How to Make Your Powerpoint Presentation Stand Out (2023)

Do you want create effective, compelling slides for your Powerpoint presentation? Many people have been through too many presentations with info-loaded slides that don’t seem to stick.

Have you ever been in the back row of a class or seminar, and the presenter asks you to read something extremely small and long on the screen?

You’ve probably seen slides that are word clouds of rainbow colors mashed together, or perhaps a layout of misshapen images that are sprinkled all over.

These are very amateur errors you can avoid when you design your own.

There are simple ways to create a beautifully designed powerpoint and you do not need to be a professional designer!

Your next presentation can be an engaging presentation simply by reading this article!

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We offer a few ways and simple tips on how to make a stunning powerpoint presentation today. In no time, you can learn how to use Powerpoint effectively and be in your best presentation mode.

Do you have any tricks and tips for creating engaging and interactive presentations? Comment below.

Powerpoint Presentation Tips:

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Tell a story by planning your content out before you think of your visual elements

Before you start laying out slides for your entire presentation, think about the main points you would like to get across. This will help inform the design of your slide layouts and is one of the few practical tips for creating a good presentation.

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A great example of how content planning informs design is first coming up with a great title. For eg, if you are doing a presentation on increasing literacy for children in school, you could think of what major points you could make for your presentation and craft a title like “How to Fund for Middle Grade Fiction and Non-Fiction Books” versus something to broad like “Get Kids Reading”.

When you define like this, in this example, you can find middle grade children photos versus a wide range of children at different ages, and you can make the Powerpoint geared to finance and grant funding, so you may consider a template that looks like more like a business presentation than say a Powerpoint presentation that looks like it was meant for children.

Another great example is making a list of topics and editing it like you would a paper, so you can work on the flow before spending too much time on the design.

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Establish a consistent layout or use your branding

Really, you can do a lot with one slide in seeing which colours, fonts and images work for you. But if you want to get in deeper, you can start with designing three slides: your title slide, a list slide and a slide with a blurb and photo.

Once you design these three, you can use the style for the Powerpoint, and keep it clean and consistent on any new slide you create.

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You can even train your viewer with your slide design, and as long as a text box is properly aligned and you add images and crop images well, you do not need advanced techniques to make it look clean.

Align objects well together with proper white space, and your Powerpoint presentation will already look better than most out there.

Whether you workshop one slide or want to create a presentation template for your presentation, we will go step by step on how to create a simple template.

1. Use effective fonts for your presentation template

You can get a lot of using one main font and playing with its types: italic, light, regular, semi-bold, bold and extra bold, and you can also use size to create a hierarchy.

For instance, you can make all titles bold and size 44; all sub titles semi-bold and size 40; and the body font regular and size 30, and as long as the entire slide follows this order, things will look clean and consistent.

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But if you would like variety, pick two fonts to use and do not use more than that. One font should be clean and readable, like Times New Roman, Arial or any font that is similar.

The other font can be a decorative font like a handwritten looking one or one that like Times or Arial but may be bolder or thin and spaced out more like Bebas Neue or Impact.

Whatever the theme is for your PowerPoint. You should still set a hierarchy like setting titles to size 44, sub titles to size 40, and body font to size 30 to keep the design consistent!

When You Should Use Animation

Like font, it is best if you only pick a few colours for your presentation.

You can use colour wheel theories. Primary colors in the RGB color wheel are the colors that, added together, create pure white light. Secondary colors are colors that result from mixing two primary colors. Tertiary colors are colors made by combining a secondary color with a primary color.

  • Complementary - Two colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel.
  • Analogous - Three colors that are side by side on the color wheel.
  • Triadic - Three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.
  • Tetradic - Four colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.

A sweet spot is about 1-3 colours.

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Even the most creative themes have only a few colour.

Think of the most effective brands and what are their colour schemes?

Think of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – they have one key colour and maybe one or two more colours associated with them.

This is because white is easy to read on and black offers the maximum amount of contrast as the text on white, and red is a great accent colour.

When picking colours, you could start with your branding colours or simply think which colours are readable.

Would white and teal work in terms of reading? Probably not. But a nice navy blue and white would. And if you choose an accent to navy and white, looking at a colour wheel would show you perhaps choosing yellow would be a nice compliment.

An engaging presentation relies on people being able to read it and for their eyes not to get distracted by too many colours in the powerpoint slides.

The last thing you want is your slide deck to look too gaudy and bright for your audience to read.

A way of thinking of colour and seeing its use in the real world is this: the next time you are in a cafe or fast-food restaurant, what colour and design are their menus? Menus have a detailed list of items but they’re very easy to use and very well designed in terms of colour and readability.

A photo or video is worth a thousand words in a presentation

A photo can illustrate a point or concept without words and within seconds, so use images to your advance.

