Creating the Slides
If you've decided to use slides to support your presentation, then it's important to understand the best way (in our opinion) to create those slides!
Right off the bat, here are a few guidelines:
Keep things free of distractions. Images and visuals are great, but they shouldn't overpower what's being shared.
Ensure the design is simplistic and easy-to-read. When it comes to contrast, light backgrounds with dark text usually works best.
Keep text to a minimum. Don't list entire paragraphs of content on your slides. Remember, we don't want the audience (or even the presenter) to simply be reading aloud what's written.
In short, make sure each slide is easy to consume!
The slides should act as anchor points for your presentation, summarizing and supporting the key takeaways that you're presenting. The text/visuals on the slides should help fill the gaps and aid your attendees in their understanding of the topic.
Creating the Slides
When creating your slide deck, images really are your bread-and-butter. When done correctly, they act as great visual aids to your content.
Resources like unsplash.com and pexels.com are invaluable for finding royalty-free photos to use. Additionally, charts and graphs that present supporting data can be generated and used to craft your story. You might even consider sharing snippets of customer testimonials from review websites or social media during parts of your presentation where the social proof can come in handy.
All things considered, the visual elements you include are one of the most important elements to your slide deck.
While this can vary depending on your audience, we actually recommend keeping slide animations to a minimum. Unless artfully done, they can be distracting and a bit tacky.
Furthermore, some platforms don't support presentation files that include animations (since they are dependent on the slide-creation tool on which they were created).
Instead, you can create neat multi-slide sequences where new slides simply add new information to the existing slides (e.g., slides progressing through bullet points).
Try to keep your slides consistent: with key colors, fonts you use, the images included, and the overall branding. Better yet, try to keep things so they match your company's brand too!
Of course, you don't need to do anything too fancy. The most effective and appealing designs are usually the ones that are minimalistic with emphasis placed on your brand's identity (think logos, colors & fonts).
Reviewing It All
Once you finish creating the slide desk, make sure to review it from start to finish. Think of your slide deck as your presentation roadmap!
It'll be useful for you to use to review the presentation as a whole, adding/removing areas as you deem fit.
Quick tip: On average, each slide should represent 60 seconds of presentation time. If you are spending more than a few minutes on a specific slide, you may want to break it up into smaller chunks.
With your slide deck in tow, you're ready to start presenting (and practicing, hopefully)! In our final lesson, we'll quickly review using resources in your presentation.