When you’re designing slides, you often focus on things that work or enhance the visual appeal.

But not all design objects are created equal. Some give your presentation an unexpected edge while others scream amateurish work.

Slides are a visual overview of your content. Given them the professional touch needed to persuade and impress your audience.

Avoid these 6 mistakes and you’re one step closer to an elegant, powerful presentation.


#1            jarring TransitionS

You need signs in your slide deck to convey a topic changeover. Transition effects help you through this process, but some of these are flashy, and irritate your audience.

Minimize use of effects, choose simple ones or use a contrast slide for best results.


#2            Clip Art and cartoons

If you want to impress the audience, stay clear of clip art or cartoonish graphics. They look cheesy and tacky, and you don’t want that vibe for your presentation.

Use high-resolution images, animation, or other graphics to emphasize a point. If possible, use customized infographics – they meld information with design elegantly.


#3            Standard Stock photos

What’s your fist reaction when you see contrived looking stock photos of men and women? If Blah or Duh come to mind, remember your audience will react in a similar way over generic photos in your slides.

Choose powerful, unique, or distinct images. These act as emotional hooks and metaphors while clearly expressing the connection. For examples, see the images which accompany these blog posts.


#4            redundant sound effects

Sound can add depth to your content, particularly for specific messages or ideas. But silence does the same. Don’t let those fancy sound effects tempt you. They can be jarring and distracting.

Use authentic sounds or other audio material to create impact and set a scene, not just for the sake of it.


#5            Tables and Complex diagrams

A wide selection of graphic models exists for portraying data. Why settle for lacklustre tables that bore your audience or complex charts that confuse them?

Choose the right graphic for specific data sets: pie charts for percentages or line charts for trends. Better still, do away with charts for simple statistics and use dramatic visual techniques.


#6            Copy paste templates

Professional templates are helpful if you lack design skills. But stay clear of standard options that are bundled into your presentation software. A lot of presenters do a quick copy paste job with these. And the audience is tired of this lack of creativity.

Create your backgrounds and graphics or purchase fresh, high quality templates you can modify.


Have you committed any of these bloopers? Did you like these design tips and suggestions?

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