentations. Today presentation design agencies create presentations from scratch, enhance corporate pitches, and even transform educational materials, turning simple slides into powerful narratives. We understand how necessary awesome presentations are, so we've gathered a list of top-notch presentation design agencies from everywhere. Each brings something unique to the table with their skills, covering all types of presentation needs. Let’s take a look at these standout presentation design experts.

Deck Sherpa

Deck Sherpa creates custom slides that fit right in with what your business wants to say. They're all about making presentations that not only look good but also get your message across clearly, whatever your business needs.


SlideGenius is a presentation design agency based in the United States. Their goal is to inspire audience action through engaging, meaningful, and memorable presentations.

Buffalo 7 in the UK turns plain slides into something exciting. They're good at turning your ideas into nice-looking presentations that tell a story.


BrightCarbon works on both slide design and instructional design for eLearning content and training. They focus on using visual aids and animations to simplify complex topics, making them engaging for the audience.

Stinson Design

Stinson Design specializes in custom, professional presentations for all industries, focusing on effective storytelling and visuals. They focus on effective communication using storytelling and visual techniques.

24Slides offers quick presentation design services from custom templates to slide redesigns. Their focus is on providing accessible, high-quality designs to a diverse range of clients.

Is Your Presentation Design Holding You Back?

As we said before, making a great presentation is a mix of art and science. Deck Sherpa is excellent at turning your ideas into beautiful slides, making us the top choice for presentation design. We're in India and work with all kinds of companies, here and across the globe. Our team knows how to make presentations that different audiences will like and engage with.

Why pick Deck Sherpa? We know every presentation is special. Our designers and storytellers work with you to make sure your presentation is not only seen, but also felt and remembered. It could be for business, a big idea, or a class. We focus on the small things, are creative, and keep up with new styles to make sure your presentation is right.

Plus, our rates are reasonable and you get awesome designs without spending a lot. In short, we're great for anyone who wants to impress their audience without breaking the bank.

If you want to make your next presentation better, come to Deck Sherpa. We'll be your team to make presentations that catch people's eyes and stick in their minds. Check out our website to see our work and find out more. You can call, email, or message us to get started. Please find the details below.

Call: 1800 121 5955 (India) Email: [email protected] WhatsApp Contact Form

How Can I be a Good Presentation Designer?

What are the 3 rules of presentation design, related posts, do’s and don’ts of designing powerpoint presentations – what’s important, product launch presentation: the ultimate guide, designing investor pitch decks for startups that stand out.

design of a slide in a presentation

Create professional slide layouts with Designer

Designer improves slides for Microsoft 365 subscribers by automatically generating design ideas to choose from.

While you're putting content on a slide, Designer works in the background to match that content to professionally designed layouts.

Get design ideas

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

The first time you try out Designer, it may ask your permission to get design ideas for you. If you want to use Designer, select Turn on .

To learn more, see the Microsoft Privacy Statement .

Once you've turned on "connected experiences," PowerPoint automatically shows you design ideas when you're creating your slides. Over time PowerPoint learns from your experience using design ideas and shows you design ideas at the appropriate time. 

design of a slide in a presentation

Scroll through the suggestions in the Designer pane on the right side of the window.

Click to select the design you want, or else close the window. If you select one of the ideas, your slide is changed accordingly.

You can also select another idea from the pane or go back to your original slide design: Press Ctrl+Z to undo a design change you've just selected.

What Designer gives you:

A title-slide photo and a design scheme

When you start a blank presentation and enter words on the slide, Designer recommends high-quality photos that reflect the slide text, plus a design scheme with colors that complement the photograph you choose. All the slides in the presentation will fit together visually.

Sample slide of a photo suggested for a title slide.

Professional layouts

Designer detects pictures, charts, or tables on a slide and gives you several suggestions for arranging them in a cohesive, attractive layout.

Sample slide with a text timeline and photo that Design Ideas arranged and laid out.

More visuals, less text

Too much text on your slide? Designer can turn text such as lists, processes, or timelines into an easily readable graphic.

Sample slide showing a text timeline that PowerPoint Designer converted to a SmartArt graphic

Bulleted lists get suggestions for an icon to accompany each bullet item. If you don't like a suggested icon, just select it and use our on-the-spot replacement button:

If you don't like a suggested icon, you can easily replace it


Designer watches for key terms and concepts that it has illustrations for, and it shows you those illustrations in various layouts. The Illustrations are from the Microsoft 365 icons library.

Sample slide with a text timeline that PowerPoint Designer added illustration and design touches to.

Designer and "ink"

(Only for Microsoft 365 subscribers) Designer recognizes when you draw or write with ink, and it incorporates that content into the design ideas it shows you.

Turn off Designer

If you don't want Designer to automatically offer suggestions:

On the File menu, click Options .

In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, click the General tab on the left, then scroll toward the bottom and clear the Automatically show me design ideas check box.


Requirements for designer on windows.

Ask for design ideas any time by choosing Design > Designer on the ribbon.

The first time you try out Designer, it asks your permission to get design ideas for you. If you want to use Designer, select Turn on or Let's go .

Once you've turned on intelligent services, PowerPoint automatically shows you design ideas when you add photos to your slides.

design of a slide in a presentation

You can also select another idea from the pane or go back to your original slide design: Press ⌘+Z to undo a design change you've just selected.

SmartArt graphics

Designer can turn text such as lists, processes, or timelines into an easily readable SmartArt graphic.

