Presentation Tips 5

Creative Presentations: 21 Techniques You Can Use Right Now

skillzzIf you want to succeed at making creative presentations, you have to do two things well:
First, build a solid message and get it across.
Second, design beautiful, professional slides that make a difference.
But you’re probably thinking:
“How can I design presentation slides that actually look great.  I’m not even a designer”
Well, today I’m going to make it easy for you.

Here’s what you’re going to learn:
21 actionable strategies you can use RIGHT NOW (instead of someday, which often means never).
All you need to do is block out a few minutes of your day and tackle some of your favorite techniques below. I guarantee you’ll walk out with a better approach to designing stronger slides that make a great impression.

purple cow

Creative Presentations: 21 Actionable Techniques You Can Use Right Now


1. Be laser-focused on your audience


A good presentation is a presentation that’s angled toward your audience.
Not YOU.
Learn how to build a rock-solid message that’s crafted just for your audience here.

2. Customize your slide size

Standard PowerPoint slides are usually sized 10 inches (width) * 7.5 inches (height).
Re-size yours 12*7.5 (Open a PowerPoint document, go to Design > Page Setup):
You’ll have more horizontal space, meaning more freedom to build your slides.

ppt design

3. Use the 30% rule to display your headlines

Headlines are pieces of text aiming to grab the attention of your audience, and motivate them keep to keep on reading (or listening).


The 30% rule = your headline uses a max of 30% of your slide area
headline headlines-30

4. Download a professional PowerPoint template

Use a proven presentation lay-out for all your business presentations:


5. Learn from the best (and reverse-engineer your learnings)

Here’s what you are going to do:
Check out a presentation you’re interested in in  this post or on SlideShare.
Identify slide design patterns you like (e.g. colors, image treatments, text lay-out)
Apply them to your slides
For instance:



You just have to follow the exact steps I’ve outlined for you in this post.

6. Integrate semi-transparent shapes

Add semi-transparent rectangular shapes on top of killer pictures to display your headline:

4 Secrets Rules To Killer Presentations

7. Add icons to highlight your message

For instance:


Here are solid icon resources to spice up your slides:

8. Use breathtaking (free) visuals to grab their attention

Here’s why you want to use a LOT of visual in your presentations:
We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
40% of learners respond better to visual information than text alone.
People who use visual aids are 43% more persuasive than those who don’t.
Plus, it’s looks much better:

Here’s my go-to-list of fabulous, free-to-use business presentation image resources:
Gratisography (crisp, fun, humorous visuals)
Death to the stock photo (as the first one)
Startup stock photos (genuine looking pics)
Pexels (lots of themes, beautiful photo)
Unsplash (stunning nature related visuals)
Little visuals (as Unsplash)
Pic jumbo (urban-related pictures)

9. Integrate shapes to highlight your message

For instance:

Professional PowerPoint Templates


Get my favorites PowerPoint shapes right here (includes detailed examples on how to use them).

10. Use icons to get your point across


This post shows you how to integrate icons in your presentation slides.
Here are my favorite free icon resources:

11. Disect images you like to create your own color palette



12. Use the “gradient fill” option (AKA the “Steve Job” fill)


For example:
creative business presentations
Check out Kuler to build solid, innovative color combinations.
Download this PowerPoint template to steal my own backgrounds.

13. Ditch your bullet points

creative ideas for presentations

This slide is nothing more but a lame wall of text your audience fatally bumps into. 
To avoid that, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Highlight the key points of each bullet point
The point here is to bold only the key parts of each bullet points.
Go through your slide and try to highlight what’s really important for each bullet point.
What key part of each bullet point do you absolutely need to mention during your PowerPoint presentation? But more important: what crucial information does your audience actually care about? Think about that.
Don’t just think about what you want to say, think about what people want to know.
Once you’ve highlighted your slide’s key points, your company introduction  should look like that:
Step 2: Regroup your highlighted points
creative presentations
Step 3: Make some magic
amazing presentation design
What happened?
Let’s check out point by point:
1)  Our keywords: got bigger, shorted, and toke some colors. And we highlighted the figures: disclosed figures are usually important. If they’re not, delete them. If they are, highlight them! Instead of drowning them into series of bullet points, we made them take importance.
2)  Picture: An ice cream pot. Because in this PowerPoint slide, business is about ice cream. This illustration is straight forward and gets to the point. As simple as that.
3)  Map: map is a good visual tool to pinpoint your business presence. If you don’t have an extended network, you might just use a map for location purpose.
4)  Structure: the down part of our PPT slide. For deeper understanding of PowerPoint slide designs, check out this article about how to design professional PowerPoint templates.

14. Ask a (relevant) question

Asking questions is a good way to get people to think and engage a conversation:



15. Apply grid systems like a professional designer


Nancy Duarte explains the principle behind grid systems.
Grids keep your content organized in a clean, structured lay-out:


16. Use alignment

Aligning a whole bunch of elements with one another makes them scan faster.
Alignment makes things easier to read:


For instance:


17. Apply the rule of three

Fact:people tend to remember everything better in pairs of three. Source.
You can apply the rule of three to describe services you’re offering, product benefits, a process, and so on.



18. Create custom-made drawings in Paint.

You don’t need to be a professional artist to create your own, fun characters and integrate them in your presentation!




19. Use colorful backgrounds for your slides

Here’s an example of what you can do with these backgrounds:


Check out my favorite PPT backgrounds here and grab ’em for free.


20. Integrate colorful stickers in your slides


For instance:

Growing-our-presence (2)

21. Keep it ultra simple

Your audience doesn’t need to know everything.
Prioritize and focus on what really brings value to them (AKA what makes a meaningful impact on their life, business,  happiness, etc).


Bottom line: every word must earn its place on the slide, seriously.

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