The art of a great presentation is something that is mastered over time. It’s not a case of throwing together a collection of facts and figures in an hour. Sure, that might work if you’re still doing coursework at school, but in the business world, that isn’t going to hold up. So, it’s important to learn and understand more about this practice and why it can be so beneficial.
We’ve seen many leaps forward in technology over the course of the last decade or so, and that much is obvious. Still, there are some apps and programs that have been able to withstand the test of time, and one of them is PowerPoint, often used as a way to show off presentations. Of course, they can be produced in many different ways, but this is one we’ll touch on later.
Our aim today is to run through a series of steps with the intention of helping you further understand how presentations can help your company and the way in which to maximise their potential. Everyone has given it a test run at some point or another, but if you haven’t, or if you’re just looking to improve and grow, then you’re in luck.
You’ve probably all heard or seen a presentation before, regardless of whether or not you work in an office environment or from home. In our mind, there are a few different priorities when it comes to really getting across your point in a presentation, and the first of those is to inform. At a base level, you’re attempting to transfer any information you have to someone else or, more likely, a group of individuals.
From there, you want to persuade. Whether it be persuading them to change their mind on a certain policy or getting them to come around to the idea of something new, you have to grab their attention for long enough to make them want to care. If you can’t manage that, then it’ll leave some questioning your position or authority because the worst thing you can do is allow your target audience to lose interest.
As such, the final point we want to raise is a simple one: you have to inspire. It may sound cheesy, and it may not be to everyone’s style or taste, but you want to give people a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Build a reputation as someone who can turn a meeting from something that is dull and repetitive to something that people actively want to attend.
You have to have the right platform, though, which is why we’re going to revert back to an earlier topic of conversation.
Microsoft PowerPoint has been around longer than most of us have been living and breathing on this planet, and no, that’s not an exaggeration. For the last 30+ years, PowerPoint has been the standard-bearer by which companies will measure their ability to create and formulate a great presentation. It’s part of the Microsoft Office collection, and, in all honesty, we think it’s the MVP.
When you think of software used to create and build presentations, this is easily the first that comes to mind. They’ve been innovating with new methods to try and diversify their system for years now, and it still hasn’t gone out of style. Sure, there are alternatives, but a few of the pointers we’re going to bring up are going to be particularly crucial and helpful with the aid of PowerPoint.
It’s all about creating a seamless product. Graphic design for presentations is, to put it as lightly as we can, very handy but also complicated in some areas. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind for what you’re trying to accomplish, and it’s also important to have the right blueprint for what you want to achieve.
So, buckle up, because we’re about to try and explain it all as concisely as we can.
What exactly is it that you’re trying to pitch, sell, or inform your audience about? Before hopping onto your laptop with the intention of getting this project finished as quickly as you can, maybe take a second to step back, breathe, and read the room. If you judge the situation poorly, you could wind up leaving a really bad impression on both your target audience and members of the team that you work with.
It goes without saying, but teaching your employees about the latest set of rules and regulations is going to have a very different tempo to a “welcome” presentation. This has to be the first thing that you set out to learn and understand because even if it feels like you can work off of a reliable script that’s worked in the past, no two presentations are the same (most of the time).
Ah, the Slide Master. Why work on a manual if you’ve got an automatic just sitting there waiting for you?
Within the top slide in the thumbnail section of Microsoft PowerPoint, you’ve got the Slide Master. This handy tool is like a universal remote, helping to bring peace and light to the galaxy. It can help you pick out a theme, arrange the layout, and can also add consistent pieces of the presentation to every single slide.
You can even create colour palettes that can be saved to use at any time, giving you quick access to your brand’s identity - or, perhaps, a different brand that you’re working with. This isn’t going to do all of the hard work for you, and you still need to put in the effort, but it’s definitely going to lift some of the weight off.
Have you ever looked at a drawing, a painting or any general piece of work and just felt as if it was a little bit off? Yeah, us too. It can be enough to drive you insane, and even if it’s a seemingly insignificant part of your day-to-day life, it doesn’t feel like it in the moment. At that moment, it’s a complete game-changer, and it’ll perhaps be the only thing you can focus on.