If you don't want Designer to offer suggestions:

On the PowerPoint menu, select Preferences .

Under Authoring and Proofing Tools , select General .

In the General dialog box, under PowerPoint Designer , clear the Automatically show me design ideas check box.

  • The Designer button is grayed out

If you can see the Designer button in PowerPoint but it's grayed out, it means:

You aren't connected to the internet, or

A slide isn't selected. (This can be the case when multiple slides are selected in the slide thumbnail pane in Normal view, or when the focus in the thumbnail pane is between two slides. It also is the case when the focus is in the Notes pane or you are in Slide Show view rather than Normal view.)

The Designer button isn't there

Designer is a feature for Microsoft 365 subscribers. If you don't see the Designer button, you're using an older version of PowerPoint for Mac, rather than PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac.

Requirements for Designer on the Mac

The Design Ideas button in PowerPoint for the web.

PowerPoint shows design ideas for your slide.

If you can see the Designer button in PowerPoint but it's grayed out, it means that someone else is currently also editing the slide:

If you're co-authoring a presentation with someone else and more than one person is actively editing a single slide at one time, Designer won't give design suggestions on that slide.

However, as soon as there's only person editing the slide, Designer will begin offering design suggestions again once that person does an action (such as adding a photo) that Designer can respond to.

Requirements for Designer on PowerPoint for the web

Ask for design ideas any time by choosing Design > Design Ideas on the ribbon.

When you select a design idea, it immediately appears full-size on the slide

Scroll through the suggestions in the Design Ideas pane on the right side of the window.

Undo your last action

The Design Ideas button is grayed out

If you can see the Design Ideas button in PowerPoint but it's grayed out, it means you aren't connected to the internet.

Requirements for Designer on iOS

The PowerPoint Designer toolbar button

Requirements for Designer on Android

When you select a design idea, it immediately appears full-size on the slide

Requirements for Designer on Windows Mobile


  • Which problem are you having?
  • I don't see the Designer button
  • I clicked the Designer button, but no suggestions are offered

Design ideas are only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers

On desktop versions of PowerPoint, only subscribers get design ideas. You can try or buy a subscription here .

On PowerPoint for the web, design ideas are available to everyone.

One Microsoft 365 subscription package doesn't include design ideas: Office 365 Germany Germany .

Turn on the Office connected experiences

To use Designer, make sure that Office "connected experiences" are turned on:

Go to File > Account , and under Account Privacy select Manage Settings .

The Account panel showing the Account Privacy, Manage Settings button

See Enabling and disabling intelligent services for more information.

An administrator may have turned off Designer

Designer is a feature for Microsoft 365 subscribers, but some organizations turn off the feature. If you have an Microsoft 365 subscription but don't see the Designer button, ask your IT department.

Reinstall Office to get subscriber features

If you've upgraded from Microsoft 365 to an Microsoft 365 subscription, you need to uninstall Microsoft 365 and then reinstall in order to get the subscriber features. See the instructions in these articles:

Uninstall Office from a PC or Uninstall Office 2016 for Mac

Reinstall Microsoft 365

Restart the app to get Designer

Sometimes users find that the first time they start PowerPoint after installing Microsoft 365, the Designer button isn't available. Restarting the app fixes this problem.

If there are no design ideas available for you, a few things might be the cause. First of all:

Make sure you're connected to the Internet. Designer goes online to get its design ideas.

Use a theme that comes with PowerPoint (not a custom theme or one that you've downloaded from elsewhere).

Following are other problems and how to solve them:

No design ideas for slides with pictures

Make sure your slide has either the Title or Title + Content slide layout applied.

Don't use any additional objects or shapes on the same slide as your photo.

Use a maximum of four photos (.jpg, .png, .gif, or .bmp) per slide, and make sure they're larger than 200 x 200 pixels in size.

No design ideas for process-based slides

Make sure your slide has the Title + Content slide layout applied.

Don't use any additional photos, objects, or shapes on the same slide as your process text.

Because Designer is a relatively new service, it is still learning new tricks. If Designer can’t generate high-quality options for you, it won’t show any options at all. We're working hard to be able to generate great design ideas for more varieties of your content.

And of course, if you don’t find Designer useful, you can turn it off by going to File > Options > General , and then clearing the box that says Automatically show me design ideas .

Someone else is editing

No design ideas for slides that have shapes or text boxes.

Designer isn't able to suggest design ideas when a slide has a shape or text box drawn on it. You can have photos and you can have text in a placeholder.

You aren't connected to the internet , or

A single slide isn't selected . This can be the case when multiple slides are selected in the slide thumbnail pane in Normal view, or when the focus in the thumbnail pane is between two slides. It also is the case when the focus is in the Notes pane or you are in Slide Show view rather than Normal view.

Combining colors in PowerPoint: Mistakes to avoid

Format the background color of slides

Start with a presentation template


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How to Make an Engaging Slide Deck (+ Example & Templates)

Learn how to create a slide deck step-by-step. Get tips, examples, and templates to make a slide deck presentation that stands out beyond any PowerPoint.

design of a slide in a presentation

Dominika Krukowska

7 minute read

How to make a slide deck

Short answer

How to make a slide deck in 7 easy steps?

