A great presentation captures and holds the attention of the audience, so they will better understand and remember the key messages. To achieve this, we need to apply what we know about the human brain and behavior to direct audience focus where we want it, when we want it. Download a printable copy of these 6 Keys to Better Presentation Slides here.
1. Present one idea per slide
By only presenting one idea per slide we have more control over the audience’s focus and prevent them from jumping ahead, lagging behind or getting distracted by another point. Yes, you will need more slides and that’s ok.
2. Be concise
When you click over to a new slide, your audience will likely read everything on the screen before they return their focus to you. Therefore, by keeping the text concise you regain their attention faster. If you need additional cues or notes, use the Speaker Notes space so that only you will see the expanded text.
3. Make the most important information the largest
In graphic design, we use the term hierarchy to describe the order in which our eyes are drawn to different elements of a design. Size is a huge factor in hierarchy, with our eyes being attracted to larger items first. Unfortunately, a typical slide template is structured like a document, it makes the title the largest text item on the page. Yet how often is our title the most important information? By making the most pertinent message/s on a slide the most dominant, we draw attention to that vital information.
4. Use a dark background
When a speaker stands on stage, they are often competing for attention with a giant luminous screen. A dark slide background helps to even out the playing field between you and the screen.
5. Utilize contrast
Contrast is another tool we can use for directing audience focus. Our eyes will be naturally drawn to that which is different. When deciding on a color scheme for your slides, use colors that contrast one another. For example, a dark background needs light text.
6. Apply a maximum of six objects per slide
The more items on a slide, the longer it takes the audience’s brains to process. Six objects is the capacity of most people to take in through a single glance. Again, we want audience attention to be returned to you as quickly as possible.
Need more guidance or just want someone to do it for you? Maybe you would like a template set up for future presentations? ZP Creative can help.