How your presentation deck is designed will go a long way in determining how your presentation is perceived and how your entire message is received and understood. So the question is, how exactly can you create a presentation, deck that will resonate the value of your message in the mind of your target audience?
5 tips for creating an audience-friendly slide deck:
1. Use subtle and consistent effects and transitions
Powerpoint and Keynote are designed with inbuilt effects and transitions. Contrary to what many people assume, many of these effects and transition don’t do much to simplify audience experience. At worst, they indicate that the message in a slide is boring and a page flip or droplet transition is required to wake the audience from their nap. But if you must use effects and transitions in your slides, consider the most subtle ones.
2. Use masking to focus on images
If you intend to focus on a specific object in a photo, you can use a big arrow to point in that direction. Better still, you may consider what I refer to as a dupe-and-mask. You should consider this when you intend to show new page designs. Mostly, when you don’t intend to show the audience the entire design until you’re done talking about the separate components that form the whole unit. You can mask every other aspect of the entire image to make the object you intend to focus on more visible than others.
3. Consider panning larger images
Sometimes, you may want to show screenshots of an entire webpage in your presentation. You can use a user-friendly Chrome extension to capture the webpage you want. However, sometimes, these images may not fit into the canvas size of the presentation. So instead of reducing the image into an illegible size or cropping it, consider panning it vertically while referring to it. In Keynote, you can do this with a Move effect and you can apply it from an object’s action panel.
4. Don’t use auto play for videos
Using auto play in a video embedded in a slide can require some few seconds before the machine actually starts playing. Presenters are often tempted to click on the video several times during the delay in an attempt to play the video immediately. But doing this will only move the presentation to the next slide, thereby distracting the audience. The best you can do is to set the video to click to play. With that you’ll have a predictable control over when the video should start and you can pick a poster frame to display before the video starts playing.
5. Recreate simple charts and graphs
It seems pretty easy and quick to drop the image of a chart on a presentation, but mostly, it interrupts with the texture of the deck. This is because, most often than not, the feel of the chart will look absolutely different, making the chart stick out like a sore thumb. But there’s an easy way out.
You can recreate the chart using the native presentation application to make your entire work consistent and thought-through. Also, it give you more control over fonts’ style, font size, colors, etc. that will blend with the entire slide deck.