8 Tips For Unforgettable Presentation Designs
No matter how cliched presentations can seem to be in the business world, there is no denying their usability. When you run a company, you talk about your products, brand, and services to many. That can mean communicating to clients, vendors, investors, or business partners.
Presentations allow you to do this in clear and comprehensive ways. And ever since startup culture exploded they’ve gone through a bit of renaissance. What was once a mundane aspect of working in the corporate world has had a makeover.
These days presentation designs place much more emphasis on good design and branding.
As those in sales and marketing know very well – it is much easier to convince and convert with powerful visuals than simply relying on lengthy text.
This guide by Kimp is here to give you killer tips to achieve all the wonderful things a well-design presentation deck can do for you.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of presentation designs, let’s explore the different uses of presentations in everyday business life and the role of good design within them.
Presentation Designs: An Overview
So, what exactly is a presentation design? For decades, for most people, it has meant the same old templates in Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote.
But it’s far more than such a simple tool. Presentation design refers to bringing together a set of ideas, keywords, images and even stories in a series of slides. These slides are designed with brand elements such as color, imagery, themes, and fonts. And they are organized in a manner that conveys a certain story or persuades an audience to take a particular action.
When you focus on the role of design in your presentation, you:
- Help people navigate through your concepts and content with ease.
- Make a lasting impression on your audience by leveraging popular design principles like color psychology, data visualization, and visual hierarchy.
- Break the monotony that we usually associate with long portions of text.
Even with a simplistic, text-heavy design, Dwolla’s pitch deck makes effective use of visuals and a consistent design theme. And it generated a $16.5 Million investment to boot.
Presentations have a wide range of applications in our life beyond visualizing reports. Namely presentation designs can take be used for:
- Educational purposes such as webinars, online courses, live lectures, class presentations, keynote addresses, and review reports
- Achieving sales goals in the form of investor pitch decks, marketing reports, sales reviews, and brand stories.
- Marketing through sharing customer case studies, industry and news reports, branded white papers, and in the form of product pitch decks.
Each of these presentation types has a different role. And as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to producing a good presentation design.
It takes design thinking and a good understanding of how visual elements work together. It also takes tailoring these concepts to different presentation types to land on a good presentation design.
In this guide, from the team that brought you Kimp Graphics, are design hacks to make your presentations unforgettable. Regardless of what your end goal is.
To truly understand the significance of each of those hacks, let’s take a quick look at what exactly we mean by a “good presentation design”.
The Role of a Good Presentation Design
Your presentation, of course, has a clear goal and an objective you want to achieve. But did you know that your presentation design also has a clear purpose and role to play?
Yes. A good presentation design is one that:
- Supports your content and written materials while also providing a visual representation of your ideas.
- Is successful in holding the audiences’ attention and getting them hooked on the salient points you make.
- Helps you build brand awareness and recognition along with the content.
- Demarcates the different sections of the design to display the flow of thoughts and ideas.
Now we know what a good presentation design does. Let’s move on to the important tips and hacks that make that possible.
Designs Tips for Engaging + Unforgettable Presentation Designs
As a business, a marketer, or an individual, you have diverse uses for presentations in your work life. And, over time, you’ll likely employ a wide range of design styles as well. But no matter the content of your presentation, or the design style you choose, the principles that make a good presentation design remain the same.
And regardless of the specific message and CTA, you’ll always want your presentation designs to inform, engage, and captivate your audience by leveraging design elements to reinforce your message.
This Kimp Guide brings you the best in visual marketing, color psychology, principles of good design, and other design concepts in presentations. Following these ideas will help you get, and keep, the attention of your audience.
So let’s check out these presentation design tips:
1) Stick To A Theme
Themes provide context for your presentation and the message you aim to deliver.
A unifying design theme right from the slide design, colors used, style of imagery used, and backgrounds makes your message easier to transmit.
This also ensures that no singular design element sticks out or overpowers your content but is a valuable addition to the entire deck. It is also easier to build brand awareness and recognition via consistent design elements.
For example, if you use a darker color background for your slides, the corresponding colors of the other elements on each slide must complement that. And overall the slides must work together to tell a cohesive story. So if you abruptly switch midway to a light color background/color scheme that holds no significance or relevance to your message, you could lose or even confuse your audience.
Choose a design theme based on your brand’s visual identity, the purpose of the presentation, the context of the content, and so on. But, whatever you do, you must pick one and stick to it.
