Build better PowerPoint slides

What We Do: Better Presentation Slides & Slide Templates

While your audience may not expect you to have a degree in design, they secretly judge your PowerPoint presentation.

That’s why we offer presentation slide design services.

Here’s a fun fact: 90% of what is submitted to the brain is visual, and images process 60,000 times faster than text. Unfortunately, most presentation decks are loaded with boring text and bullet points, cheesy clip art and bad stock photos, and annoying animations and transitions.

“I think everybody’s got a presentation. Everybody looks a certain way because they want to convey a certain image. You look a certain way because you want people to listen to you in a certain way.”
-Marilyn Manson

Best-selling author and speaker Seth Godin has made a list of five things to avoid if you want to create an amazing presentation:

1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER.

There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken. While the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” may be true, that doesn’t mean that every picture needs a thousand words to go along with it. When it comes to presentation slides, less is definitely more. Studies have shown that audiences retain more information when presentations are limited to six words per slide. This is because our brains are not designed to process large amounts of text simultaneously. Instead, we can better understand and remember information when it is presented in small, manageable chunks. So next time you create a presentation, remember to keep it short and sweet – your audience will thank you for it!

2. No cheesy images.

If you want your presentation to be taken seriously, don’t use cheesy clip art. It looks unprofessional and is a major turnoff for audiences. Instead, use high-quality stock photos that convey the message you’re trying to communicate. Not only will this make your slides look more polished, but it will also help to engage your audience and keep their attention focused on your presentation. So next time you’re putting together a presentation, remember: ditch the clip art and go for professional stock photos instead.

3. No dissolves, spins, or other transitions.

There’s nothing worse than trying to follow along with a presentation only to get lost in a confusing array of spinning images and flashing text. By keeping your presentation simple, you’ll help your audience focus on your message, not on how you present it. So next time you’re putting together a presentation, ditch the bells and whistles and keep it simple. Your audience will thank you for it.

4. Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation,

Anyone who’s ever given a presentation knows that sound effects can be a powerful tool. A few well-timed sound effects can add levity, set the tone for a slide, or help to drive home a point. However, it’s important to use sound effects sparingly. Too many sound effects can quickly become overwhelming and turn a presentation into a circus act. Additionally, most presentation programs come with a built-in library of sound effects. While these may be tempting to use, they tend to be low quality and can make your presentation seem amateurish.

5. Don’t hand out print-outs of your slides.

I was once in a meeting where the presenter passed out print-outs of their slides to everyone in the room. I thought to myself, “This is going to be a long meeting.” And I was right. The presentation was lifeless without the presenter there to provide context and explanation. The slides were just a collection of random thoughts and bullet points. They didn’t make sense without the presenter there to guide us through them. So, if you’re planning on giving a presentation, don’t bother printing out your slides.

So, what CAN you do to create a presentation that works?

Here are some tips:

1. Use powerful imagery

Just because you should avoid using clip art or cheesy images doesn’t mean you should avoid visuals. On the contrary, the right images can make or break a presentation.
how to use images in powerpoint

2. Don’t use a built-in theme

You want your presentation to be memorable and reinforce your brand. Use custom designs or custom templates. (We can help with that!)

3. Practice safe typography

Font choice can be incredibly powerful in conveying the right (or wrong) message. Serif fonts are generally considered conservative and traditional, while sans serif fonts feel more modern and casual. Script and handwriting fonts can be used sparingly – in titles, for example – to bring a sense of elegance or fun. Certain fonts should always be avoided as they make your presentation look unprofessional.
don't use these fonts

4. Be as clear and concise as possible.

When in doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly). Animations and transitions are, in general, distracting and not worth the extra time it takes to set up. Too much activity on a slide will encourage people to read rather than listen.

“The home run is easy to describe: You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits in with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think of what you said, they’ll see the image (and vice versa).”
-Seth Godin

5. Follow the 10/20/30 rule when you can.

The 10/20/30 rule says you should limit your presentation to no more than ten slides, no more than 20 minutes, and keep your font no smaller than 30-point. While this rule may not work for you, you can still keep it simple (see rule #4).

6. Differ the content you deliver verbally and onscreen, so people don’t get bored.

Want to keep the attention of your audience? Don’t just read what’s on the screen. Instead, use visuals on your slide to reinforce what you’re saying. If you want to provide all of the content to your audience after the presentation, prepare a more detailed document to distribute later.

How can Caffeinated help?

There are a couple of ways that we can help you to rock your next PowerPoint presentation.

Template design

Presentations are a crucial part of most business meetings, yet often, they’re little more than a dull slideshow of bullet points set against a generic background. At best, this is uninspiring; at worst, it’s confusing and off-putting for your audience. That’s where our design team comes in.

We can create a flexible set of presentation background templates beautifully branded for your company. Whether you need a simple white backdrop or something more elaborate, we’ll work with you to create the perfect solution for your next presentation.

Custom presentation design

You have the PowerPoint presentation. We have the style. Together, we can make magic happen. Or, at the very least, we can make an effective custom presentation that will help you get your point across to potential clients, customers, or investors.

We’ll take your content and translate it into visually-appealing slides that get straight to the point. And because we know that your time is precious, we won’t add any unnecessary transitions or animations – just powerful, impactful visuals. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on your custom presentation today.

For more information on this or any of our services, just give us a buzz! We’re here to help.

Danielle Johnson

Danielle has a BFA in Graphic Design from Central Washington University. When she isn't designing - or reading design books - she loves to spend time with her husband and three children. Her favorite coffee order is a caramel macchiato.

Are you ready to get Caffeinated?

Book your free introductory consultation today and let's talk about it!