Slide Design: Appearance Matters Too!

A PowerPoint presentation doesn’t just impress people with its interesting and well-thought-out content. Good slide design is also important. Presentations look professional and streamlined if the chosen design is appealing and consistent throughout. To prevent the audience from getting distracted, the slide design should be clear and simple. Where possible, wild color combinations and animations like flying letters or flashing clipart, for instance. It’s not about using every single graphic option, design template or animation offered by PowerPoint. Less is often more here.

Our eyes read graphics based on experience. Graphics are indeed often grasped faster if fewer colors are chosen, graphic elements (colors, line styles and thicknesses) are consistent, and 3D objects are avoided. While 3D diagrams may look more impressive and interesting, the third dimension implies additional information that is often not even available. That’s why we recommend refraining from using this type of slide design and instead keeping graphic elements as simple as possible. Ideally, you will already have created design templates in PowerPoint and be using these for each new PowerPoint presentation.

The slides should be as “uncongested” as possible. By that we mean not overloading the slides with every possible piece of information. One good example of this is the homepage for search engine Google. The company has very deliberately kept the page free from any distractions. It looks minimalist and clear to viewers, thereby sparking their interest in using it.
 

Types of slides Slide layout Text legibility Visual design Blog post: "A unified look"

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