10 Expert Design Tips for Visually Appealing Slides in PowerPoint
Last updated on December 6th, 2022
Designing a PowerPoint slide deck can be both time-consuming and confusing. Even when you have a topic outline and know what content to add to your slides, designing the slides and making everything look good onscreen can be challenging. You can make your design endeavors more fruitful by following our expert design tips for visually appealing slides in PowerPoint.
1. Use a Background that Supports Legibility
Text legibility is crucial when preparing presentations that are accessible. Using a background that overpowers the text can be a quick way to earn yourself Death by PowerPoint. One of the first things you need to do to avoid that is to avoid a messy background.
When considering how to make a PowerPoint presentation attractive, keeping your background color simple can be one way of doing that.
If you’re not good at designing slide backgrounds or are looking for a readymade PowerPoint template, stick to simple themes that go with your topic.
2. Don’t Use Too Many Lines of Text
Using fewer lines of text can make your content stand out and make it easy to read for people regardless of where they are placed in the audience.
A large font size and fewer lines of text can also enable you to focus on the topic instead of reading through slides. Anything between 3-6 lines of text should be more than sufficient per slide. And would be a good example of a PowerPoint presentation style that can help you focus on your slides and also enable your audience to do the same. The rule of three principle for presentations also applies in this case.
If you want to better understand how to structure your slides, see our post about tips on structuring your presentation.
3. Represent Key Points with Care
When making a presentation, many people search for sample presentations to get ideas online. Whether you’re looking for PowerPoint presentation examples for students, are an entrepreneur looking to create a pitch deck, or are a freelancer looking to score a project, a good sample would always be one that delivers key points with precision. You can do this yourself by simply focusing on presenting essential points using a simple layout. When representing key points, you can either use traditional bulleted lists or alternative graphics, where each point is highlighted using a design element such as a box or show a sequence using an infographic.
4. Stick to Traditional Fonts
While fancy new fonts might seem attractive to use, sticking to traditional fonts like Cambria, Helvetica, or Calibri can be a much better option. Sans Sheriff is another good option when designing slides, as fonts from this family of typefaces is easy to read and prominent when displayed on the big screen.
5. Pay Attention to the Size of the Font
Another important consideration when designing your slides should be to make your font size big. Guy Kawasaki suggests using a 30-point font (see 10/20/30 rule for presentations), while Steve Jobs used a 190-point text.
However, you can stick to something less than that as long as someone sitting at the back of the audience can read your text with ease. The idea is to use a large font, less text, and explain the key points on your own with confidence.
6. Don’t Use Too Many Colors
When designing your presentation slides, avoid turning them into a rainbow! You don’t need too many colors in your content. 2-3 colors in your basic design and 6 at the most should be sufficient to help you design a perfectly legible slide deck that is visually appealing and easy to follow for your audience.
7. Try to Use One Image Per Slide
While it can be tempting to create collages and use multiple images, using just one large image per slide can have quite an impact. This can also help your audience to avoid getting distracted by multiple images. You can, for example, place such an image on the right or left side of the slide, with the text placed in the opposite direction.
8. Use Visual with Emotional Appeal
While using a single image in a slide might be a good idea, using the right one is just as important. Using images that evoke emotions can help you win your audience’s trust and admiration. This can also help make an otherwise bland topic more appealing for an audience.
9. Keep Your Slides Simple
If you’re trying to cramp in too much information in your slides, don’t. Take advantage of the KISS principle. A cluttered slide that comes with too much content can be visually distracting for your audience. Using something simple and basic as your visuals should be sufficient for you to build upon the topic as you present.
10. Use Default Design Options
There is no harm in using stock photos offered within PowerPoint or other presentation apps, as well as features like PowerPoint Designer to get design suggestions based on Artificial Intelligence algorithms as you create your presentation slides. This might help save you time and enable creating slides that are visually appealing, without spending hours designing your presentation slides from scratch.
Designing your slides requires a few careful considerations, primarily associated with using content that isn’t cluttered, visually overpowering, is easy to read and follow. You can also incorporate storytelling and use the KISS rule to make your presentations effective.