Presenter: Aaron Sobel
The descriptions below follow Aaron's slides.
Generally, there aren't any specific "rules" for designing a good presentation. Every presentation is different and you just need to do what works. That being said, here are some "rules" to go by for basic slide design!
- Don't use bullets
There are ways to keep the notion of bullets, minus the bullets themselves (see Patagonia map slide). For example, in this slide, we highlight key ideas overlaid on a (visually interesting) map. Each idea appears in bold, then fades out as the next idea is introduced. Consequently, you have some visual interest, there's still white space on the slide, there's a progression through the slide, and the audience can tell where the focus is (all without bullets!)
- Know your presentation constraints and equipment.
- Avoid cheesy clip art.
- Think about font choice.
Font choice can put meaning into a slide . . . whether you intend it to or not, so be careful. It's also important to standardize your font choice--you don't want a different font on every slide. Font size can also be an issue. Guy Kawasaki (slide guru) suggests "Find out the age of the oldest person in your audience and divide it by two. That's your optimal font size." (While this might not always work out, it's at least a good place to start.)
- Consider contrast.
- Avoid pixilation of images
- Create "white space"
- Blank slides are OK.
- Draw the viewer's attention
You don't have to weight everything on your slide evenly. If you have a key point or image, figure out a way to draw attention to it. You can use color, fadeouts, bold text, etc.
- Split complex ideas across slides (and go through them faster)
You don't want to overload your audience, so if you have a complex idea, split it up into bite-size pieces. (This tip also ties in with creating white space.) Some of you may have heard the guide that you should have one slide for every two minutes, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
- Images are absorbed easier than text
When your audience can absorb a slide quickly, it keeps the focus on you, where it belongs. You are the one giving the info, the slides are behind you supplement your info.
- Use your own photos (of YOU & your group!)
Using your own photos makes it interesting and creates a personnel connection with your audience. You can also use your own photos online or in your poster (Just remember to keep them professional and give proper credit.)
And the final rule is . . .
- Break these rules!
Remember that YOU are what makes the presentation.Good luck!