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Ever wondered how to make your presentation pop? Design elements can make or break a presentation so it’s a great idea to study our design rule book. Read on to find out the universal design principles for PowerPoint presentations.

Colour Scheme

Who doesn’t love a bit of colour coordination? Humans naturally like routine so clashing colours will make your presentation unappealing. Instead, stick to a standard colour scheme. A compelling presentation will contain an average of six colours. It’s important to realise that each colour has a purpose. Two of the six should be background colours. Two should be used as chart colours for graphics and two should be used for text.

Of course, whatever colour scheme you go with, you should make sure it’s culturally appropriate. That might sound funny, but did you know there are certain colours which will turn Chinese investors off your product? Read about them in our post on 4 Ways Your PowerPoint Presentation Can Overcome Cultural Borders.

 

Contrast

Repeating yourself and projecting slides with small amounts of new content is a sure fire way to send your audience to sleep. Get creative with a little contrast! Contrast is an effective tool to direct an audience’s focus. You can emphasise your subject by contrasting colour, size, shape or shade. Think of it like a spotlight. Contrasted designs can shine light on key information and dim less important designs into the background.

 

Alignment

Have you ever wondered why the layout of a newspaper is in columns? It’s not accidental. People read left to right and top to bottom because that is how they have been programmed. Visual science is the hidden secret to an eye-catching presentation. Our brains are programmed to absorb visuals in a particular way so you should employ researched techniques in your presentation. Studies show that the human brain responds well to text that an even amount of proximity between blocks of text.

Structure your presentation slide considering that your audience may be viewing it from the side or from the very back of the room. You should also align your text to be read in minimal time. Some people are slow readers and if you’re presenting quick, quirky slides you should project them in a simple layout.

To make your presentation particularly aligned, read our post on how to properly use grids.

 

Repetition

Consistency is key in a PowerPoint. Presentations that display cluttered, unstructured information can make audience members lose interest. Designers often repeatedly place a logo on each brand of a presentation. This subtly promotes brand awareness without blatantly advertising it. You can also use repetition to your advantage when wanting to emphasise a point. To do so, have the same text, colours and layout for every slide. Then when you want to present your most important point to the audience, put your message in capital letters and large font in the centre of the page. The surprise of a change of layout will more likely make your audience remember the point and may perk them up for the rest of the presentation.

 

For advice on what to avoid, check out our post on The 7 PowerPoint Mistakes You Must Avoid.

For examples of these universal design principles in practice, check out our portfolio.

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