Whether it’s your first time presenting or a veteran looking to upgrade your presentation game, this article is for you. Presentations are a powerful tool to communicate, educate, entertain, or persuade. However, designing an efficient presentation is a considerable challenge. There are many things you need to do to avoid your presentation becoming a glorified snooze fest. Here’s how you can design a presentation:

Table of Contents

Understand Your Audience

Firstly, know that understanding your audience is the cornerstone of designing an effective presentation. The first and most important step sets the tone for your entire presentation. This knowledge will guide your choice of imagery, tone of voice, pacing, layout, and other elements that you include in your presentation. 

To do this effectively, know your audience’s background, knowledge level, and interests, among many others. Craft your presentation accordingly.

Structure Your Presentation

A clear and logical structure is one of the keys to a successful presentation. It guides your viewers through your message in a way that’s easy to understand and remember. The following can help you achieve this:

Create a Clear and Logical Outline: 

Here is a breakdown of how you can make an effective outline:

  1. Introduction (Hook, Content, and Roadmap): Start strong using a relatable story, a surprising statistic, or a thought-provoking question. This gets your audience’s attention quickly and easily. Introduce your presentation’s topic briefly to let them know the problem you’ll address or the opportunity you are presenting.
  2. Body (The Meat of the Matter): This is where you dive deeper into your topic. Give details, but ensure that information is not overloaded. About 3 to 5 key takeaways will suffice, enough for your audience to remember. Support these with evidence such as facts, quotes, statistics, or case studies.
  3. Conclusion (Recap, Call to Action, and Lasting Impressions): Give a summary of the covered topics and briefly remind them of the main takeaways. End your presentation with a call to action, if applicable, by telling them what you want them to do with the information you presented. Leave them with a lasting impact by ending with a thought-provoking statement, a memorable image, or a powerful question that will stay with them long after you’re done presenting.

Weave Storytelling Elements

While facts and figures are crucial, you need to incorporate storytelling elements to make your presentation more engaging. The following can help:

  1. Examples and anecdotes: Tell real-life examples and anecdotes your audience can relate to. This will better explain your points while building a connection with them. This adds a personal touch that makes your presentation more memorable.
  2. Create a narrative flow: Build your content with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Use transitions to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow.

Design the Visual Elements

Another essential factor that adds to the success of your presentation is the visuals. They grab attention while enhancing your message. Here’s what you can do:

  • Color Harmony and Theme: Ensure that your presentation aligns with your brand’s theme and color scheme for consistency and recognition. However, don’t limit yourself to using just your brand colors. Explore and select colors that evoke emotions, influence perception, complement your message, and resonate with your audience.
  • The Power of Imagery: Use high-resolution and high-quality images and graphics related directly to your content. Avoid using generic clip art that does no good for professionalism and distracts from your message. You can find great images from websites that offer free and paid stock images. Pexels and Unsplash are good examples.

Use Data and Infographics

As mentioned above, facts and figures are crucial, and data can be powerful, but sometimes, all these can overwhelm your viewers. This is where data visualization comes in. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Why You Need to Visualize Data: Adding charts, graphs, and infographics to your presentation can simplify complex information by breaking it into snackable chunks. Your audience can understand intricate points such as raw numbers easily. People are naturally drawn to visuals, so infographics can boost engagement, improve information retention, and add dynamism to your presentation.
  • Choose the Right Infographic: Using infographics, charts, timelines, and process diagrams can help make your message more palatable to your audience. These can effectively show trends, comparisons, chronological events, or step-by-step processes. These help you guide your viewers through your presentation in an organized way.
  • Keep It Clear and Concise: While data can add a plethora of benefits to your presentation, you need to avoid overloading your viewers with information. Focus on your most critical insights and include visuals that support them. Remember that less is always more. However tempting it is to include a variety of data or visuals in your slides, don’t. Keep them simple and easy to read, especially from afar.

Refine and Review Your Presentation

Before your presentation, don’t forget to refine and review it carefully. To ensure that it packs the punch you’re going for, take note of the following:

Get feedback: Have a friend, colleague, or someone you trust to review your presentation. Ask for honest feedback on its design, flow, content, and engagement.

Revise and refine: Based on the feedback you get, revise and refine it. Tighten your message and get rid of unnecessary elements. 

Use transitions, videos, animations, etc.: Enhance your presentation’s engagement and interactivity by adding videos, sound, music, and other multimedia elements. Also, use polls, quizzes, or Q&A sessions to encourage audience participation.

Practice effective delivery:

  1. Stand before a mirror and practice your delivery for a confident presentation.
  2. Rehearse timing and flow to ensure you present within the allotted time.
  3. Prepare potential questions and be ready with concise answers.

To further help you design your presentation for success, here is a short list of recommended tools you can check out:

  • Free presentation software: Google Slides, Canva
  • Paid presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote
  • Presentation design tools: Visme, Prezi
  • AI presentation tools: Gamma, Beautiful.ai

Penji for Your Presentations

This article on how to design a presentation explains clearly what you need to do. However, if you find this time-consuming and laborious, you can always rely on the professionals to create amazing slides. Penji has a team of pro graphic designers who can design slide decks, infographics, and many other visual assets you’ll need to make your presentation successful. Watch our demo video here, or click this link to get them started.