You could use a free resource website like Unsplash to find photos for your presentation. There are also sites like Shutterstock, Freepik, Pexels and many more if you need free photo content. Shutterstock and Freepik also have premium options that allow you to source high quality content at your fingertips.

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Here are some general tips for photo usage:

Use images that supplement your point and not generic ones - think deeply about the message being conveyed in the image you select

Why? You want your images to be compelling and not just an afterthought. You’ve seen the really generic looking stock photos before yourself – does that really serve what you’re saying?

When you crop your images, make that crop consistent wherever you can. Will you use a square photo, a top banner or left banner? Try to use it a few times, even if there are slides that vary the shape and size in between.

Following a hierarchy in images is similar to the order you established with font and colour, it helps train the eye and keeps things consistent.

Could the slide be an entire image with a few words or no words, if the image conveys what you are saying perfectly?

Maybe you are trying to illustrate living conditions, a working model, or an emotion. You could explain it in words, but an image has a maximum amount of impact in terms of understanding and empathy.

Consider using the image as a background, with a black or white overlay on it with a minimal amount of words as stand out slides.

A couple key slides with iconic images can deeply embed themselves in your audience’s memories; if they were to think back on your presentation, the few slides with key images are usually the ones they remember well.

Also consider colour scheme or style of images. Keeping the same tone can help the visual look.

If you have a corporate deck for instance and you use primarily team-building stock photos with a cool tone, would one warm lifestyle photo stick out?

Downsize the photos if you can - it will help if your Powerpoint is running slow.

You do NOT need print sized images (10mb for example) in order for it look high quality and sharp. You can have beautiful 150 dpi images that are 3000 px across its longest edge that look stunning in your powerpoint.

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You could also use an animated gif or animate the images to appear one by one if you are presenting something that needs to be shown in steps.

You can keep your audience engaged in what you’re saying if you have a powerful supporting visual. Maybe you have a flow chart or a series of images to illustrate a point. The fade-in animation can do wonders for staggering information out as you present just on a single slide.

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You could also use something like a youtube video to convey an infographic or something that is lengthy to explain.

Whether you create your own video content or use content from sites like Youtube, they can be embedded into the Powerpoint and can convey complex messages in minutes.

This is great referential content to help you illustrate points that may take too long to convey without a visual.

You can have the video play as a full screen object, or you can have fun and put a graphic of a screen or maybe use a shape to play your video in.

Pay attention to white space in your presentations

One simple technique is to pay attention to white space in your powerpoint presentations. This is probably the most important of our powerpoint presentation tips.

White space is the area between design elements. It can be any color, texture, pattern, or even a background image.

In your presentation slides, make sure there is enough breathing space between images and text; that the reading order works with the design.

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If an audience is reading left to right, would an image on the top or bottom stand out as they’re reading?

Try playing with placements. If you have an image of person staring off to left or right, it could be fun to try to place the text to the sight line.

Even if you were to use powerpoint templates, the first thing you’ll notice is that most of them will have a quarter to half an inch of space around all elements.

Consider consistently adding this padding space to your Powerpoint presentations.

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Pay attention to white space in your presentations

Another great tip for your presentation slides is using size 30. This helps the text always be readable and consistent across all slides.

It is hard for people to read something smaller at a distance, so it should not be lower than that.

You may be wondering how you can use such a big size if you have lots of information, but see the following tips.

You should not be packing your powerpoint presentation with too much information to begin with.

No Sentences!

Another great tip for your presentation slides is using size 30. This helps the text always be readable and consistent across all slides.

It is hard for people to read something smaller at a distance, so it should not be lower than that.

You may be wondering how you can use such a big size if you have lots of information, but see the following tips.

You should not be packing your powerpoint presentation with too much information to begin with.

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And even worse, if you have someone who cannot read your slides from a distance due to eyesight, they’re immediately excluded from a paragraph slide.

That type of information should be coming from you, or consider using an audience handout if something long and complex needs to be conveyed.

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6x6 Rule in your presentation

And even worse, if you have someone who cannot read your slides from a distance due to eyesight, they’re immediately excluded from a paragraph slide.

That type of information should be coming from you, or consider using an audience handout if something long and complex needs to be conveyed.

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Utilize geometric shapes in your presentation

Lastly, you can use shapes to your advantage as a visual aid or talking points in your presentation.

You can highlight a key piece of information in a coloured box off to the side in your presentation.

You can use a transparent black box over an image to overlay a quote and make it more readable.

Shapes should be an accent throughout in your presentation, to draw attention to key bits of information, quotes and stats.

Animations and transitions: keep your presentation simple

Though there are many powerpoint tricks out there, engaging presentations do not necessarily need a thousand animations and transitions.

Having your list lines appear one-by-one, or your slides appear with a simple fade can do wonders.

While it is nice to use something exciting like a burst of stars or a flip animation, you should save those for slides with exciting content but not all of them.