So, to stick with PowerPoint graphics for the time being, we want to discuss alignment a little bit. There is a ruler function that Microsoft have kindly added, which gives you the opportunity to line everything up perfectly, giving the presentation a tidy, clean look that makes it even easier on the eye. It might seem like a small detail to some, but we genuinely believe it can serve as a ‘make or break’ moment.
What brand is it that you’re representing, and what exactly do they signify within their industry? These are questions you need to ask yourself. The logo should be present on every slide, pictures that relate to the team or company should feature heavily, and slogans should be part of the equation. We don’t want those reading or hearing this to forget what’s actually happening.
The goal is to drill the message into the brain of the viewer at all costs. Sometimes, it may not be that exhilarating and sometimes, it can come across as overkill - but you don’t have to let it get to that point. It’s about maintaining that level of professionalism that is going to impress and leave people coming back for more. When you break it down, this entry really isn’t that hard to get over the finish line.
Ah yes, old reliable. Infographics have been part of the furniture within graphic design for years now, and when you combine graphic design with presentations, a beautiful infographic baby is made. This kind of creation was tailor-made for the big screen, largely because it has the ability to condense information in a way that few other things do.
Infographics that are done right can be masterful pieces of art. They grab your attention, they stand out, and they can even take up an entire slide if they need to. When you’re reading through a lot of text, and then it’s broken up by some nice imagery, you don’t turn away from that. If anything, you become more focused, and the stats become far easier to digest.
We cannot stress enough how important typography is in the business world. From one company that uses its own unique font to another that uses Comic Sans, it’s easy to see who is standing out amongst the pack. For a presentation, it should go without saying that the typography on display needs to be consistent, it needs to be imaginative, and it needs to fit the tone - a callback to our earlier point.
We aren’t saying you need to go too hard in the paint with this, but as a graphic design company, we can’t help but stress the importance of it. There are companies out there that we can identify based on what kind of text or font they use, and even if that doesn’t seem like a big deal, it can be the difference between looking like a bad GCSE assignment and a corporate masterpiece.
As we alluded to earlier, colours can often be at the heart of a presentation. Whether it be dark or light, it can bring a stimulating presence to something that otherwise may seem quite mundane. Whichever way you look at it, this leads to engagement, and if it gets people feeling a certain kind of way, then that can only lead to positive results.
Find a way to make your presentation fun. It doesn’t need to venture into the ‘silly’ category, and you don’t want to break down the fourth wall too heavily, but you do want to make a statement. You want those reading to feel like they are part of the team, and even though it may not feel like it, this is achieved through a subtle touch with a sleek finish.
The cost of living, and the general state of living, can sometimes leave us feeling down in the dumps, and we imagine the same is true for you, too. With a presentation can come a great deal of work and sometimes even anxiety. That isn’t always the case, but how many people can say they actively look forward to attending a meeting that involves a presentation?
Find the personal touch. Throw a joke or two in there, lighten the mood, and generally make it feel more human. We’re so obsessed with the digital age, and every so often, it’s important to come back down to earth.
Presentations, quite simply put, can give the best of us a headache. There’s the stress of putting them together, executing the delivery, and generally making sure they’re up to the highest possible standard. Alas, we can only hope that our guide has given you an insight into what it takes to really impress, and if you want a little bit more help, you’ve come to the right place.
Here at Hatchly, we specialise in graphic design, and that extends to every feasible corner of the business realm. Our sole goal is to help our clients to the best of our ability with a team that is committed to giving you what you want in a quick and decisive manner. Largely, we do that through our unlimited graphic design service, giving you access to a team of dedicated professionals who won’t stop until the job is done.
We offer what we believe to be fair pricing, strong communication, and a willingness to teach - as well as learn. We want this to be a partnership that can stretch over many months and even years, regardless of whether you’re a budding independent or a veteran business that is trying to reinvent itself. We want to be along for the journey, and we hope you’ll give us the chance to explain why we’re the best choice out there.
So, if you’re even remotely intrigued by our pitch and want to know more, feel free to check out our website and get in touch!