Some popular design theme trends for 2021 are dark backgrounds with neon colors, minimalistic design themes, nature-inspired designs, and social media imagery. That said, not every design trend will be effective for your brand. So pick and choose keeping this in mind.
Kimp Tip: When you choose a theme, it is important to review the final look of the theme with the other design elements, such as font type, color, imagery, and your other branding elements. Talk to your designer and see a few mock-up styles before you settle on them.
With Kimp Graphics you can get multiple concepts, and color schemes to review, for a flat monthly fee. Not sure about the best color scheme for your presentation designs? We suggest getting a couple slides done with different options so that you can see which one makes the biggest impact.
Above, you’ll see a dark and neon color combination in a presentation design by Kimp. Notice how even though the background color changes, the overall scheme is consistent.
2) Less Is More
Minimalism is in vogue again. So let’s talk about how you can incorporate it beyond just choosing a minimalistic theme for your presentation design. For good presentations, it is always the rule that the less you have on screen, the better. Simpler designs are easier to remember even after the presentation is over.
This “Less Is More” principle applies to many components of presentation designs, such as:
- Animations: While animations can jazz up your presentations, stick to the basics and employ animated designs only if necessary. You want your design to add value to the content and not just be a frivolous element.
- Transitions: When you think of presentations you might think of slide and object transitions. And that might have been true a few years ago. But, times have changed. People prefer simpler, sleeker, and nuanced presentations, especially for pitch decks, reports, and online courses.
- Design elements: Every design element decision you make for colors, text, font, images, and style needs a place in the overall picture. You must carefully choose these elements so that every part of your presentation design has a specific significance. We discuss each of these in detail in the coming sections. Read on!
Kimp Tip: Making these choices can be confusing and daunting, especially when it has a major impact on your business. Choose a professional design service like Kimp Graphics to ensure your presentation is easy to look at and has relevant design elements in it.
3) Typography Decisions
Believe it or not, there is a thing called font psychology. The font style, size, and design you choose affect the impression you make on your audience. People are indeed judgy about the kind of font you use in official, branded communications. Presentations definitely fall into that category.
People associate each font type with different brand personalities, emotions, and industries. While you can go through many iterations to choose your preferred option, it is good to remember a few guidelines:
- Combining fonts is a challenge that designers face to this day on all design materials. It can make or break the entire composition. Generally speaking, if you choose one or two fonts to complement your visual identity, you will be home safe.
- Serif and Sans-serif are popular font types. In different styles and weights they can be used across body text, heading and other important elements. While Serif fonts are indeed trending, Sans-serifs are popular for digital use.
- Avoid over-styling the text with flashy fonts for the sake of aesthetics. Instead, leverage slight variations like different weights and styles to emphasize the prominent parts of your content.
Kimp Tip: Try to use the fonts you usually use for all your brand communications for most of the text in your presentation. Do not change the font for your brand name, product name, logo, and other company-related texts. This helps build branding consistency and makes the presentation feel more official.
4) Color In Presentation Design
How you use color in your presentation design is extremely crucial. Color has a deep relationship with our minds. And it can evoke certain emotions and inspire certain actions. Being highly visual creatures, we notice color before text, and you must take advantage of this. Some ways to do that are to:
- Use color to build a visual hierarchy in your designs and let the audience slowly move from one piece of content to the other without making it obvious.
- Divide the slide space into sections using colors. It helps you provide context to the different sections and brings contrast to make the design visually appealing.
- Highlight content that needs the maximum attention using color.
- Reinforce brand identity by using your branding colors in the slide design.
Kimp Tip: It is best to stick to two to three colors so that the design elements and the overall theme do not clash. To keep things minimal and on brand, you can also opt for different shades or tints of a particular color. Designs with too many colors can be unpleasant to look at for a long time. So if you wish to experiment, ensure it works with your branding.
Be sure to talk to your design team about this to figure out what works best for your brand. Don’t have a design team? Get Kimp Graphics.
In the presentation design above by Kimp, notice how the colors are used. They come together to highlight important data points, demarcate sections, and add pizzazz to an ordinary slide.
5) Visual Language
We have now spoken about visual hierarchy twice in this blog itself. So it is time to tackle that beast. Visual hierarchy uses design elements such as color and font to guide the viewers across the content. It is vital in all designs, but even more so in longer-form content like presentations.
