Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more and more workplaces have moved to a virtual or partial work from home scenario. Remote work has changed the way in which employees interact with each other and the work flows have become more structured to remain effective in a remote environment. Graphic design and marketing professionals have found themselves creating presentations to help virtually present, explain and engage audiences both internal and externally.
Here are a couple striking statistics to showcase the importance of a well designed and thought out presentation.
35 million Powerpoint presentations are produced each day and delivered to over 500 million audiences. – Forbes
79% of audiences believe most of the presentations they see are boring – Presentation Panda
We’ve compiled a list of considerations to help produce top notch inspiring and captivating presentations.
1. How will the slides make the audience feel?
Don’t consider what the audience will think about what is on the slide, but rather focus on how that slide will make them feel. As the popular saying goes, “People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. This approach to focus on engaging in connections with an audience when designing a presentation will produce more creativity in your slides and increase the effectiveness of storytelling.
90% of people believe that a strong narrative in a presentation is critical for engagement – Duarte
Creating a slide is no different than creating an engaging post on social media. The ability to connect with the feelings of your audience is what will inspire and drive action.
2. Simplify your design
With the increase in virtual meetings, events and presentations, attention spans for consuming digital presentations is likely at an all-time low. By simplifying your designs, it will make it easier for viewers to digest. In addition, screen quality and sizes vary with more remote workers using personal devices. Stay away from light and slim detail in your designs to avoid any poor quality pixelation on your audiences devices. Keeping your designs simple will ensure the pertinent information is clear and consumable.
In addition to simplifying your design, simplify your presentation as a whole and aim for a reduced number of slides. You do not need a slide for every talking point. Instead create slides that are headings or statements with a visually appealing photo or graphic. Use these slides to keep up while you talk through the points themselves. Too many times, we’ve witnessed presenters having text filled slides or multiple bullet points followed by them reading the slides or assuming the audience has read the slides while they continue to present. Keep it simple.
The delivery of the presentation is more important than ever, as the only way to truly engage the audience is in the delivery of the information. The delivery will help to bring life to the design and topics of the slides.
3. Tell a story not information
55% of people say a great story is primarily what holds their focus during a presentation. – Duarte
Narratives are key to holding the viewers attention. From the beginning to end, it should have a flow that takes your audience on a journey through to a compelling solution or idea. Simply telling your audience information through bullet point text simply won’t work in today’s world. Captivate your audience through a narrative where they can imagine themselves in your story and the journey you are taking them on. Provide key insight into current events and contrast that with what could be, should your viewers imagine adopting to your solutions and ideas. Use the graphics on your slides to help visually tell the narrative to increase its impact.
It is important to note that although you are storytelling, do not go down the rabbit hole with too detailed or complex information or you will lose the attention of your audience.
4. Shorten your presentation
Create your presentation and narrative and then shorten it. And then shorten it again. The presentation should only contain core concepts and information that is necessary for the audience to consume. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what is important information and what isn’t essential. Take the information you would deem as not essential and delete it. The longer your presentation, the harder it will be to keep your audience engaged and captivated.
5. Use high quality powerful imagery, graphics and infographs
Paint a visual picture of the information you are trying to convey for your audience to consume the information in a memorable way. Bring life to your content by including infographics to engage with eye-catching visuals that help tell your story.
Quality is of the utmost importance. To keep your presentation professional and credible, ensure that your graphics are all high quality resolution. Blurry icons or images will reduce the impact of the graphics used and can be detrimental to the professionalism that your overall presentation will carry.