7 tips to create good presentation slides

It is not difficult to creat great presentation slides if you follow these simple rules

We all know how annoying it can be to see bad presentation slides. Here are 7 easy to follow pro tips to improve your slides and to make a better impact at business meetings, keynotes or sales presentations.

We’ve all seen them: PowerPoint presentations with tons of text, confusing graphics, aggressive colors, and possibly 1990 GIF animations that constantly distract you from listening. There’s an art to creating a great presentation, but it doesn’t take much to make a great presentation.

In my many years of attending conferences, giving keynotes, and even building slide decks, I’ve had to learn a lot about what to do and what not to do. Here are my top 7 traits that will make your presentation good and help you get better.

My 7 tips for creating awesome slides

1. Only one topic per slide

Should actually be clear but still happens so often. People tend to pack different things on one single slide. Your audience is confused and trying to follow you. So, make it clear what you are speaking about. Just show 1 Picture, 1 Topic or 1 Sentence on a slide and give them a chance to also listen to you.

2. Write full sentences

While bullet points can make sense in certain topics or certain moments it is far from perfect to just use bullet points for your whole presentation. Whenever possible try to make a short but easy to understand the sentence. That is easier to understand and gives more context to what you want to say.

3. Not too many animations

Some PowerPoint experts want to show off their “Animation Pane Skillset” in the best way possible. This can add a nice touch to an otherwise static presentation but use it in moderation. Don’t build too many animations into the slide itself and also don’t mix too many different animation styles.

4. Don’t distract people

Many have a lot of logo presence on their slides. Sometimes they have 2-3 times the logo mentioned. Any adding the Logos only at the beginning and in the end, you have cleaner slides and less distraction from the content you actually want to present. The same goes for too many pictures and graphs on a slide. Don’t try to overdo it by stuffing the slide with so many objects that the listener gets confused.

5. 1-Slide – 1-Minute

There is actually something like a personal rule I can really recommend and also a lot of other keynote speakers and professional speakers uses: Just talk 1 minute per slide.

This will help you to keep the content fresh on the screen, avoids that you are showing a picture or a slide for 10 min so the listeners have the feeling you got stuck and it also gives you more room for a good structure while you are talking.

6. Involve your audience

One of the trickiest parts of a presentation is actually to involve your audience. With some small questionnaires, some quizzes, or something where the people actually have to think/act/react it is way easier to build a true relationship and also attention for your topic. Try to do it once or twice in your presentation to keep the people engaged but don’t become a quizmaster that is constantly asking for feedback.

7. Presentations are complementary

Always remember that any presentation helps you get your message across to the audience. It is not a handout, it has nothing to do with helping you – the sole purpose of your presentation is to complement your spoken word and give people something that would not otherwise be possible. So choose content wisely for that single purpose – to complement your talk.

A simple process for creating keynote slides

Many people put too much thought into their presentations and forget about the audience. One of my best working methods is actually very simple to follow. I’m sharing with you how I prepare my keynotes so you can try it out for yourself.

  1. Choose a topic and the message I want to convey
  2. I open a blank presentation (or template)
  3. Create a new slide for each point you want to say (e.g., the headline you want to say)
  4. Find the storyline and arrange your slides accordingly
  5. Look for visuals you can include (preferably one image per slide)
  6. Go through the slides as you present and add the one sentence you want to show or the one graphic you need
  7. Scroll through and see if you are comfortable and adjust if necessary.

As you see, this process is really straight forward. It’s like writing an article where you first highlight the chapters, then the headlines and finally, you fill it with some life and content.

Benjamin Talin, a serial entrepreneur since the age of 13, is the founder and CEO of MoreThanDigital, a global initiative providing access to topics of the future. As an influential keynote speaker, he shares insights on innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship, and has advised governments, EU commissions, and ministries on education, innovation, economic development, and digitalization. With over 400 publications, 200 international keynotes, and numerous awards, Benjamin is dedicated to changing the status quo through technology and innovation. #bethechange Stay tuned for MoreThanDigital Insights - Coming soon!

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