The main steps for creating a slide deck are:

  • Define your slide deck goals
  • Research your target audience
  • Research your topic
  • Prioritize what you want to say
  • Write your slide deck narrative
  • Create or collect visuals that support your narrative
  • Use a template to set up your slide deck design
  • Bonus: Use an AI slide deck generator to do it all for you

Most slide decks bore the audience because they fail to tell a story

Imagine standing in front of an audience, only to watch their attention fade as you click through slide after slide. It's a disheartening experience, and it's more common than you might think.

The truth is, a slide deck without a clear narrative will bore your audience and leave your message unheard.

Worse than that, a storyless slide deck may leave people disappointed and feeling like they wasted their time. And you probably wouldn’t want such feelings to reflect on you.

But a good story makes your slide deck memorable, enjoyable, and perceived as more valuable by your audience. This is the power of a good story, and this is what this post will teach you to harness.

Let me show you the techniques to turn your presentations into compelling narratives . Learn the process, get insights, and tips, and grab a slide deck template to get you started.

Let's dive in!

Common mistakes to avoid when creating a slide deck

Here's a rundown of common mistakes to avoid when creating a slide deck as shared by Dan Zedek , a professor of journalism and media innovation at Northwestern University:

Overloading with visuals: Feeling insecure about visual talent often leads to overloading slides with too many photos, irrelevant images, colors, or typefaces. Simplicity adds clarity.

Long slide duration: A slide that stays up for 5 or 6 minutes can cause the audience's mind to wander. Aim for 30 seconds to a minute per slide to keep engagement high.

Irrelevant animations and colors: Using animations and colors that don't serve the content can be distracting. Use them sparingly and consistently to highlight important concepts.

Ignoring the audience: Understanding who's in the audience and what they expect from your presentation is key. Tailor the contents of your presentation to resonate with them.

Reading from the slide: This is considered one of the worst sins in slide presentations. Your slides should complement your speech, not repeat it.

Lack of pacing: Research shows that people's patience lasts about 6 or 7 minutes. Pacing your presentation and breaking down big ideas into smaller pieces can keep the audience engaged throughout.

Failure to inject personality: You're not just presenting facts; you're telling a story. Let your personality shine through, whether it's your authority, humor, or passion for the subject.

How to prepare for creating a slide deck?

The difference between a forgettable slide deck and a memorable one lies in the groundwork you do before you sit down to build the slide deck.

In the words of Nancy Duarte , the author of the book “slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations”: “Audience interest is directly proportionate to the presenter's preparation. You better spend time and energy on any presentations where the stakes are high.

An audience can tell how much energy you spent on your presentation, which is a reflection of how much you valued their time.

If they gave you an hour of their time, you need to make it worth it to them by treating their time as a valuable asset by making the content valuable to them.”

Here's a guide to laying that foundation for a slide deck that not only informs but engages:

1. Define your slide deck goals

What's the aim of your presentation? Are you looking to educate, convince, engage, or motivate? Pinpointing your goal is like setting your GPS; it guides everything that follows.

2. Research your target audience

Understanding your audience's needs, expectations, and pain points allows you to tailor your message. Speak their language, address their concerns, and you'll capture their attention from the first slide.

3. Research your topic extensively

Dive into your subject with the curiosity of a child and the diligence of a detective. This depth of understanding will shine through in your presentation, building credibility and allowing you to address questions and objections with confidence.

4. Choose the right delivery format

Most slide decks are delivered using the PowerPoint slide format, a common 9:16 ratio that we all know. This includes presentations made with tools like Google Slides and Canva. You may even think this is the ONLY way.

But the ppt slide format is a bad format for engagement. It’s static, limited in space, and prone to all the common slide deck mistakes .

On the one hand, a static slide deck is the most common and recognized format, which makes it “safe”. But the fact it’s recognizable also makes it indistinguishable and boring.

On the other hand, an interactive slide deck invites your audience to explore with you, turning the presentation into a conversation.

Which deck would be more likely to get your attention, the static or the interactive one?

design of a slide in a presentation

How to organize the contents of your slide deck?

A slide deck's effectiveness isn't just about the content; it's about how that content is organized.

The way you structure your slide deck can mean the difference between your audience walking away with valuable insights or leaving halfway into your presentation.

Here’s how to organize the contents of your deck for maximum impact:

1. Prioritize what you want to say

The reality is that people forget 90% of what you present after 48 hours , and the 10% they do remember is often random.

So, how can you control that crucial 10%? By prioritizing your content, focusing on the key messages that align with your goals, and crafting your content to ensure that the right bits of information become part of that vital 10% that sticks.

2. Build anticipation

Engage your audience's natural curiosity by leveraging information gap theory . Create intentional gaps in your narrative, pose questions, and hint at answers to come.

It's like leaving breadcrumbs along the path, guiding your audience through your narrative and keeping them hungry for more.

3. Create a slide deck narrative

Humans think in stories; we relate to them, and we remember them. The secret to an engaging slide deck is using a storytelling structure.

If it's a business presentation, follow with an execution plan, and close with clear next steps. The storytelling framework helps your audience flow through your slide deck like a good book.

Here’s our recommended storyline structure:

How to write a presentation storyline that creates interest

How to design your slide deck for engagement

If you want to design your slide deck for engagement, think beyond text.

Create original visuals that breathe life into data. Complement your words with multimedia elements like images and videos. Incorporate interactivity and narrated design to transform a monologue into a conversation.

5 magical steps to create your best-ever slide deck

Creating a slide deck that stands out might seem like a complex task, but with AI as your creative companion and a clear roadmap to follow, it turns into a seamless and magical experience.