The animation and transition functions of PowerPoint should supplement your talking points and not take away from them.

During your presentation, ask questions and be present

Let’s go back to your great presentation outside your powerpoint presentation. In other words, let’s talk about how you will story tell in your presentation. Most presentations that are memorable come from memorable speakers. Here are some general tips.

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When you're in presenter view, you can see your powerpoint notes, what's coming up next and the time you've spent in your presentation.

This is very helpful because you can see if you’re spending too long one slide, or if you’ve missed a point in your notes. The presenter view deck is an invaluable tool in quantifying how you perform your presentation.

However, you do not want it to distract from your presentation.

Practice until the Powerpoint is memorized in your head.

When you remember your information, you have more space to ask questions. Interactive presentations are probably the most memorable and you can do this without your powerpoint presentation.

Before your presentation, you can talk to your audience members and see why they've come to hear you speak.

Maybe they have questions for you you can speak about while you go over your slides.

An engaging powerpoint presentation requires both stunning visual design and the person behind it to be fully present in their delivery.

Maybe they have questions for you you can speak about while you go over your slides.

Use a presentation template

There is also nothing wrong with using a powerpoint presentation template for your slide deck.

What if you just want to work on your performance and not the presentation design? Maybe you’re feeling more nervous and need to work through the public speaking component of it, which is a reality for many people.

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Or, maybe you have multiple slides that would be too time consuming to have unique slide designs in your presentation.

For example, maybe you are creating educational documents or HR documents for your organization and doing one for each policy would take you several weeks had you done it by hand for all of them.

If this is the case, you may be wondering where can you find a powerpoint presentation template for your next slide deck?

There are plenty of free presentation resources out there where you can create presentation slides in seconds.

Free Template sites:

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Canva is an easy to use design software that is free and also specializes in other designs besides slides. You can create effortless graphic design pieces in seconds with Canva.

Canva has thousands of customizable templates, which allows for team collaboration and a powerful presentation experience to impress any audience. Their editors can be used on web, mobile and desktop.

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Freepik

There are Powerpoint templates here that are free, and more quality ones with a Freepik license.

However, Freepik is geared towards those with some design knowledge.

They offer template images in which you will have to manipulate them in some kind of editing software like Adobe.

If you have this skill set, the quality of image templates here are quite polished, so this could be an essential tool in your arsenal.

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SlidesGo

SlidesGo is a great tool if you’re using Google Slides, and offers many free resources.

SlidesGo is actually a part of Freepik, and the side that offers the editable templates.

If you have a license for Freepik, consider utilizing SlidesGo as part of your subscription.

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Slides Carnival

Slides Carnival has free PPT templates & Google Slides themes, and are free for any use. They claim there are no registration or download limits to their services.

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FPPT.com

Free Powerpoint Templates has been around for a while; the website has a bit of outdated UI but offers plenty of resources.

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SlidesMania

SlidesMania offers free creative PowerPoint templates and Google Slides themes.

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SlideModel

SlideModel boasts 30,000+ PowerPoint Templates.

They are all download ready-made slides & 100% editable templates for your presentations.

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There's also plenty of built in themes in Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides, and any other presentation software.

You can also make a template your own presentation by maybe changing the colours or images included in the presentation design.

A Powerpoint template can be a useful place to start in order to learn how to presentation design and change objects in Powerpoint as well.

A Powerpoint presentation template is not only a learning tool but a time saving one too!

And if you purchase one, it is a small investment in that time save for future presentations.

You do not necessarily need a different looking template each time you present. If you establish one style, that can be your own brand and a way to build familiarity with your content.

And you can still create engaging and interactive presentations by using templates – like our points above, the major component of the presentation is you after all!

However you create slides only lends to your spectacular presentation!

If you need professional presentation help, you can contact the Presentation Geeks!

Whether you need a template, formatting an existing one or developing templates you can use for the long run, we’re also available to help you create stellar, knock-out designs for your presentation!

In whatever job we had, we were always the go-to guys to help make the boss’ presentation look good.

We quickly realized that successful professionals are busy; their time is valuable.

It simply doesn’t make sense for them to dump hour upon hour into keeping up with design trends and learning the latest features of complex software.

They are experts at what they do, and we are experts at what we do.

And this was the birth of Presentation Geeks. A service designed for the professional who understands their time is valuable, and their expertise may not necessarily lie in design and digital manipulation.

Remember those Geeks in high school who you could get to do your homework and they always did an amazing job? Well, we grew up. And now we’re here to make you a star for your next presentation.

You’re a busy professional. Your time is too valuable to be wasted staring at a screen trying to figure out how to make your story visual.

Ultimately we understand how important your presentations are to your business life.

Whether it be a delivery to the board, a sales pitch, a medical presentation, or a company digital display, your presentation goes hand in hand with you. Contact us or feel free to ask us questions here.

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