Advertising
Advertising

8 Tips to Make Engaging Presentation Slides

8 Tips to Make Engaging Presentation Slides

Is there anything worse than a boring presentation? Probably the only thing worse than being on the receiving end of a boring presentation is knowing that you’re the one putting everyone to sleep with your presentation.

While the success of a presentation relies largely on the speaker’s ability to engage the audience, don’t underestimate the importance of well made presentation slides. Poorly made presentation slides will distract your audience from your word and undercut your credibility. Well made presentation slides, on the other hand, will engage your audience and help drive your words home with sleek, professional designs and impactful visuals.

Here are 8 tips for how to make engaging presentation slides:

1. Addresses a specific audience.

Think about who your target audience is for the presentation. What is the specific problem you are attempting to solve with your presentation? Are you looking to teach your audience a specific lesson? Ask yourself this question first and then design your presentation around answering this specific question.

For example, if your presentation is meant to introduce a new process to your coworkers, you could focus it around the question: How will this process help expedite their responsibilities?

Advertising

2. Have a beginning, middle, and end.

A great presentation will have a solid beginning, middle, and end. Begin with an attention-grabbing hook: a question or a scenario. Then, you may want to offer a summary slide of what your presentation will entail (the different sections, the major points you’ll be covering).

Keep text on your slides minimal and your points concise. Each slide should introduce just one concept and serve only one purpose.

End your presentation with a call to action (like asking your audience to follow you on social media, or telling them where they and go to contribute to a cause) or a reflective question (What can they do now with the information you’ve given them?).

3. Use a connecting metaphor.

Using from framing theme or narrative to structure your presentation will not only help your presentation flow, but will also make your points more memorable. Think of the classic hamburger metaphor for how to structure an essay; the buns are the introduction and conclusion and the fillings are the different paragraphs. You can use a similar metaphor (food-related or not) to explain a process, the solution to a problem, or a plan you are hoping.

4. Use a simple design.

Nothing is more distracting than a slide full of too many design elements, extra text, and glaring color choices. Stick to two to three colors at most. Use a white or neutral background. Use a simple font. Don’t overcomplicate the design with too many icons and text points.

Advertising

One simple design is to overlay a keyword or key phrase on top of an image. This will give your audience a visual touch point to attach to your information when they recall your presentation.

80334980-5eea-42e4-baef-9c4af7cd1296

    Another is to cut the slide in half, with some key text on one side and an image on the other. Keep text to only a few points or a short quote―don’t try to stuff a whole paragraph onto the slide.

    a39c9a65-0bb8-4bd3-a45a-2c13fca1bcea (1)

      Your entire slide could even be a picture, if you want. When it comes to text on presentation slides, less is definitely more.

      Advertising

      5. Keep text to a minimum.

      We’ve probably all had that teacher that puts everything they say on their PowerPoint slides and then sends it to the class afterwards. If you’re a person who sees attending class as optional, you probably love this teacher. But we can agree that this isn’t the most engaging way to deliver a presentation.

      If you give all of the information on the slides upfront, your audience are more likely to focus on the slides than on what you’re saying. But if you use only a couple of keywords or phrases to drive home your point, they are more likely to listen to what you have to say.

      6. Use pictures as the focus of your slides.

      The most engaging presentations are highly visual, so take advantage of that and use beautiful, good-quality pictures. Look for pictures that reflect not only the theme of what you’re saying, but also the tone. For example, if your presentation is about how to be more productive, the images you use should inspire hope and happiness in your audience. That means you wouldn’t want to use images with dark lighting and crowded, cramped composition. Instead, you would want to use images with bright lighting and open composition, reflecting the possibilities for improvement.

      You can find beautiful stock images for free on sites like Pexels or Unsplash. Try not to use corporate stock photos, when possible―they’re corny and not likely to really inspire anyone.

      7. Use interesting graphs.

      One of the most effective ways to show a lot of information in few words is to use graphs and charts. What’s more, charts can actually help tell a story. For example, if you want to show a trend over time, a line graph will illustrate and emphasize the rises and falls of your data.  If you’re not sure where to start, try using a graph maker with preset designs.