Here's how you can breathe life into your ideas and make a captivating slide deck with a few easy steps:

1. Tell our AI about your presentation goals

Begin by telling our AI assistant about the slide deck you wish to create. This first step sets the tone, allowing the AI to align with your goals and craft the perfect content structure.

2. Introduce yourself and your brand

Briefly share details about yourself, your company, and the topic of your presentation. This personal touch helps the AI fine-tune the content, making your slide deck resonate with your audience.

Introduce yourself to Storydoc's AI assistant

3. Select your slide deck design and style

Choose a design that reflects your brand. Our AI assistant will take it from there, crafting a deck that's visually cohesive and appealing.

Pick a Storydoc design template

4. Customize your slide deck

Add your text and design touches, and let the AI adapt the design to your content. You can also use it to enhance your copy, brainstorm ideas, or even generate original visuals.

Customizable Storydoc multimedia presentation

5. Review and refine your slide deck

Take a final look and make any last-minute changes. If any tweaks are needed after sending, no worries—you can still make them. Your deck lives online, so you're in control of the version your audience sees, always.

Storydoc multimedia presentation

How to personalize your slide deck

In the world of presentations, personalization is the magic ingredient that turns a standard slide deck into an engaging dialogue.

It's the subtle art of making each viewer feel like you're speaking directly to them, understanding their unique needs and interests.

But how can you achieve this level of personal connection? Here’s how you can do it with Storydoc -

3 steps for easy slide deck personalization:

Add information about your prospect: Add names and company details with a simple click. Your audience will receive a deck that feels crafted just for them, enhancing engagement.

Add dynamic variables: Using dynamic variables, you can address your reader by name throughout the presentation, turning it into a personalized conversation.

Advanced: Integrate Storydoc with your CRM: Storydoc seamlessly integrates with your CRM, allowing you to pull information directly into your decks. It's personalization at scale.

how to make a good personalized presentation slide

How to measure the effectiveness of your slide deck

Measuring the success of a slide deck goes beyond numbers; it's also about understanding the connection you've made with your audience. It's about knowing what resonates, what inspires, and what lingers in the minds of those you've reached.

Every slide deck created with Storydoc comes with an analytics panel that provides real-time insights -

Are viewers spending time on the slides that contain your key points? Who are they sharing your presentation with? Are they taking the next step, like visiting your website to learn more or looking through your portfolio?

By understanding how your audience interacts with your content, you can turn a standard presentation into a powerful tool for connection and influence.

Here’s a quick video showing how it works:

Storydoc analytics pa

Slide deck templates

While following best practices is essential, standing out requires something more. It requires going from static to interactive, and from fact-led to story-led slide decks.

But interactive storytelling slide deck templates are hard to come by. Or at least they used to be.

Below you have designed templates that will make your next presentation something to remember.

design of a slide in a presentation

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

design of a slide in a presentation

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Captivate your audience with stylish, professional presentations.

Design effective slide decks that help you make a lasting impression with {{adobe-indesign}}.

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  • Presentation Design

Tell a visual story to create engaging presentations.

Stick to a visual theme., keep it simple., find the right tools for every job., incorporate video, audio, or animations..

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Do more with tools from Adobe Creative Cloud.

Access other Creative Cloud tools that make InDesign an even more effective presentation maker.

Choose unique fonts.

Pick from over 17,000 high-quality fonts from Adobe Fonts to make your information organized and easy to read. User-friendly font styles make slides simpler to digest.

Start with Adobe Stock.

Find inspiration with Stock assets. Use Stock photos for stunning background images or transitional slides, and use Stock to find a presentation template as a basis for your custom design.

How to design a presentation from scratch.

With some creativity, and these simple steps, you can create a custom presentation with InDesign.

  • Find the right page size. Whether you’re presenting a keynote on a massive screen or creating for mobile devices, start by selecting the dimensions you’ll use for your presentation.
  • Choose your background. Pick a striking background image that works with text overlay. The deck’s title can also become part of the background.
  • Create paragraph styles. Create no more than three text styles so you can keep the title font, body font, and footnote font consistent throughout the presentation. Set paragraph styles to change font and size with a click of a button.
  • Set up master pages. Create a few master pages to help ensure your presentation looks professional and well designed. Add image and text frames to the master pages so you can drop your content in later without having to overthink the layout.
  • Add images and text. Drag and drop Photoshop (PSD) files, PDFs, Illustrator (AI) files, JPEGs, PNGs, or GIFs into the image frames. To add text, just copy and paste text files or select the Type tool from the toolbar and type directly into the text frame.
  • Add page numbers. Insert page numbers to keep you and your audience on the same page. InDesign can automatically number the slides.
  • Add finishing touches. From movies and sound clips to hyperlinks, cross references, and page transitions, you’ve got plenty of interactive options to make your story more compelling.
  • Export your slide deck. The final step is to export your presentation in a format that can be projected or distributed in any presentation program. Exporting as Adobe PDF (Interactive) lets you play or click through interactive content in real time during the presentation.

Discover more presentation design skills.

Explore these tutorials to start mastering design tools and techniques to help you create beautiful presentations with InDesign.

https://main--cc--adobecom.hlx.page/cc-shared/fragments/modals/videos/products/indesign/presentation-maker-create-stylish-layouts#modal01 | example of a slide layout on a monitor | :play:

Create stylish layouts.

