5 Hacks for Better Presentation Design

Designing a presentation? These five tips can make your slides, pitch deck, or any type of presentation stunning and unforgettable!

Jay Perlman

You've been in the (home)office preparing for the start of a big work week, and while you sip your third cup of black coffee, the clock slowly ticks closer and closer to that fateful time you've been dreading...

As you wait for your coworkers to slowly appear online, you get ready to unveil what you've been tirelessly working on all weekend: a presentation that your ENTIRE company will see!

Okay, so maybe it's not that big of a deal, but while some people are absolutely brilliant at making gorgeous presentations that look like they were made by someone with a Masters in Graphic Design, many of us non-designers tend to be a bit more nervous when it comes to making visually appealing presentations and showing our work to others.

In either case, whether it's a presentation for a class, a slide deck for a manager, or a pitch deck for investors, there are ways to make your presentations and slides seriously savvy and completely unforgettable. Let's see how you can blow your audience out of the room with your next presentation.

How to Create Mind-Blowing Presentations

Each type of presentation, from all-hands meetings to quarterly summary decks, requires some sort of story to be told. Most of the time numbers, figures, and words will represent an important part of this story, but let's be honest, reading takes effort and can be tiring, which means that a presentation with tons of text is likely to be exhausting or even worse...BORING.

Presentations need to excite! They need to jump off the projector, grab the viewer's attention and never let go. Luckily, there are different ways to create a stunning and unforgettable presentation.

So to avoid a dull white page, the key is to have slides that are visually stimulating. Of course, not all presentations, decks, or slides are the same, so here are a few ways to add that stylish touch.

1. Illustrations > Words

Color, shapes, and illustrations are an excellent way to start filling in that pesky space that needs something extra. In addition to filling these blank areas, a well-placed doodle can often be key for replacing long text!

A slide deck featuring Family Values illustrations

As Taras Bakusevych notes in his article '20 tips for better presentation design', "reducing the text and using visual aids for support will help keep the audience's focus."

It's clear that people have an easier time looking at pleasing visuals over wordy jargon. Doodles are an excellent way of cutting down on this text or replacing long explanations that can be simplified with one graphic.

Mailchimp provides a great example of illustrations replacing text. They use an illustration system that includes characters to picture how the platform works, and just as these principles work for Mailchimp's UI, it will also work for slides and decks!

But what if your deck needs a bit more of a storyline?

Illustrations: Pebble People by Deivid Saenz

Sometimes creating a narrative for presentations is a reliable way to snag your audience's attention. Adding a reliable character as a visual element will increase the chances of captivating the viewers.

For example, let's imagine making a deck to pitch a company idea to some hot-shot investors, and it needs a fun and compelling doodle character to represent the ideal customer. The hand-drawn illustrations in Fresh Folk can be customized to bring this "ideal customer" to life in the eyes of potential investors.

The bottom line is that there are tons of ways for illustrated characters and fun doodles to liven up slides.

2.  Design with continuity in mind

While it would be amazing if slapping on a bunch of nice-looking illustrations was the answer to all presentations, it usually takes a little more than that to create one that is high-quality and persuasive.

Presentations should have the type of flow where going from one slide to the next feels natural. That means you should create a plan based on the designs and format. It shouldn't look like you randomly picked colors, fonts, and illustrations at the last minute because that would be no bueno!

Check out the graphic below to get a quick glimpse at the planning process that should go into making a quality presentation.

Each aspect of your presentation's design needs to have a consistent feel in order to be top-notch. Creating with continuity will help cut down on distractions.

Luckily, the excellent thing about creating with our completely customizable doodles is that it is easy to maintain continuity within illustrations. And unlimited downloads means that you will never run out of options for your decks, whether they are one slide or one hundred slides (but let's hope it doesn't get that far).

3. Save time with tools

So now that you have an idea of how to beautify slides, it's time to start planning what tools you'll use to make your jaw-dropping presentation. This will represent a very important part of the creation process because having the right toolset will make the entire process much quicker and much easier to manage.

PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides are reliable classics that continue to help millions of people make professional decks, slides, and presentations. These tools are all phenomenal for creating layouts and giving quality structure to projects.

In addition to these slightly more recognizable products, there are a ton of tools and companies that are making serious waves in communities that frequently use presentations.

Illustrations: Happy Bunch by Pablo Stanley

Here are is just a small list of presentation tools that we've found to be an excellent addition to any presentation arsenal:

4. Color is crucial

We've mentioned color as being important before, but take a moment to do a quick google search of "awesome presentation examples." What do all of these wonderful examples have in common? They use a nice and consistent color palette.

Striking spot illustrations and bright abstractions are an excellent way to excite an audience with a dose of brightness, plus a fun way to establish a theme for your slides.

As Rebecca Gross mentions in her article in how to design a better pitch deck, "Like visuals, color has the power to convey meanings and messages without words, and can influence how a potential investor might perceive or interpret the personality of the brand."

This is 100% accurate. Color gives another dimension of spirit that can be the defining element of a presentation. Plus, colors can unveil hidden layers that a presentation might be missing, and provide the tone the presentation is aiming to achieve.

If you need a little help curating a set of colors, here are a few of our suggested color palettes:

5. Creative is always cool

A presentation that is creative and bold is always going to stick in the mind of an audience longer.

There are a ton of crafty ways to be visual outside of illustrations as well. GIFs, for example, are an excellent way to get a crowd hooked on your work. If you want to go even further, adding things like 3D graphics, video clips, or even adding unique fonts can help make your deck live rent-free in the minds of your audience.

An animated GIF created using Croods illustrations

It can be tricky finding inspiration for your visuals, but that's where having thousands of customizable illustrations comes in handy. Once that visual inspiration is found, the path towards a memorable message is a smooth ride.

Start Making Your Deck Today!

Getting started can be a bit tricky, but that's why we created this free customizable presentation template!

It has all the necessary crucial bits of flair for a super-powerful presentation, plus it will slice off HUGE chunks of time you'd otherwise spend on searching for templates.

The only thing it's missing is the message you want to share with your own personal touch. So rest easy now that you know what it takes to make the dopest presentation that your audience is guaranteed to remember!

Already created an awesome set of slides with the help of Blush illustrations? We want to see it! Tweet at us and show us the dope presentations you've been working on!

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