      Advertising

      defe5874-1428-45ec-bc37-20a4d2317243

        That being said, keep your graphs simple. Keep in mind that your audience won’t have a long time to study and understand your graphs. As a rule of thumb, people should be able to read and understand your graphs in about three seconds.

        8. Make enough slides so you spend only 1-2 minutes on each.

        This is a general rule of thumb to keep the presentation moving along and to keep your audience alert. Switching up the visuals will keep things interesting and help stop your points from blending into one another. If one slide is particularly important you can come back to it after putting a slide or two in between.

        Remember to have fun with your presentation. If you’re bored while you’re giving your presentation, why would the audience find it interesting? Aim to create presentation slides that you would be happy to look at.

        Featured photo credit: TEDBlog via blog.ted.com

        More by this author

        Sara McGuire

        Content Editor

        7 Fundamental Design Principles You Can Learn From Star Wars [Infographic] graphic design 10 Graphic Design Software Alternatives to Photoshop 8 Tips to Make Engaging Presentation Slides How to Turn a Process Into an Infographic Poster [Infographic] How to Choose the Best Colors For Your Data Charts

        Trending in Marketing

        1 8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months 2 7 Things To Consider Before Hiring An Advertising Agency 3 9 Things Every Marketer Should Do 4 Tips for Designing Your Plastic Surgery Website for Optimal Marketing 5 SEO Tools Every Business Should Be Using in 2017

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Published on November 19, 2018

        10 Ways to Build Positive Work Relationships and Work as a Team

        10 Ways to Build Positive Work Relationships and Work as a Team

        Behind the corporate veil, the actual members who work towards achieving the company goals are the ultimate assets.

        It is very important for every team member to maintain focused goals on a professional front, at their individual level and at the organizational level. With even the slightest discord between two employees, the entire team might suffer and have to adjust with the downsize in organizational success that they realize ultimately.

        As humans, each and every employee is bound to have different opinion and feel inclined to meet their personal goals, just as much as they meet the goals of their company. Hence, it is essential that work relationships among different employees are friendly and cordial. This will help the fellow team members to work together as an efficient team. The ultimate outcome of which will be a capable work force, poised to gather the gains of organizational success.

        Let us take a look at some of the ways to build positive work relationships and help employees work together as a team:

        1. Respect Your Peer’s Time

        No matter which specific domain you work in or in which your organization deals in, each arena entails performance of various jobs by the employees. Within this organization, there are a set of cumulative jobs which ought to be performed at a specific pace, and within a set period of time.

        Sometimes, there might also be a sequence to the performance of actions and processes, so that the next process in the sequence can be performed. Some procedures are dependent upon the performance of an action by a certain member of the team, so that the other members can carry out the subsequent steps in the sequence. The ultimate target with this planning is that the work must be completed on time and there should be no delay in meeting the deadlines which have been set for the purpose.

        Thus, in situations where you are placed in a role where other people are affected by your actions or performance, it is essential that you respect their time and effort, and ensure that the ball is not pent up in your court.

        At the same time, remember that you should make yourself available for other people, should they require your help. Ultimately, your aim must be focused at ensuring that work is not pending and you get it done like experts doing the work.

        Advertising

        2. Ensure that You Are Cautious With Social Media

        With the ongoing trend in the digital space, it is easy to feel compelled and drawn towards the idea of connecting with your peers and colleagues on the social media. Although there is not much harm in the practice, it is essential to observe caution while making these connections.

        The simple reason behind this is that one wrong move can dampen your reputation or else, cause your peers to gather an incorrect impression about you.

        It makes sense to ensure what the social media policy of your organization is before treading on this path. If such policies restrict the association of fellow employees, then you must respect them.

        3. Communication is the Key

        Communication is essentially one of the most vital keys which impact how your relationships with peers and other employees are. The role of effective communication cannot be stressed enough. It is vital in attaining the goals of working together in an organization and carrying out the jobs which will help in attaining success.

        However, there is a very big danger with communication. As part of the human nature, it is easy to assume that the person ahead of us has understood what we intend to say. This might not be true at all times.

        Therefore, taking feedback is important. This will help you understand if your message has been understood in the intended manner. If the message has not reached the intended party as expected, corrective actions can be taken at the same time.

        Poor communication has the disadvantage of adding stress and distrust among fellow employees. It can sometimes causes crucial message failed to be delivered, leading to organizational turbulence, after which the blame game is hard to end.

