I don’t think any of us could count how many times that we used the same templates for our PowerPoint presentations. Although switching to Prezi was a quick fix for time constrained creativity, making your presentation stand out takes more than switching programs. Whether you’re presenting research to a panel, pitching an idea to your boss, or simply giving your final project to a class, you don’t want to blend in with everyone else. The easiest way to get peoples’ attention, and maybe their pocketbooks, is to stand out from the crowd. That starts with a killer presentation (and the perfect pantsuit, but that’s a problem for later).
1. If you don’t feel confident in your abilities to make a brand new presentation from scratch, there are a lot of resources with pre-made templates ready for your customization!
If you’re working on presentations for your company, or you’re doing frequent high profile presentations, buying one of the many online template packages is a good idea, so that you are never short of a wow worthy idea.
However, if you’re just looking for some free templates that will spice up your usual routine, I have the answers.
One of my favourite PowerPoint template libraries is Slide Deck. They feature a lot of different series of slides. Each one is downloaded for Google Slides, or in PPT form. The PowerPoint versions open ready to be edited. You can move pieces and slides around, change the pictures to your own, etc. but they feature slides that show you an innovative way to get your message out.
Here are some examples:
Kent presentation template
Ragonize presentation template
Fidele presentation template
2. Once you have a template you like down, making it your own is what counts. Don’t rely on stock images if you don’t have to. Only you know the perfect photos to accompany your information or pitch. Go out and find some good shots that you can use in the presentation, this will guarantee they are unique, and add a personal touch.
You don’t need an expensive camera to take decent photos. These are only being used for the presentation so all it takes is a good eye, a decent megapixel phone camera, and maybe a photography inclined friend to suggest prime locations.
3. Keeping the text on the page to a minimum is key. People will either listen to you, or they’ll read the screen, their brain’s won’t let them do both. If you’ve ever had a text you wrote taken the WRONG way, you’ll understand why context (and hearing it from someone’s mouth) is very important when you’re trying to explain something.
To keep ears on you, and eyes aesthetically pleased, only write the absolutely necessary text on the slides. I know we’ve all heard that a million times and ignored it, thinking that you need all of the text for it to make sense, but trust me on this. Pictures, videos, info graphics and interactive displays speak much louder than words.
4. Make every slide unique and use them sparingly. Have something different on every slide. Nothing can kill interest like a repetitive visual. If every slide looks basically the same, they’ll all start to blur together and people will start to dream about lunch instead of listening to your ideas (which I know are fantastic and worth hearing!).
You also don’t want to distract people by clicking through slides like The Flash. You’re going to want to keep the slides as minimal as possible. There;s a fine line between using enough slides to keep the audience interested, and using too many to where they don’t take in any of them. Try and fall in the middle of this somehow. Spend at least one minute on a slide if you can. Make sure that each slide represents a new, and relevant topic. It’s okay to lump together two smaller, but related ideas to create better flow.