Master presentations: the top design ideas in PowerPoint

4 min read • Felipe Alvarez

PowerPoint owns the whole presentation industry. Almost 90% of users choose this tool, and over 30 million presentations are created every day. We probably choose PowerPoint because we are familiar with its layout and options. However, there's a whole world of features most users don't even know. In this post, we will review the best design ideas in PowerPoint.

7 tips to improve your PowerPoint presentations

As already mentioned, there are many design ideas in PowerPoint that the majority of users don't know about, however, it's important to master the once we are familiar with them. There are 7 tips to achieve that.

1. Simple slides

Repeat after me: slide presentations are tools, not textbooks. Your slides must be minimalist and do not include whole paragraphs of content. You must think of PowerPoint as a helpful visual tool for your presentation. You must do the speaking, not the slides. You’re making a Powerpoint presentation, not an essay. Use visual elements such as images and animations to make your slides more appealing. If you need to include a lot of content in one slide use bullet points, these will help you sum up what you need to write, but be careful, more than 5 points will be invasive. Lastly, you must keep it under 2 images per slide (using 1 powerful image is ideal). But be careful, steve jobs once said “Simple can be harder than complex”, and he wasn't wrong. Simplicity doesn't mean easy, to make a simple slide design you need to know how can you put the information with not much text.

2. Choose representative colors

If you own a business, work for a company or represent some kind of movement, the colors you base your ppt on must be the brand colors. Even though is an internal or external presentation, it'll be a much more adequate and attractive option. After all, you must stick to what you are representing.

3. Use original templates

Saying you're out of ideas in the internet era, is like saying you lack food in a buffet. Google some templates on websites like Slidesgo or just use the ones Microsoft Powerpoint has for free. There is no best or worse, it all depends on the context. Choose the one that's more suitable for the content and the audience. Using unique designs is fundamental for standing out. The audience will note and valerate the effort you put into the visuals.

4. Use animations

If I say “PowerPoint animations” and you think of the bouncy and spinning slide, I must tell you you are stuck on 2006. Powerpoint has many different animation options that make your slide presentations far more interesting. Use animations to create suspense and highlit important points. Movement will make your presentation much more dynamic and outstanding.

5. Use blank spaces

I'm about to reveal a design secret: blank spaces are used as a resource. As surprising as you might think, blank spaces do not mean incomplete spaces- When used properly, a blank space will lead the audience to stare at the most important parts of the slide.

6. Use High-Resolution Visuals

Don't be lazy on the search for visuals. You have the biggest library of all time and it's free, you might know it as the internet. Google Images is a safe option, but if you want to do the most, get your images from websites like Adobe Stock or Pexels. Low image quality on a presentation will lead people to think that not only your slides, but the whole presentation is unprepared and weak.

7. Data visualization

As already mentioned, you should keep your slides simple. Complex data must be easy to digest, that's where data visualization will help you out. PowerPoint offers us plenty of built-in features to help us out. Graphs and charts are both very important, however, we will be giving more importance to graphs right now.

Graphics: one of the most underrated design ideas in PowerPoint

We have talked about bullet points, short paragraphs, and images, and we've mentioned graphics. Graphics will have a major impact on your presentation design, it'll look much more professional and practical. You can either use external tools such as Adobe Illustrator or you could use Powerpoint templates. Both options are equally valid.

Why should you include graphics in your presentation?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a graphic is worth a million. Almost any type of information is better with a graph. These make a strong impact. Make sure to use the right colors and shapes, so you can transmit what you want. Spectators will appreciate the effort and will have an easier time processing the information.

How can I insert graphs into PowerPoint

There are three options:

1) Use an image from your computer

Select the insert option and click on “this device”. Pick the picture you want to include. Another alternative is to do copypaste.

2) Use a Microsoft stock image

If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you can choose between thousands of images. Just click insert, images, stock images, and look for the one that's right for you.

3) Use an image from the web

Click on insert, images and then click Online Pictures. Type some keywords on the search box and choose.

Once you have chosen your graph you can edit it with the format picture tool to edit it.

Final thoughts

Its already addressed that PowerPoint is the top tool for slide presentations. So, how can you be better than the 50 million users? By using the top design ideas in PowerPoint. This means knowing how to properly use the common features and also using the ones that aren't really popular, like graphs. Graphs will help you condense complex data into simple visuals. Going back to the basics, always remember to keep your slides simple. Also, pay extra attention to visual elements such as color, high-quality images, and animations.

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