Learn about where to go from here for design inspiration and help within the PowerPoint design community.
- [Instructor] Well, we've reached the end of this short course introducing you to some key components for slide design. Unfortunately though, that doesn't mean you now know everything there is to know about slide design. Heck, I don't even know everything there is to know about slide design. I'm learning something new every day, especially from my talented PowerPoint MVP peers which leads me to my first tip for you. Design doesn't happen all alone in a vacuum.
Improving your design skills requires a community and if you are a presentation designer, there is only one community where we all congregate and that is the Presentation Guild, a non-profit organization founded by several PowerPoint MVPs and presentation designers. In fact, you might recognize some of the names on the advisory board. If the guild isn't your thing and you want less of a commitment, there is an annual conference for presenters and presentation designers, The Presentation Summit.
There's a lot of good information about PowerPoint, public speaking, and of course, slide design. It's a lot of fun, trust me. In the meantime, practice. As for how to practice, begin collecting design examples. Examples in magazines, in art, on the web, pictures, clipping of posters that you see in doctor's offices or wherever you happen to see that demonstrate the key design principles that I've shared. As for how you gather and collect these designs, that's up to you.
You can cut out or print out physical copies of these designs and hang them in your office as a constant reminder. Or do what I do and go electronic. I like to use OneDrive to hold my photos though admittedly I'm not very organized. To get my photos and screenshots into OneDrive, I use one of my favorite phone apps, Office Lens. Office Lens is available for most phone OS's, iPhone, Android, and of course Windows phone.
Office Lens is kind of like a smart scanner. It lets you snap pictures of whiteboards or screens, documents from any angle and then magically makes them more readable by fixing the document's dimensions for you and then uploading the file seamlessly to OneDrive, OneNote, or other Cloud services. If you'd like to see a live tour of a real designer's own notebook, the Presentation Guild posted a tour of Julie Terberg's Inspiration Notebook on YouTube during one of their monthly webinar series Inspired by Design.
Now once you have a system in place for collecting sources of inspiration, set aside some time for practice. You don't want to wait until you have a work project. That's not a great time to practice. There's just too much pressure there and when there is too much pressure, there's too much temptation to copy someone else's work. You've heard the phrase practice makes perfect? Well, not with design. When it comes to design, practice just makes more practice.
It's never ending. That's kind of the fun of it, I think. With time, people get bored with designs and styles go out of fashion. Things get old and you get to reinvent what looks good. And with PowerPoint, we need to be doing a better job than we currently are doing which means never forgetting our core design pillars when starting out to create our slides, audience, environment, and our message.
Our designs must tie into those pillars as much as possible throughout our presentation. That is what will help make the presentation truly great.
- Designing as non-designers
- Key design components
- The need for hierarchy
- Hierarchy in bulleted slides
- When bullets are cognitively necessary
- Using space effectively
- Creating similarity and contrast strategically