Slide decks are often the starting point when creating content for your next presentation. Weather you’ve chosen to do a video or audio presentation, it’s easy to get all your thoughts down on a slide first and then build the rest of your presentation. However, it’s important to not let your slides carry the weight of your content. If you do, your slides will show it through mounds of copy and visuals that will only drive people to boredom, not engagement.
The key thing to remember when building your deck is that people (meaning the presenter and audience) should drive the engaging content, and your slides should just be used as support.
The following is a “recipe” to follow when creating slides for your next webcast that will help keep people hooked in and focused on the presenter.
Less copy, more slides – Break up your text into smaller digestible phrases instead of spelling everything out. Think of it like an outline instead of your full essay. If your slide starts to look crowded with copy or visuals don’t be afraid to split things up. More slides that are less busy are easier to look at than one slide that is crowded with information.
Limit your look – Designing slides can be an overwhelming task in the beginning with the amount of colors, fonts and options available. To help with this set limits for yourself beforehand. For example, pick out 2 or 3 fonts and colors to use, and create templated slides that are easy to duplicate and swap out content. This will result in a much cleaner and polished presentation if there is a streamlined look.
Easy the effects – Only use effects and transitions when it adds to the story you are telling. If they serve a distinct purpose keep them in, but if not they will only clutter your presentation. It will also help move your presentation along faster if you don’t have to click every time you want the next line of text to appear.
Visuals speak louder – When you can, try to swap out text on a slide for an image instead. People want to be shown not told, and pictures and videos are a great way to capture attention. The text you would have liked to put on the slide, incorporate it into your dialogue instead.
Brand your experience – Don’t forget to use your slides as another opportunity to add to the branded experience of a webcast. Using your brand colors or having your logo in the bottom corner of each slide are subtle ways to create a more uniform experience. You want your audience to remember who you and your brand are so don’t be afraid to show it off!