Learn how to design slide layouts with text and graphics that will effectively deliver information and impress your audience in projected or online presentations.

Learn how to design slide layouts

screenshot of a table that allows the user to adjust the presentation

Keep it organized.

Enhance your slideshows with tables that clearly display information and can be adjusted to different sizes with ease.

Enhance your slideshows with tables

https://main--cc--adobecom.hlx.page/cc-shared/fragments/modals/videos/products/indesign/presentation-maker-make-it-interactive#modal02 | example of a graphic to place into a presentation | :play:

Make it interactive.

Bring animated videos, hyperlinks, slide transitions, and more into your slideshow with interactive presentations in PDF format.

Make interactive PDF presentations

Explore free presentation templates.

Add polish to your professional presentations with stylish templates.

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  • v.17(12); 2021 Dec

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Ten simple rules for effective presentation slides

Kristen m. naegle.

Biomedical Engineering and the Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America


The “presentation slide” is the building block of all academic presentations, whether they are journal clubs, thesis committee meetings, short conference talks, or hour-long seminars. A slide is a single page projected on a screen, usually built on the premise of a title, body, and figures or tables and includes both what is shown and what is spoken about that slide. Multiple slides are strung together to tell the larger story of the presentation. While there have been excellent 10 simple rules on giving entire presentations [ 1 , 2 ], there was an absence in the fine details of how to design a slide for optimal effect—such as the design elements that allow slides to convey meaningful information, to keep the audience engaged and informed, and to deliver the information intended and in the time frame allowed. As all research presentations seek to teach, effective slide design borrows from the same principles as effective teaching, including the consideration of cognitive processing your audience is relying on to organize, process, and retain information. This is written for anyone who needs to prepare slides from any length scale and for most purposes of conveying research to broad audiences. The rules are broken into 3 primary areas. Rules 1 to 5 are about optimizing the scope of each slide. Rules 6 to 8 are about principles around designing elements of the slide. Rules 9 to 10 are about preparing for your presentation, with the slides as the central focus of that preparation.

Rule 1: Include only one idea per slide

Each slide should have one central objective to deliver—the main idea or question [ 3 – 5 ]. Often, this means breaking complex ideas down into manageable pieces (see Fig 1 , where “background” information has been split into 2 key concepts). In another example, if you are presenting a complex computational approach in a large flow diagram, introduce it in smaller units, building it up until you finish with the entire diagram. The progressive buildup of complex information means that audiences are prepared to understand the whole picture, once you have dedicated time to each of the parts. You can accomplish the buildup of components in several ways—for example, using presentation software to cover/uncover information. Personally, I choose to create separate slides for each piece of information content I introduce—where the final slide has the entire diagram, and I use cropping or a cover on duplicated slides that come before to hide what I’m not yet ready to include. I use this method in order to ensure that each slide in my deck truly presents one specific idea (the new content) and the amount of the new information on that slide can be described in 1 minute (Rule 2), but it comes with the trade-off—a change to the format of one of the slides in the series often means changes to all slides.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is pcbi.1009554.g001.jpg

Top left: A background slide that describes the background material on a project from my lab. The slide was created using a PowerPoint Design Template, which had to be modified to increase default text sizes for this figure (i.e., the default text sizes are even worse than shown here). Bottom row: The 2 new slides that break up the content into 2 explicit ideas about the background, using a central graphic. In the first slide, the graphic is an explicit example of the SH2 domain of PI3-kinase interacting with a phosphorylation site (Y754) on the PDGFR to describe the important details of what an SH2 domain and phosphotyrosine ligand are and how they interact. I use that same graphic in the second slide to generalize all binding events and include redundant text to drive home the central message (a lot of possible interactions might occur in the human proteome, more than we can currently measure). Top right highlights which rules were used to move from the original slide to the new slide. Specific changes as highlighted by Rule 7 include increasing contrast by changing the background color, increasing font size, changing to sans serif fonts, and removing all capital text and underlining (using bold to draw attention). PDGFR, platelet-derived growth factor receptor.

Rule 2: Spend only 1 minute per slide

When you present your slide in the talk, it should take 1 minute or less to discuss. This rule is really helpful for planning purposes—a 20-minute presentation should have somewhere around 20 slides. Also, frequently giving your audience new information to feast on helps keep them engaged. During practice, if you find yourself spending more than a minute on a slide, there’s too much for that one slide—it’s time to break up the content into multiple slides or even remove information that is not wholly central to the story you are trying to tell. Reduce, reduce, reduce, until you get to a single message, clearly described, which takes less than 1 minute to present.

Rule 3: Make use of your heading

When each slide conveys only one message, use the heading of that slide to write exactly the message you are trying to deliver. Instead of titling the slide “Results,” try “CTNND1 is central to metastasis” or “False-positive rates are highly sample specific.” Use this landmark signpost to ensure that all the content on that slide is related exactly to the heading and only the heading. Think of the slide heading as the introductory or concluding sentence of a paragraph and the slide content the rest of the paragraph that supports the main point of the paragraph. An audience member should be able to follow along with you in the “paragraph” and come to the same conclusion sentence as your header at the end of the slide.