When your audience is going through slides and slides of content, you want to make sure that they can understand your messages easily. And that key points are highlighted.
All visual elements play a vital role in presentation design. A good presentation design ensures that the visual language is subtle but profound enough to make an impact.
When you get your presentation designed or write a design brief for your team, remember that visuals can go a long way in bringing your abstract ideas to life and ensure no one forgets them easily.
Kimp Tip: It is important to develop a visual language that does justice to your brand and the content you are drafting for the presentation. Kimp Graphics can help you rightly represent your words via visuals so that you immortalize them and get maximum impact.
Usage of white (aka negative) space and visual elements to convey the flow of content is a valuable design tip for presentation designs. Notice how the text placement and overall composition above also benefits from a tactical use of space, color, and imagery.
6) Slide Composition
Composition is one of the most significant design principles. It governs how you arrange every design element in the overall design and ensures everything works in harmony. In the context of presentation designs, the composition includes:
- Alignment of elements on the slide – If you want the visual hierarchy to do its magic, concentrate on alignment. Consistency in alignment ensures that the audience gets a seamless experience. To help your designer achieve this, try to keep the amount of text on each slide to a minimum.
- Text placement – The popular rule of six states that there should only be six lines of text in a sentence, carefully arranged in individual statements instead of paragraphs. Overcrowding text in a slide ends up robbing the entire text of any meaningful attention.
- Readability – While this is a font-related issue, it also affects the overall composition. Ensure that the image sizes, text sizes, and overall slide sizes do not impact readability. Sacrificing readability to bring emphasis to a design element is the wrong road to choose. So if your designer tells you that you need to compromise and reduce some text or remove an image – you’ll want to listen.
Kimp Tip: White (aka negative) space is a crucial element of slide composition. Designers often leverage white space to bring attention to the important sections of a design. In presentations, you can use it to bring clarity and style to the overall theme. The Kimp Graphics team truly believes that white space can transform any design and bring order to it.
7) Interactive Design Elements
More often than not, a picture or a video is more effective in communicating a detail than the written word. The same is valid in presentation designs, too. Hopping on data visualization trends, you can include interactive design elements like videos, infographics, GIFs, and custom illustrations to your presentations.
The presence of these design elements breaks the monotony of walls of text in your presentation. Some of the popular examples of these design elements include:
- Customer testimonials (i.e. a picture and impactful quote)
- Sales infographics
- Product promo videos
- Visualization of a technical or abstract concept for an investor, student, or a client
- Custom brand illustrations for products, services, and even employee groups
- GIFs to convey emotions or a small snapshot from a video
Of course, the applicability of these will vary based on the type of presentation, the medium of presentation, and the context, too. But, whenever you can, include these to present your ideas in an engaging and refined manner.
Kimp Tip: Ensure that your presentation has the right embedding settings while using videos and GIFs. The size of these elements can also play a role in the results. So talk to your design team to ensure they optimize the size beforehand itself.
High-quality graphics can enhance the effectiveness of your presentation by leaps and bounds. Just see how they add to the example above!
Your presentations are a window into your brand’s image, your professionalism, and the effort you have put into your whole business. Especially for presentations for external customers, everything must be of the highest quality.
When you use graphic design and videos in your presentation, ensure that they are of high quality and optimal dimensions. You don’t want your logo to be pixelated or that important video to be blurry when you play it.
Even for fonts, if you are using custom fonts, ensure that the design team has embedded them in the presentation so that there are no hiccups later on. And if they are third-party fonts be sure to license them to avoid any issues with quality or display.
Kimp Tip: Every branding element must be on display in its full glory in your presentation. That could be a logo, a branding image, or any other marketing design. Ensure that your designs are digital-friendly before finalizing anything.
Get Presentations that Get Results with A Kimp Subscription
We hope that this guide convinced you that there is more to presentation designs than just text and some random images. Every element has a role to play, and you must leverage them to their full potential.
For many businesses, designing presentations is a regular affair. You need them in different contexts. But that doesn’t change the fact that you cannot afford to spend eons designing all of them. That is why Kimp offers you Kimp Graphics and Kimp Video services.
With our flat monthly subscription rates, you can create unlimited presentations without worrying about the cost. We can also create custom templates for different, recurring use cases in your business. This way you can quickly have them updated and ready to go as needed.
Sign up for a free trial today, and see what it’s like to have Kimp as your design partner.