I’m going to be honest with you, creating a presentation is hard. Figuring out what you’re going to say is hard enough–then you need to decide how you’re going to make it look nice. It takes a ton of effort to make your ideas visually engaging enough that your audience walks away actually remembering what you said.
We know that it’s hard, and that you can’t hand it over to a professional designer every time. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are some simple, easy-to-follow ways to take your presentations from pretty plain to perfectly profesh 💯🔥👌
Start with a killer title slide
People do judge books by their covers (sorry mom, it’s true). One of the easiest ways to make your presentation look professional is to wow your audience with a great first slide. Not only does it grab your audience’s attention, but it’s likely the slide they’re looking at the longest while waiting for the presentation to start.
A super easy way to make a professional looking cover slide is to use a high-quality stock photo that fills the whole slide. A photo that’s a good fit for a presentation needs to be large enough to remain crisp when projected onto a big screen and fit nicely in a widescreen format (16:9).
Remember, you’ll need to type the title and other info, so try and find an image with some open space (or create your own), or, for a busier photo, add a transparent overlay to create a better surface for you to type over.
For bonus points, book-end your presentation with a matching end slide.
Think about the whole presentation
Making all the slides in a deck look cohesive is no small ask. But there’s no question that the best looking presentations have a strong visual identity. Each one of your individual slides could look amazing, but if they don’t fit together then you’ve failed to deliver a complete narrative to your audience.
The first solution is to remind yourself that you’re building a deck, not making slides. That simple shift in approaching your presentation design can lead to big improvements in the final product.
When you’re finished with your deck, try zooming out so you can see all of the slides at once. PowerPoint and Keynote both have thumbnail views that are great for seeing all of your slides at once. Try it and ask yourself: are there some that don’t match? Shapes, colors, photo styles, and consistent headers/footers are all elements you can carry over from slide to slide and are an easy way to establish a cohesive look and feel.