Do’s and Don’ts of Designing PowerPoint Presentations – What’s Important

Apr 3, 2024
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PowerPoint Presentation Design Do's and Don'ts | Deck Sherpa Blog

Discover the essential do's and don'ts of designing PowerPoint presentations. This will ensure you never struggle to maintain your audience's interest again. If you've ever crafted slides only to face a crowd of disengaged onlookers, you know how crucial engaging presentations are. Even seasoned speakers can stumble if their PowerPoint lacks clarity and visual appeal. By mastering how to make the best PowerPoint presentation, you can ensure that you deliver your message concisely and memorably. It helps you avoid the pitfalls of overwhelming text and disorganized designs.

8 Do's And 8 Don’ts Of PowerPoint Presentations

When it comes to the do's and don'ts of designing PowerPoint presentations, understanding the key elements can make all the difference. Whether you're aiming to inform, persuade, or engage, the way you design your slides plays a pivotal role in how your message is received. By focusing on essential design principles and avoiding common pitfalls, you can create a presentation that not only looks professional but also resonates with your audience. Let's delve into the crucial do's and don'ts that will elevate your PowerPoint skills and help you deliver your message effectively.

Do's in Designing PPT Presentations | Deck Sherpa Blog

8 PowerPoint Do's: Enhancing Your Slides for Impact

1. Opt for Minimalist Design

Simplicity is key in the do's and don'ts of designing PowerPoint presentations. A minimalist design helps your audience focus on what's important without getting distracted by too many details. This approach, emphasizing how to make the best PowerPoint presentation, involves using a clean layout, ample white space, and limiting the number of elements on each slide. By keeping it simple, you enable your audience to absorb and retain the information more effectively.

2. Eliminate Clutter with Design Rules

Effective presentation design is all about clarity and engagement. The 5-5-5 rule suggests limiting yourself to five words per line, five lines per slide, and five text-heavy slides in a row to avoid overwhelming your audience. The 10-20-30 rule by Guy Kawasaki advocates for 10 slides in a 20-minute presentation with a minimum 30-point font size. Lastly, the 6x6 rule recommends no more than six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. These guidelines help in creating slides that are easy to follow and impactful.

3. Enhance Engagement with Quality Visuals

Using high-quality visuals is a fundamental aspect of PowerPoint presentation do's and don'ts. Graphics, images, and charts serve as powerful visual aids that can make your presentation more engaging and easier to understand. They can break up text, illustrate points, and add a layer of storytelling to your presentation. Remember, a relevant and striking visual can convey your message more powerfully than words alone.

4. Foster Brand Consistency

Consistency in your presentation's formatting reinforces your brand and message. This involves using a consistent color palette, typography, and design elements throughout your slides. Such a consistent design not only looks professional but also makes your presentation more coherent and memorable to the audience.

5. Prioritize Accessibility

Ensuring your PowerPoint is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities, is crucial. This means checking color contrasts, providing text alternatives for images, and ensuring your presentation can be navigated without a mouse. Making your presentation accessible is a key step in being inclusive and reaching a wider audience effectively.

6. Incorporate Custom Icons and Illustrations

Custom icons and illustrations can add a unique and personal touch to your presentation, making it stand out. These design elements, tailored to your message, can enhance understanding and retention. Avoid generic clip art in favor of custom graphics that align with your content and branding.

7. Employ Subtle Animations

Animations can be a useful tool when used sparingly. They should enhance, not distract, helping to emphasize key points or transition smoothly between topics. Subtle animations can guide your audience's attention and contribute to a dynamic and engaging presentation.

8. Control Your Presentation's Pace

Timing is everything. Pacing your delivery ensures that your audience stays engaged and can absorb the information you're presenting. It's important to allocate time wisely, giving each slide its moment, without rushing or dragging the presentation.

8 Don'ts in PPT Design | Deck Sherpa

8 PowerPoint Don'ts: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

1. Avoid Busy Backgrounds

Distracting backgrounds can make your text hard to read and divert attention from your main message. Stick to simple, clean backgrounds that support your content rather than competing with it. This helps keep your audience focused on what you're saying, not where you're saying it.

