In the studio at Redberry we are exposed to a barrage of powerpoint slides; ones we have created, ones created by other studios, ones built from templates, ones created by novices just trying to get a message across and others that are rough and raw and in desperate need of some loving.
One common stand out in this sea of slides we see is that you want to capture your audience and clearly convey your message. After many years working on presentations we can safely say there is definitely a fine art to the best way to do this. And the underlying consideration remains the same no matter what the presentation - Simplicity.
It’s that easy, the "less is more" principle is really all you need when creating a slide. Ask yourself, do I really need that sentence, can it be summarised in a word or two or even better with an image?
I have here 5 very simple tips you should ask yourself when creating a slide:
Can an image speak louder than words?
In most situation the answer is yes. If the answer is no and you really need all those words make sure everything else on the slide is super simple and clean so the message is readable.
Paragraphs or Bullet points?
Again a paragraph is ok if it is limited to no more than two short sentences anything longer needs to be summarised into a list of no more than 5 bullet points. And keep these bullets trim and tight, they shouldn't go over two lines, ever!
To animate or not to animate?
In most instance yes to this but with a very big BUT! Animation on your slides should again follow the simplicity rule, subtle and discreet. There is no need to exhaust all of the amazingly extensive and impressive (sarcasm there if you missed it :) animation effects Powerpoint has to offer. Stick with Fade, Float In or Rise Up - that's all you need on the animation front.
Icons, do I use them?
Yes but ask yourself these extra questions… Are they relevant to my point? Do they fit with my brand? Are they clean and simple?
How much information should be on a slide?
Where possible a general rule of thumb is, there should be more negative space or whitespace than there is information. This being said negative space could be a subtle background image, colour or pattern background - but this must be subtle and not to busy or distracting to your actual message.
Some "before and afters" below asking the 5 key questions...
In the studio we live by these rules where possible when creating slides for our clients. They are the foundations of design principles and help give a presentation balance and continuity of content. I challenge you to ask yourself these 5 questions when creating your next presentation and see what happens with the final outcome.
Alternatively if you have loads of other priorities on your plate and would prefer to partner with an expert to give you a hand we would be more than happy to jump on board with you.