“To succeed as a presenter, you must think like a designer. Every decision a designer makes is intentional. Reason and logic underpin the placement of the visual elements.”
The watchwords for great slides are readability, simplicity, consistency and across the whole presentation – variety!
- Limit yourself to one main message or visual idea per slide and support with relevant facts and arguments.
- Use concise language and do not overload the slide with words – less is definitely more.
- Put the main message into the headline using about 7 to 9 words maximum.
- A sub-heading can expand on and add extra meaning to the heading.
- When you have no option but to use text, aim for a maximum of 4 to 5 bullet points.
- Use a font size that is READABLE: 24—28 points for the bullets, 38—44 points for the headline.
- Sans-serif fonts like Arial work best in presentations and bold text has more impact.
- A visual solution (tables, photographs, clipart) is right when it SUPPORTS your main message and does not distract from it.
- Take that photographs are light enough and have a high enough resolution when projected.
- Use corporate design templates when available and apply a cohesive graphic style throughout the presentation e.g. ClipArt in homogeneous drawing styles, font style and heights…
- Label all graphic elements that are not 100% self-explanatory.
- Use colour wisely (limit to three or four) and colour code (headlines, bullets etc.).
- Check out how it looks on the screen and not just on your PC.
- Keep animation and transition effects simple: e.g. wipe text from left in the reading direction, animate objects in the direction of movement and flow.
- Remember people notice pictures more than text so adapt your explanation to fit and explain graphic elements first.
The Training Box recommends
slide:ology: the art and science of creating great presentations
By Nancy Duarte
2008, O’Reilly Media