PowerPoint is widely considered the premier program for presenting content for both employees and leads. PowerPoint’s small learning curve allows any type of audio or visual content to be created.
Grid layouts are an even better way to present information. These layouts organise your content with a simple, understandable design that allows better visuals. Simple layout designs allow your audience to easily engage with the content rather than spending time trying to decipher it. Read on for 7 great PowerPoint presentation grid layouts that you can put to work right away.
1. The Two-Column Grid
This is the simplest of all the layouts. It provides a great way for your audience to look at your work. PowerPoint’s default template layouts go exactly this far in giving your options for grid layouts. From here on out, we’re in Microsoft uncharted territory!
2. The Three-Column Grid
This grid layout is best for those who are tackling the task of two or three competing content areas – be it three paragraphs, 2 images and a block of text, 1 image and content block. There is something very visually comforting about using this layout style, as it aligns with many aesthetic principles – notably, the Rule of Thirds (discussed below) – and it consistently breaks long text strings into more management chunks, reducing eye stress.
3. The Rule of Thirds
You might not know this technique by name, but you’ve seen it in use in the worlds of photography and film. This involves making a 3×3 grid and then placing a relevant image either in one of the boxes of the grid or on an intersecting line within it. It’s tempting to make things symmetrical and put your image right in the middle, but it’s more pleasing to the eye (and more natural) to have the subject of your image just a little asymmetrical. Work out the highlight zone (is it text, an image, a chart) and align it across your third line. This might mean taking up two thirds of the page, so long as the third line runs through your highlight zone.
4. Spatial Zones
This involves taking your content and organizing it into the different patterns squares that you’ve created. You can leave some of the grid zones empty and fill others as you see fit. This creates a sense of order through implication of space. Make sure, of course, to orient your content in a way that makes sense and is easy to read/see. You can even have images that stretch across several of the grid squares. Let your imagination run wild with this one.
5. The Four-Column Grid
This grid is just what it says it is and can be quite effective for organizing dense material. The only problem here is that content can get lost in the rest of the text or images that you’re including. Your audience might very well get overwhelmed by this layout, so proceed with caution.
6. Three-Column Asymmetrical
This layout is best used when you have a compelling image as your background that you want to enhance with information without obscuring that anchoring image. The focal point of your background image would be centered, with the rest of the content organized around it. So if your background is a new luxury car that’s about to hit the market, you could provide an image of the car and include its specs in either the left or the right of the image. You could even provide the content in one of the corners.
7. Break the rules as you see fit
While using one of the grid layouts that PowerPoint has to offer, you can also occasionally break the rules in order to make your content pop. You can do this by arranging some of your content outside of the grid layout. You might also put your text elements neatly inside the grid but your background image can break the rules by stretching across all of the grid squares instead of being confined to one of them.
This concept can even be incorporated into the layout of your text. If you have three columns of text, insert an image in the centre that the text will surround. This is another layout that will increase trust in your brand because it will give it an authority like what you’d see in newspapers or magazines.
With all of that said, it’s best to use this layout sparingly. The best strategy is to use each of the layouts in your presentation, adjusting for whatever content you want to present in each slide.
While PowerPoint is the premier method of getting your content out to employees or leads, it has several features to help you along the way. These are features that can quickly lend a credible image to your brand. These grid layouts that we’ve explored work by taking advantage of the way that people look at things in order to present content that looks as natural as possible.
Regardless of which grid layout you choose, apply the rule of thirds on an image to impress your audience. Your first instinct might be to place the subject directly in the centre of the image. This will not attract the audience’s attention the way that being slightly off-centre and using a grid layout will.
The business world is extremely competitive and fast paced these days. It’s important for companies to stay ahead of the game and put new strategies to work on an old setup. Although PowerPoint has been around for quite a while, that doesn’t mean that an old dog can’t learn new tricks. Grid layouts will not only heighten interest in your content but won’t cost you a dime for the convenience.
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