Do you find it difficult to create slideshows?
A slideshow a.k.a. slide presentation can be created on PowerPoint, on Google Slides and on many other software programs. This type of media is used in academic lectures to explain concepts, in conferences to keep an audience attentive to what’s being presented, in business meetings to present proposals to potential clients and in many similar situations.
When you prepare a slide presentation, you immediately imagine that the audience will be attentive to the content, but that’s not always the case if the slides aren’t properly designed. There are some basic things you can do to make a good slide look better and to make it easier to understand.
This can be done in different ways, and that’s what we’re going to cover in this post! You will discover great tips on creating a slideshow that will keep your audience focused all the time!
Let’s see how to create a good slideshow.
Seek inspiration for creating your slideshow
Making a slideshow for an audience requires creative planning. Planning the message of your slideshow is the starting point, but the design of your presentation is what defines your idea and how your audience sees them. When you’re designing a slideshow, do some research on the topic of the presentation.
If the slideshow is for a school assignment or for an academic work, search for biographical reference sources, such books, and articles to make the content interesting and trustworthy. If the slideshow is for a business meeting, search for interesting information about the topic to keep the viewers focused.
Work on the typography of your slideshow
Typography is the design and organization of text blocks and sentences in each slide. The first thing you need to remember when setting up the typography of a slide presentation is to don’t fill each slide with too much text. Summarize the content in short sentences to highlight the most important points of your presentation.
You can create a bulleted list or a numbered list of the sentences that summarize the content. Add from 6 to 8 lines of text per slide, with no more than 30 words overall. Also, remember to keep the font size bigger than 24.
Also, it’s very important to review the text on each slide to check if there’s any grammar mistake. Do not let any detail go without revision because a simple mistake in any text line gives a very bad impression to the viewers. If you think it’s necessary, you can ask someone else to read your slide presentation for you when it’s finished to make sure there are no mistakes. You can also search for a free grammar correction site on the Internet to search for grammar mistakes in the text of each slide.
Work on the color palette of your slideshow
One of the most common mistakes in designing slide presentations is using colors that don’t match in the slide layout. A wrong choice of colors can give the impression that your presentation is amateur and reduce the credibility of its content. So you need to limit the color palette of your slideshow, a color palette is a set of colors chosen to be used in a specific content. You can use tools like the website COLOURlovers to help you choose the best colors for your presentation. Also, remember that the color of the text must match the color of the background on the slides. For example, a slideshow with dark text should have a white background.
Use images to illustrate the content of your slideshow
Images help to tell stories, they are the key for making a slideshow more engaging. Images are symbols that show facts, ideas and more. They can explain concepts faster than the text.
The quality of the images is very important for the design of your slide presentation. You need to find images that portray the content of your slide. Also, you should use images of high quality and in an appropriate size to display on a slide. If you can, try to add one image per slide in your slideshow (one image per page).
You can download images from copyright-free image sites to use in your slideshow as illustrations, you simply type in a keyword and choose the best images to put in your presentation. You can check our posts about the best sites to download free images to illustrate any type of content:
Add videos to your slideshow
The use of videos in slide presentations is becoming more popular over time. Videos enrich the content and bring more information to a slideshow. So you can add video clips to your slides in the same way that you add images. It’s better to center the video in a slide page and don’t add any text, just a title for the video (if needed).
Don’t choose videos that are too long to add to your slideshow to keep the content interesting for those who watch it. Long videos can distract the audience and make people forget what was being presented before the video.
If you present your slideshow from an online platform like Google Slides, choose videos that aren’t too large in size because sometimes they take too long to load and that will also make the audience lose focus on what’s being presented.
Remember to add the URL of the video to the last slide page of your presentation as a content reference, it’s important to do that when you’re not the author of the video and it’s also a way of respecting the copyrights of the video owners.
Add animation effects to your slideshow
Slide animations are effects that make objects move on a slide, such as text, images and charts. Slide animations can also have sound effects, they’re useful to make a presentation more dynamic, they also emphasize important points of the content. Slide animations can make all the difference in a slideshow and make it more memorable.
You can use this feature to enhance your slideshows, just remember to not overuse it to avoid taking the focus of the audience away from what is being presented.
The excess of animations with movements and sounds can distract the audience and disrupt the dynamics of your lecture. These elements, sounds and movements should be used sparingly in the slideshow. Use slide animations only to highlight important points of your presentation.
Add content to the top of each slide
When seeing a slideshow, people usually look at the top of the slide every time you pass to a new slide page, even if that’s done unconsciously. So remember to put the most important information at the top of each slide page. That will help your presentation be very successful, that will also ensure that the content of the slides is efficiently understood and it will highlight the main points of your presentation.
Pay attention to the amount information in each slide
Every slide presentation needs to be dynamic and deliver valuable content to its viewers. To achieve that, the elements that are part of the slide design must be simple and accurate, they must show the main points of what is being presented, without excessive information. So pay attention to the number of images, charts and other elements on each slide. In addition to overloading your presentation and making it monotonous, a slide with too much text can give the impression that you haven’t mastered the topic of the content being presented.
Backup your slideshow
Sometimes, technology can fail, so you need a Plan B. So remember to save your slideshow in different locations. It can be on a cloud service like Google Drive, you can export it as a PDF document, you can also store it on a pen drive and on other external drives. You should backup your slideshow even before you finish it.
After your slide is ready, you should be prepared for unforeseen events such as loss of Internet connection and computer crashes, especially on the presentation day. Also, it’s good to have a copy of your slide online and a copy offline (on a storage drive, for example) as extra backups.
Awesome! Now you know how to seek inspiration for creating your slideshow, how to work on the typography of your slideshow, work on the color palette of your slideshow, how to use images to illustrate the content of your slideshow, how to add videos to your slideshow, why you should add animation effects to your slideshow, why you should add content to the top of each slide, why you should pay attention to the amount information in each slide and why you should backup your slideshow! So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!