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Once you have a rough outline, the next step is to start designing your slides. Here are some key points for you to consider as you bring your ideas to life. Nail the intro slide. Too often, speakers miss opportunities to make a positive first impression with a sloppy intro slide. While people walk into the room, your intro slide reminds them of who you are, it may hint at your main message, and it represents your professional brand. Strategize slide background and design.
Does your company have a set template that everyone is asked to use? Do you have any flexibility in designing your own slide template? If you have the option to design your own background, here are some tips for you. Create your own template with a visual design that's fresh. Place a reminder in each slide for your theme, and keep the color template consistent. Choose a background that allows space and clarity for your content. Avoid too much text cluttered into one slide.
Use relevant slide titles that are not too lengthy. Strike the perfect balance of images and words. Similar to slide design and backgrounds, all companies have their own visual culture. If you are part of an organization with a strong text-heavy culture, avoid completely breaking the mold and going with image-only slides. Use your judgment on the balance of the two, but consider some of the following tips. If you use images, be sure that they are relevant to your topic.
If possible, they are original, they are authentic, even the pictures that you have taken yourself, Use the whole slide to show an image and transpose words on top. Avoid cramming images between the slide corners. Use animation that's meaningful to the content you're presenting. When you list bullets on slides, use simple appear style animation, and allow the audience to stay on your pace. Only show the information you want the audience to retain.
The rest of the emphasis should come from you. Unfortunately, too many speakers see the slide as a cheat sheet. When you want all eyes on you, go to a blank slide. For example, closings that communicate an important meaning may only have to come from you. Keep it simple and organized. You started with a written outline of your presentation so that your message is clear and easy to follow. Consider showing a slide with a preview of your points, and then add a visual agenda on the bottom of your slides to communicate the flow during the presentation.
When it comes to data, carefully think what you want your audience to remember from your message. Maybe animate part of a chart. Maybe build it step by step, or highlight parts of it, or enlarge what you only want them to see. In some cases, charts and graphs are connected to additional information that the audience will ask about or you may want to elaborate on. This is the time to hyperlink. Hyperlink slides are crucial for the Q&A section of your presentation.
Short sentences or simple words can be ready to reveal additional information when that specific question comes up. This is a great chance to continue building your speaker credibility. Take a look at the exercise files for the worksheet to help you think through specific slides and image needs in your next presentation. Now you have a game plan for both the content and visual design to help you communicate your message effectively. If you keep the design process strategic, it can pay off with positive feedback from your audience.
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