        In order to avoid the confusion and misunderstanding, communicate through a formal chain of command and follow formal mode of communication. Thus, communicating through mails or any other formal channel of communication would be the appropriate way to communicate in order to keep everything on record. This will help in referring to the communications later, should any dispute arise.

        Advertising

        4. Feedback is Important

        As important as it is to take feedback from other people, it is also important to give your feedback. It is not just you who needs feedback but also your peers, in order to understand how well they are performing.

        Your feedback will help other people progress in their work as much as it will help you progress in yours. Giving constructive feedback to your fellow peers at the right time and in the right state will help them advance, and ultimately lead to the success of the organization.

        Your co-workers are bound to value your opinion and regard you in a positive light, if you provide them with the feedback that you require from them.

        5. Make Use of Common Day Courtesies

        Greeting a co-worker may sound like something so ordinary that you might wonder how it ended up on this list. However, as long as we are talking about ways to build a positive work environment, this one cannot be ignored.

        You maybe surprised by bidding your co-workers simple common day courtesies! Being humble never hurt anyone, even if you do not exactly receive something in return.

        Moreover, you must maintain eye contact with your fellow peers if you wish to gain their trust. This will provide the necessary infrastructure to build a capable team.

        6. Get Into the Habit of Helping Yourself

        While at work, accept that you are never going to receive the pampered behaviour which you do at home. No one at your workplace wakes up in the morning and makes themselves available at the  to hear you rant or constantly answer your questions. However, you might come up with situations nevertheless, which require you to ask for help or advice.

        In this scenario, try to gather some information about your question, say, from the manuals which you receive upon joining, or from the web and equip yourself with some concrete information about the question which you may be ready to ask from someone else.

        Advertising

        At least when you approach someone with your doubts, along with the information gathered you’ve gathered, they will appreciate you for having made the effort to find out the answer.

        This will make them feel important as well, answering your questions and helping you achieve your goals or tasks.

        7. Treat Everyone as Equals

        As a member of your team, it is not your job to point out who is better and who is not. Organizational politics can be a deadly game to play and as long as you are not a pro player, it is always risky to put yourself in a situation that will tarnish your image.

        Gossiping is a strict no and spreading rumours is something you must avoid at all costs. Behave in a humble manner and even if someone tries to pull you into a conversation, avoid it in a respectful manner. Do everything you can to pull yourself out of that situation.

        While talking behind people’s backs may sound like a refreshing fun activity initially, it will definitely come to bite you behind the back in the future.

        Also, it will be wise to remember that no one in the organization is permanent. People change and so can their designation. It will be better for you to keep your personal views about someone in your head.

        As long as you maintain the idea of treating everyone as equal, you will find yourself amidst a positive working environment at all times.

        8. Acknowledge Your Mistakes

        Mistakes happen and one of the more noteworthy facts about mistakes is that they can be made by anyone. The wisest thing you can do is to admit mistakes you’ve made.

        Advertising

        Playing the blame game will not only tarnish the name of your peers but also your own. It is always good to avoid getting into a tiff with others. Admit your mistakes and think of remedies or solutions to fix it. For a positive working relationship with your peers, you will need to adopt this quality.

        9. Learn to Take on Responsibilities

        Passing on your work load might be required when you are overburdened with work. However, when entrusted with a job, you should try to accept it as your responsibility and avoid putting it off to someone else.

        Putting off work all the time will only end up creating a block between you and your peers, while they may start avoiding communicating with you at all. When you work in a team, your duty is to cooperate and build a positive working relationship with your teammates.

        10. Engage in a Follow-up Routine

        As a part of a team, it is necessary to express the fact that you care about your team members and you are also poised to achieve the targets set by your team.

        Whenever you get the chance, do not hold back from asking your co-workers about your work performance and whether they think there’s anything you should improve.

        Be prepared to be available to change and improve. This will go a long way in presenting yourself as a responsible and willing to learn employee.

        The Bottom Line

        These are just some of the ways in which fellow team members can build positive work relationships among themselves and work towards taking the organization to new heights. This attitude is  best to achieve overall success for the organization and create an environment of trust and honesty among the employees.

        Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com

        Read Next