Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Visual Design Tips to Make Your Presentation Slides Pop

Cammy Bean is hilarious - and she's also just spot on. Some months back she wrote about her newly discovered syndrome - SoMeFat. My friend Neil Lasher talked about that on his blogpost to kick off the year. It feels like a bit of an epidemic to me, I tell you because I think the SoMeFat bug has reached me. Don't worry, I'm advised that it's a minor disorder and that I should be back to my vocal nature on all social media channels. I'm also told that my upcoming three week vacation starting 21st April, will bring me back recharged. In the mean time, I'm going to take the doctor's advice and not blog about social media or social business today. Instead, in today's blogpost I'll share with you three tips that can really help bring your presentations alive. Of course, there's several other things you can try - all I want to do is share some interesting techniques to bring the zing back to your slides.

Use Contrast to your Advantage

Contrast is a great way to lead your audience's attention to items that deserve their attention. There are several ways of creating contrast. You could choose a variation of size, colour or shape to draw people's attention. You'll see several presentation gurus use this trick all the time and it comes in handy when there are more than one element on the screen and you need to focus only on one of them. Take a look at some of the examples I've put up for you above.

Build a Consistent Theme

I recently attended Tom Kuhlmann's talk at Learning Solutions 2011. Tom's obviously a great practitioner of slide-based presentations and his talk last month was no exception. What I was quite interested by however, was the consistent moon theme that he adopted for his talk. You should see the slides here. The slide design actually added an element of fun and consistency to his visuals and kept me engaged. Tom's made a habit of using a consistent visual theme, and you'll see that even on the presentation he did at DevLearn 2010. Actually if you look hard, you'll see that several illustrious presenters use this approach as well. Take a look at this presentation by Garr Reynolds and also this one. And while you're at it, don't miss Guy Kawasaki's enchantment, though I know one of the viewers found it disappointingly predictable!

Use Hand Drawn, Organic Graphics

One of the trends I've seen in recent years, is that of hand-drawn graphics. While Garr Reynolds did a bit of it in this presentation, I see it being more prevalent these days with a lot of us wanting to stamp our personalities with custom graphics. And what can be more custom than a hand-drawn picture? Take a look at Richard Lee's entertaining Pecha Kucha talk to get an idea of how you can use this style effectively. I've also added one of my presentations to this post (nothing really confidential), so you can see how some of this applies for real, business presentations. And by the way, if you were scared of sketching stuff out by yourself, there's help. The Articulate community has some really cool hand-drawn assets for download. If you do feel like sketching things up, it's quite easy - buy yourself a pen tablet and then just use Powerpoint as Dan Roam recommends. And if you have something like an iPad, then there are free tools like Adobe Ideas that are so simple that even I can draw!

So, I hope that you like this little break from social media and that these tips help you improve your presentations in some small way. By the way, I am going on holiday from 21 April as I already mentioned. I am taking a three week break from blogging during that time unless there's some way I can find an internet connection and the motivation to write during that time. I do promise to come back and spew my thoughts on this blog as usual when I'm back, so hang in here if you do like the blog. Until next week - tada!

25 comments:

Kelly said...

I love your hand-drawn graphic style. Very clean and compelling - and feels not only interesting but personal. I think that's the best aspect of using hand-drawn stuff - the feeling of personal connection!

- Kelly (@OpenSesameNow)

Cammy Bean said...

Whoa. And there I am larger than life!

Have a great holiday and recovery :)

Miami lasik surgery said...

Useful tips, I have to prepare my presentation for graduation exam and I have to impress the audience, and I found many interesting ideas.Thanks!

Jake said...

If only more businesses would train their staff in how to make interesting presentations - i have sat through so many dull powerpoint presentations!

Ariel Nieto said...

Great post!! Thanks for the tips!!

writers for research papers said...

Cool! Author the best! Thank you!

Louis said...

Thanks a lot for the tips. Make a really good presentation with the help of these tips.

web design Perth

web design melbourne said...

I may go a bit out of topic here, but the hand-drawn graphics style are usually what's preferred by people who wants to start a blog. It's the same design implemented by Google+.

experiential marketing agency said...

These tips are an excellent way to make listeners remember your presentation. I loved the hand drawn graphics and using contrast really catches the readers eye.

seo perth said...

If one decides to use this to market a product or service, then a visually-appealing presentation is definitely needed.

Al said...

Thank you so much for the awesome tips. I'm making a presentation on SEO Philippines, and these tips would make my important points really pop out!

long island advertising agencies said...

Catching the attention of your audience is a real good indication that your doing it right. Thanks.

white label seo said...

I love the way you present your slides, I'll be sure to try this on my next marketing presentation. Thanks.

Marie said...

I picked up similar pointers while talking with Los Angeles web design people. Simple ideas can make such a big difference!

seo london said...

Those look really cool, those slides will definitely get their attention. Thanks.

Marco Phillipstein said...

Thanks for sharing these very useful tips. I love your graphic designs. It looks really professional and clean with your personal style added on it.

web design norwich

seo reseller said...

Consistency is indeed the best and the most important thing to practice. This will definitely allow you to create a very simple yet informative presentation.

George Schneider said...

These tips are very informative and useful indeed. It is essential for us to know the things regarding the use of social media and how to make it more presentable. These can also be used to create a great website with compelling web design. The more consistent you are with your style, the better the website will look after.

Web Design Company Singapore said...

the post is giving 3 visual design tips to mae yoir website more attarctive

Web Designing India said...

Great tips to give the proper look and feel to your website. They are user-friendly as well

SEO Agency said...

Hand drawn graphic idea seem great.. But am wondering if this doesn't count as unprofessional from our side.

Web Design Company said...

Lot of great information which can be helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog,looking forward for more contents.

CD DVD said...

Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking Forward to Another Great article. Good luck to the Author! All the best.

Gerard said...

This is just a perfect time to discover such effective presentation improvement tips. I'm preparing for my upcoming presentation project and these tips will help me out development my visual design slides more attractive. Thanks.

sanam arzoo said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post. graphic designing tips

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