Rule 4: Include only essential points

While you are speaking, audience members’ eyes and minds will be wandering over your slide. If you have a comment, detail, or figure on a slide, have a plan to explicitly identify and talk about it. If you don’t think it’s important enough to spend time on, then don’t have it on your slide. This is especially important when faculty are present. I often tell students that thesis committee members are like cats: If you put a shiny bauble in front of them, they’ll go after it. Be sure to only put the shiny baubles on slides that you want them to focus on. Putting together a thesis meeting for only faculty is really an exercise in herding cats (if you have cats, you know this is no easy feat). Clear and concise slide design will go a long way in helping you corral those easily distracted faculty members.

Rule 5: Give credit, where credit is due

An exception to Rule 4 is to include proper citations or references to work on your slide. When adding citations, names of other researchers, or other types of credit, use a consistent style and method for adding this information to your slides. Your audience will then be able to easily partition this information from the other content. A common mistake people make is to think “I’ll add that reference later,” but I highly recommend you put the proper reference on the slide at the time you make it, before you forget where it came from. Finally, in certain kinds of presentations, credits can make it clear who did the work. For the faculty members heading labs, it is an effective way to connect your audience with the personnel in the lab who did the work, which is a great career booster for that person. For graduate students, it is an effective way to delineate your contribution to the work, especially in meetings where the goal is to establish your credentials for meeting the rigors of a PhD checkpoint.

Rule 6: Use graphics effectively

As a rule, you should almost never have slides that only contain text. Build your slides around good visualizations. It is a visual presentation after all, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, on the flip side, don’t muddy the point of the slide by putting too many complex graphics on a single slide. A multipanel figure that you might include in a manuscript should often be broken into 1 panel per slide (see Rule 1 ). One way to ensure that you use the graphics effectively is to make a point to introduce the figure and its elements to the audience verbally, especially for data figures. For example, you might say the following: “This graph here shows the measured false-positive rate for an experiment and each point is a replicate of the experiment, the graph demonstrates …” If you have put too much on one slide to present in 1 minute (see Rule 2 ), then the complexity or number of the visualizations is too much for just one slide.

Rule 7: Design to avoid cognitive overload

The type of slide elements, the number of them, and how you present them all impact the ability for the audience to intake, organize, and remember the content. For example, a frequent mistake in slide design is to include full sentences, but reading and verbal processing use the same cognitive channels—therefore, an audience member can either read the slide, listen to you, or do some part of both (each poorly), as a result of cognitive overload [ 4 ]. The visual channel is separate, allowing images/videos to be processed with auditory information without cognitive overload [ 6 ] (Rule 6). As presentations are an exercise in listening, and not reading, do what you can to optimize the ability of the audience to listen. Use words sparingly as “guide posts” to you and the audience about major points of the slide. In fact, you can add short text fragments, redundant with the verbal component of the presentation, which has been shown to improve retention [ 7 ] (see Fig 1 for an example of redundant text that avoids cognitive overload). Be careful in the selection of a slide template to minimize accidentally adding elements that the audience must process, but are unimportant. David JP Phillips argues (and effectively demonstrates in his TEDx talk [ 5 ]) that the human brain can easily interpret 6 elements and more than that requires a 500% increase in human cognition load—so keep the total number of elements on the slide to 6 or less. Finally, in addition to the use of short text, white space, and the effective use of graphics/images, you can improve ease of cognitive processing further by considering color choices and font type and size. Here are a few suggestions for improving the experience for your audience, highlighting the importance of these elements for some specific groups:

  • Use high contrast colors and simple backgrounds with low to no color—for persons with dyslexia or visual impairment.
  • Use sans serif fonts and large font sizes (including figure legends), avoid italics, underlining (use bold font instead for emphasis), and all capital letters—for persons with dyslexia or visual impairment [ 8 ].
  • Use color combinations and palettes that can be understood by those with different forms of color blindness [ 9 ]. There are excellent tools available to identify colors to use and ways to simulate your presentation or figures as they might be seen by a person with color blindness (easily found by a web search).
  • In this increasing world of virtual presentation tools, consider practicing your talk with a closed captioning system capture your words. Use this to identify how to improve your speaking pace, volume, and annunciation to improve understanding by all members of your audience, but especially those with a hearing impairment.

Rule 8: Design the slide so that a distracted person gets the main takeaway

It is very difficult to stay focused on a presentation, especially if it is long or if it is part of a longer series of talks at a conference. Audience members may get distracted by an important email, or they may start dreaming of lunch. So, it’s important to look at your slide and ask “If they heard nothing I said, will they understand the key concept of this slide?” The other rules are set up to help with this, including clarity of the single point of the slide (Rule 1), titling it with a major conclusion (Rule 3), and the use of figures (Rule 6) and short text redundant to your verbal description (Rule 7). However, with each slide, step back and ask whether its main conclusion is conveyed, even if someone didn’t hear your accompanying dialog. Importantly, ask if the information on the slide is at the right level of abstraction. For example, do you have too many details about the experiment, which hides the conclusion of the experiment (i.e., breaking Rule 1)? If you are worried about not having enough details, keep a slide at the end of your slide deck (after your conclusions and acknowledgments) with the more detailed information that you can refer to during a question and answer period.

