Clutter kills presentations. If your slides are stuffed with information, your audience switches off. But how can you tell what’s clutter and what to keep?
To clear your slides of clutter, follow these five tips.
Break up your content
We’ve said it time and again: Try to stick with one point per slide. We’ve seen some presentations shove long lists of points onto each slide. If you do this, you’ll only confuse your audience.
Instead of showing all your ideas at once, simply spread them out across your slides. To force yourself to do that, try using a larger font.
Pick purposeful graphics
Your graphics should assist your explanation. They should not exist solely to spruce up your slides. After all, if your audience wanted art they’d go to a gallery.
To help you pick purposeful graphics, identify what each of them adds to your presentation. If they aren’t adding anything outside of aesthetics, eliminate them.
Even when they add to your presentation, you should always ask yourself if they can be optimised. For instance, if your graph has a grid, it’s probably best to get rid of it.
Animate with purpose
PowerPoint Animation has developed a bad reputation. After years of seeing it misused, it’s easy to think animation is exclusively for amateurs. Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, PowerPoint animations can be used in all sorts of effective ways.
To animate with purpose, ask yourself what you want to do with your animation. After all, it shouldn’t exist for its own sake. By deciding on a direction, you can determine if your animation is necessary.
Eliminate useless info
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Now put on your presentation. As you’re watching, ask yourself, “Is there too much for me to remember here?”
As you’re designing, it’s easy to forget that your audience doesn’t understand your ideas. While you want them to understand, you don’t want to overload them with info-dumps. Sticking to one idea per slide should eliminate this. If it doesn’t, make multiple versions of the same slide. As you do, drop a little bit more information from each slide. Stop when it ceases to make sense.
Remember that you’re the star, not your presentation
The last thing you want to do is play second fiddle to your slides. To avoid this, ensure that your slides do not distract from your speech. To achieve that, compare your slides to your speech. Now, ask yourself which contains more useful information. If your audience can get more from your slides, adjust the imbalance.
Ultimately, your slides should support the main points of your speech. Use them to include explanatory images or key points. Anything else will distract your audience from the star of the show: you!
Clearing the clutter from your slides can be incredibly simple. Of course, it can be a struggle deciding which elements to ditch. If you’re unsure of how to optimise your slides, speak to our professional presentation design team today!
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