90% of the information we receive each day is visual. It’s no wonder then, that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to build visually engaging slides. Regardless of how tech-savvy you are, here are 4 ways that you can make your next big presentation more people-friendly, by leveling up your message with visual elements.
4 Ways to Visually Empower Your PowerPoint Presentations
90% of the information we receive each day is visual. It’s no wonder then, that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to build visually engaging slides. Regardless of how tech-savvy you are, here are 4 ways that you can make your next big presentation more people-friendly, by leveling up your message with visual elements.
1. Use a Slide Template
The first step to creating a visually pleasing presentation is to choose an appropriate slide template. A template is the skeleton of your presentation. It includes a specific layout of the slides, the color scheme, the font styles and headings type, and other visual elements.
PowerPoint has many pre-designed templates, however they often feel overused and repetitive as so many presenters are using them. That's why we suggest customizing the templates you use, or if you have the time, creating your own template from scratch.
Creating a new PowerPoint template gives you complete control over all the common elements of your presentation like slide dimensions, slide margins, color palettes, font styles, transition effects, and more.
Whichever template you choose, just make sure that the colors you choose are complementary and not overpowering. Avoid fancy font styles, distracting transitions, and garish animations. You want your message to be the focus of your presentation.
When you over-stylize your presentation, your message is often lost.
4. Properly Layout Your Content
Ensuring that your slides are properly laid out makes digesting the information on your slide easier for your audience.
Each slide should be pared down, have plenty of white space, and demonstrate consistency throughout your presentation. Remember, slides are free to add to so use them to your advantage. If you are noticing that a slide is too busy then split the information up over two separate slides.
Each element should be correctly aligned. You can do this by selecting the elements you would like to align then click Arrange > Align then choose from the type of alignment most suitable for your presentation. This could include left, center, right, top, middle, bottom, horizontally, or vertically.
For help creating a simple yet effective slide design for your presentation, see the short video below
You don’t need a background in graphic design to make your presentation more alluring. Just a little bit of foresight and creativity will make your presentation more effective and engaging.
3. Leverage All The Visual Elements And Graphics PowerPoint Gives You
PowerPoint gives you a wide variety of visual elements you can use to create more engaging and effective PowerPoint presentations including:
You can embed, trim and edit videos inside of PowerPoint to create more interactive content and time the videos to play for a seamless delivery. For details, see how to embed a video in PowerPoint.
With all of the picture editing capabilities that PowerPoint gives you, there are a variety of different ways you can leverage pictures inside your presentations. For example, the Pictures Format tab inside of PowerPoint gives you options for cropping and resizing your photos, removing image backgrounds, adding transparencies, adding artistic effects and more.
Just keep in mind that realistic images always work better than ClipArt or cheesy graphics you might find online. While a lot of presenters are still using cheesy graphics in their presentations, high-quality imagery always win the visual war.
You can embed a GIF graphic into your presentation the same way you would a photo. GIFs can be a fun and modern way to jazz up traditional presentations.
SmartArt, Charts, Icons, Tables, 3D Models, etc.
These are all visual techniques you can use to present your message in different ways, and show comparisons between any numbers you have. You can easily find all of these elements on the Insert tab in PowerPoint
Zoom Slides, Hyperlinks and Action Buttons
Zoom Slides, hyperlinks and Action buttons are a great way to create a non-linear presentation experience for your audience. What these allow you to do is jump around within your presentation based on what your audience wants to see next.
You can find all of these options in the Links group on the Insert tab.
It’s easy to overthink the process of importing visuals but one of the only ways to fail is to NOT add a visual element to your slide. If you get stuck, consider incorporating just one of the following:
A high-resolution image that conveys an idea or concept
A photo from your smartphone showing something relevant to your topic
A picture of your team (the backbone of your success)
An icon to represent the general idea you are talking about
A basic flowchart of the steps to a process
A sketch drawing of shapes to summarize specific points
A basic line or column chart to show a trend
4. Replace Your Text With Visual Graphics
In many cases, photos and visual elements can speak for themselves. Try swapping out the ideas and concepts on your slides with visual elements and you will instantly see a difference in the quality of your slide layouts.
One of the easiest ways to do this is illustrated in the image below.
Simply swapping out the company names with the company logos instantly creates a more visually appealing slide. Not to mention it is fast and easy to do.
Another easy way to apply this to your layouts is to use maps to indicate where your company locations are, where your next marketing push will be or other places of interest you are trying to highlight in your presentation.