Rule 9: Iteratively improve slide design through practice

Well-designed slides that follow the first 8 rules are intended to help you deliver the message you intend and in the amount of time you intend to deliver it in. The best way to ensure that you nailed slide design for your presentation is to practice, typically a lot. The most important aspects of practicing a new presentation, with an eye toward slide design, are the following 2 key points: (1) practice to ensure that you hit, each time through, the most important points (for example, the text guide posts you left yourself and the title of the slide); and (2) practice to ensure that as you conclude the end of one slide, it leads directly to the next slide. Slide transitions, what you say as you end one slide and begin the next, are important to keeping the flow of the “story.” Practice is when I discover that the order of my presentation is poor or that I left myself too few guideposts to remember what was coming next. Additionally, during practice, the most frequent things I have to improve relate to Rule 2 (the slide takes too long to present, usually because I broke Rule 1, and I’m delivering too much information for one slide), Rule 4 (I have a nonessential detail on the slide), and Rule 5 (I forgot to give a key reference). The very best type of practice is in front of an audience (for example, your lab or peers), where, with fresh perspectives, they can help you identify places for improving slide content, design, and connections across the entirety of your talk.

Rule 10: Design to mitigate the impact of technical disasters

The real presentation almost never goes as we planned in our heads or during our practice. Maybe the speaker before you went over time and now you need to adjust. Maybe the computer the organizer is having you use won’t show your video. Maybe your internet is poor on the day you are giving a virtual presentation at a conference. Technical problems are routinely part of the practice of sharing your work through presentations. Hence, you can design your slides to limit the impact certain kinds of technical disasters create and also prepare alternate approaches. Here are just a few examples of the preparation you can do that will take you a long way toward avoiding a complete fiasco:

  • Save your presentation as a PDF—if the version of Keynote or PowerPoint on a host computer cause issues, you still have a functional copy that has a higher guarantee of compatibility.
  • In using videos, create a backup slide with screen shots of key results. For example, if I have a video of cell migration, I’ll be sure to have a copy of the start and end of the video, in case the video doesn’t play. Even if the video worked, you can pause on this backup slide and take the time to highlight the key results in words if someone could not see or understand the video.
  • Avoid animations, such as figures or text that flash/fly-in/etc. Surveys suggest that no one likes movement in presentations [ 3 , 4 ]. There is likely a cognitive underpinning to the almost universal distaste of pointless animations that relates to the idea proposed by Kosslyn and colleagues that animations are salient perceptual units that captures direct attention [ 4 ]. Although perceptual salience can be used to draw attention to and improve retention of specific points, if you use this approach for unnecessary/unimportant things (like animation of your bullet point text, fly-ins of figures, etc.), then you will distract your audience from the important content. Finally, animations cause additional processing burdens for people with visual impairments [ 10 ] and create opportunities for technical disasters if the software on the host system is not compatible with your planned animation.


These rules are just a start in creating more engaging presentations that increase audience retention of your material. However, there are wonderful resources on continuing on the journey of becoming an amazing public speaker, which includes understanding the psychology and neuroscience behind human perception and learning. For example, as highlighted in Rule 7, David JP Phillips has a wonderful TEDx talk on the subject [ 5 ], and “PowerPoint presentation flaws and failures: A psychological analysis,” by Kosslyn and colleagues is deeply detailed about a number of aspects of human cognition and presentation style [ 4 ]. There are many books on the topic, including the popular “Presentation Zen” by Garr Reynolds [ 11 ]. Finally, although briefly touched on here, the visualization of data is an entire topic of its own that is worth perfecting for both written and oral presentations of work, with fantastic resources like Edward Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” [ 12 ] or the article “Visualization of Biomedical Data” by O’Donoghue and colleagues [ 13 ].


I would like to thank the countless presenters, colleagues, students, and mentors from which I have learned a great deal from on effective presentations. Also, a thank you to the wonderful resources published by organizations on how to increase inclusivity. A special thanks to Dr. Jason Papin and Dr. Michael Guertin on early feedback of this editorial.

Funding Statement

The author received no specific funding for this work.

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AI presentation maker

When lack of inspiration or time constraints are something you’re worried about, it’s a good idea to seek help. Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI presentation maker! With a few clicks, you’ll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs . And it’s totally free!

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Generate presentations in minutes

We humans make the world move, but we need to sleep, rest and so on. What if there were someone available 24/7 for you? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and ask the AI presentation maker to give you a hand. The possibilities are endless : you choose the topic, the tone and the style, and the AI will do the rest. Now we’re talking!

Customize your AI-generated presentation online

Alright, your robotic pal has generated a presentation for you. But, for the time being, AIs can’t read minds, so it’s likely that you’ll want to modify the slides. Please do! We didn’t forget about those time constraints you’re facing, so thanks to the editing tools provided by one of our sister projects —shoutouts to Wepik — you can make changes on the fly without resorting to other programs or software. Add text, choose your own colors, rearrange elements, it’s up to you! Oh, and since we are a big family, you’ll be able to access many resources from big names, that is, Freepik and Flaticon . That means having a lot of images and icons at your disposal!

design of a slide in a presentation

How does it work?

Think of your topic.

First things first, you’ll be talking about something in particular, right? A business meeting, a new medical breakthrough, the weather, your favorite songs, a basketball game, a pink elephant you saw last Sunday—you name it. Just type it out and let the AI know what the topic is.

Choose your preferred style and tone

They say that variety is the spice of life. That’s why we let you choose between different design styles, including doodle, simple, abstract, geometric, and elegant . What about the tone? Several of them: fun, creative, casual, professional, and formal. Each one will give you something unique, so which way of impressing your audience will it be this time? Mix and match!

Make any desired changes

You’ve got freshly generated slides. Oh, you wish they were in a different color? That text box would look better if it were placed on the right side? Run the online editor and use the tools to have the slides exactly your way.

