Great slides are not rocket science. There is a good selection of tools out there to help deliver an awesome slide pack and there are many great presentation examples and books available online for inspiration.
Selection of tools
To name but a few: Google Slides, Prezi, PowerPoint. And there are many more out there.
Google Slides will keep it simple and easy to share. Great for collaboration. Simple, yet powerful.
Prezi will wow your audience by slide transitions. Only basic slide formatting is allowed, so it’s impossible to mess up with the final effect.
PowerPoint – will do a lot more complex stuff, but it’s more difficult to share and formatting might be lost when displayed on different machine. It offers great help for the speaker while presenting.
Whichever you chose – just keep the slides simple (K.I.S.S.)!
Inspiration and great tips
Just a few great examples found online:
Even more great examples
My slides checklist
Before I create a single slide, I am asking myself:
- Who is the target audience? What they do and don’t know about the subject matter?
- What exactly is the message I want to convey?
- Technical details: is my presentation going to be displayed on a big screen or on a wall through a projector? What is recommended screen format – 16:9 or 4:3? What is going to be the source of my presentation (my laptop?) and how much control will I have over it (just a clicker?)?
- Knowing all this – what is the best tool to use?
When my slides are ready, I go through this checklist:
- Is there only 1 message per slide?
- Can I cut down any more text?
- Is font type/size/colour/line space consistent on every slide?
- Will this font type be available on a random computer?
- Am I consistent with punctuation? (dots, colons, spaces etc.)
- How many colours are in use – do I stick to a palette of 3 or 4 main colours?
- Is the contrast good enough for a projector?
- Are elements sized and positioned consistently on each slide (no jumping)?
- Can I replace the charts with infographics?
- Are images high quality and do they match the style and colours on other slides?
- Are the animations or slide transitions really necessary?
- Is the order of slides following my speech?
- Am I sure I can talk through the presentation in planned time and still have some time for questions? (It always take longer to present in real life).
Once I am happy it’s time for a demo run. Ideally in front of a demo audience, which is a great opportunity for collecting some feedback. Sometimes presenting to a mirror will have to do.