2. Refrain from Overloading Slides with Text

Too much text can overwhelm your audience, making it hard for them to follow along and retain information. Use bullet points strategically to convey information concisely and keep your audience engaged. Remember, slides are there to support your speech, not to serve as a script.

3. Move Beyond Basic Bullets

While bullet points are a common feature in presentations, relying solely on them can become monotonous. Mix up your slide formats with visuals, charts, and other elements to keep your audience interested and engaged. This variety can make your presentation more dynamic and memorable.

4. Maintain Formatting Consistency

Inconsistent formatting can be jarring and detract from your message's professionalism. Ensure that your slides are uniformly styled in terms of fonts, colors, and layout. This consistency helps build a cohesive narrative throughout your presentation.

5. Limit Animation Use

While animations can add interest, too many can be distracting and detract from your message. Use animations purposefully and sparingly to enhance your presentation without overwhelming your audience with too much motion.

6. Avoid Using Unsupported Graphics

Ensure that all your graphics and visuals are supported by your presentation software and the hardware you'll be using. Unsupported graphics can lead to technical issues that disrupt your flow and distract your audience.

7. Never Plagiarize

Originality is key in presentation design. Ensure all your content is original or properly credited. Plagiarizing not only undermines your credibility but also disrespects the original content creators.

8. Don't Improvise Your Speech

In designing PowerPoint presentations, don't overlook the importance of rehearsing your speech. It's not just the slides that matter but also how you present them. Spend time aligning your speech with your visuals to keep the audience engaged. Practicing ensures your delivery is smooth and your information clear, making your professional PowerPoint presentations effective. Thorough preparation will help you captivate your audience from start to finish.

In the realm of PowerPoint presentation do's and don'ts, striking the right balance between informative content and engaging design is crucial. By adhering to these guidelines, you're not just creating slides; you're crafting a narrative that captures and retains your audience's attention. Remember, the success of your presentation hinges on both the clarity of your content and the effectiveness of your design. As you employ these strategies in your professional PowerPoint presentations, you'll not only keep your audience engaged but also convey information in a way that's impactful and memorable. Embrace these practices to ensure your next presentation stands out for all the right reasons.

Professional PPT Design | Deck Sherpa Blog

Come to Deck Sherpa for Professional PowerPoint Presentations

Understanding and implementing the do's and don'ts of designing PowerPoint presentations is crucial for maintaining your audience's engagement and effectively delivering your message. These guidelines are not just rules; they are the building blocks for creating slides that are clear, impactful, and memorable. By focusing on essential design elements like minimalism, consistency, and quality visuals, you can elevate your presentation and ensure your message resonates with your audience. Following these principles helps in avoiding common pitfalls that can detract from your presentation's effectiveness, ensuring your key points are communicated clearly and your audience stays connected throughout your presentation.

Looking to make your next PowerPoint presentation stand out? Deck Sherpa, India's leading presentation design agency, is here to help. Our expert design team is well-versed in all these essential tips, crafting presentations that captivate and inform, for clients both in India and around the globe. Whether you're presenting locally or on an international stage, let us help you create a presentation that resonates and engages. Visit our Showcase page on the Deck Sherpa website to see our work and discover how we can elevate your next presentation. Let's make your message unforgettable together.

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Q. What are the dos and don’ts of PowerPoint presentations?
A. The dos and don'ts of PowerPoint presentations include keeping a simple design, using high-quality visuals, maintaining consistency, and avoiding overwhelming text or distracting animations.

Q. What are presentation design rules?
A. Presentation design rules include guidelines like the 5-5-5 rule, the 10-20-30 rule, and the 6x6 rule, which help in creating clear, impactful, and engaging slides.

Q. What is the 7 rule in PowerPoint?
A. The 7 rule in PowerPoint suggests limiting each slide to no more than seven bullet points and seven words per bullet to ensure clarity and retain audience engagement.