Download the final result for free

Yes, just as envisioned those slides deserve to be on your storage device at once! You can export the presentation in .pdf format and download it for free . Can’t wait to show it to your best friend because you think they will love it? Generate a shareable link!

What is an AI-generated presentation?

It’s exactly “what it says on the cover”. AIs, or artificial intelligences, are in constant evolution, and they are now able to generate presentations in a short time, based on inputs from the user. This technology allows you to get a satisfactory presentation much faster by doing a big chunk of the work.

Can I customize the presentation generated by the AI?

Of course! That’s the point! Slidesgo is all for customization since day one, so you’ll be able to make any changes to presentations generated by the AI. We humans are irreplaceable, after all! Thanks to the online editor, you can do whatever modifications you may need, without having to install any software. Colors, text, images, icons, placement, the final decision concerning all of the elements is up to you.

Can I add my own images?

Absolutely. That’s a basic function, and we made sure to have it available. Would it make sense to have a portfolio template generated by an AI without a single picture of your own work? In any case, we also offer the possibility of asking the AI to generate images for you via prompts. Additionally, you can also check out the integrated gallery of images from Freepik and use them. If making an impression is your goal, you’ll have an easy time!

Is this new functionality free? As in “free of charge”? Do you mean it?

Yes, it is, and we mean it. We even asked our buddies at Wepik, who are the ones hosting this AI presentation maker, and they told us “yup, it’s on the house”.

Are there more presentation designs available?

From time to time, we’ll be adding more designs. The cool thing is that you’ll have at your disposal a lot of content from Freepik and Flaticon when using the AI presentation maker. Oh, and just as a reminder, if you feel like you want to do things yourself and don’t want to rely on an AI, you’re on Slidesgo, the leading website when it comes to presentation templates. We have thousands of them, and counting!.

How can I download my presentation?

The easiest way is to click on “Download” to get your presentation in .pdf format. But there are other options! You can click on “Present” to enter the presenter view and start presenting right away! There’s also the “Share” option, which gives you a shareable link. This way, any friend, relative, colleague—anyone, really—will be able to access your presentation in a moment.

Discover more content

This is just the beginning! Slidesgo has thousands of customizable templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint. Our designers have created them with much care and love, and the variety of topics, themes and styles is, how to put it, immense! We also have a blog, in which we post articles for those who want to find inspiration or need to learn a bit more about Google Slides or PowerPoint. Do you have kids? We’ve got a section dedicated to printable coloring pages! Have a look around and make the most of our site!


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  1. Fundamentals of Slide Design

    Slide design strategies that thoughtfully consider and prioritize the experience of the audience can result in stronger presentations. Melissa Marshall—an expert in understanding how technical presentations can be transformed—advocates for an innovative approach to slide design.Her well-researched methods have been successful in the scientific community and we recommend her strategy.

  2. Presentation design guide: tips, examples, and templates

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    Make it simple and hassle-free with a collection of well-designed and easy-to-use presentation templates from Canva. To captivate your target audience, you need the proper presentation template design that suits your subject. After all, a pleasing visual, coupled with helpful and relevant content, can go a long way in creating a solid presentation.

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    Well, the same thing applies to PowerPoint presentation design: a grid system helps to lay out your content in clear, easy to follow areas. You can use a grid to create distinct sections, such as telling the start, middle, and end of a story. It's much easier for your audience to follow, as everything is better organized.

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    Presentation slides come last. Design your presentation slides after deciding on your message and your supporting evidence. Remember that the slides enhance the experience but the actual speech needs to stand out on its own. 10-20-30 slideshow rule. Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a 10-20-30 rule:

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    Use clear and legible fonts, and maintain a consistent design throughout the presentation. 2. Visual appeal: Incorporate visually appealing elements such as relevant images, charts, graphs, or diagrams. Use high-quality visuals that enhance understanding and make the content more engaging.

  20. Create professional slide layouts with Designer

    A title-slide photo and a design scheme. When you start a blank presentation and enter words on the slide, Designer recommends high-quality photos that reflect the slide text, plus a design scheme with colors that complement the photograph you choose. All the slides in the presentation will fit together visually. Professional layouts

  21. How to Make an Engaging Slide Deck (+Example & Templates)

    1. Tell our AI about your presentation goals. Begin by telling our AI assistant about the slide deck you wish to create. This first step sets the tone, allowing the AI to align with your goals and craft the perfect content structure. 2.

  22. How to create professionally designed presentations

    Create dazzling pitch decks, business presentations, and summaries of research findings, or share ideas with a slide deck. But even the best presentation software is only as good as the slideshow you design with it — and a weak deck can undermine even a great presenter — so keep these principles in mind as you build your presentation.

  23. Ten simple rules for effective presentation slides

    The "presentation slide" is the building block of all academic presentations, whether they are journal clubs, thesis committee meetings, short conference talks, or hour-long seminars. ... typically a lot. The most important aspects of practicing a new presentation, with an eye toward slide design, are the following 2 key points: (1 ...

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    Download the Cultural Riches of Sertão presentation for PowerPoint or Google Slides and start impressing your audience with a creative and original design. Slidesgo templates like this one here offer the possibility to convey a concept, idea or topic in a clear, concise and visual way, by using different graphic...

  26. Free AI presentation maker

    AI presentation maker. When lack of inspiration or time constraints are something you're worried about, it's a good idea to seek help. Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI presentation maker! With a few clicks, you'll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs. And it's totally free!

  27. Prezify

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