5 steps to create great presentations


#1

You’re about to create a very important presentation and naturally, you want it to be interesting, persuasive and easy on the eyes. Our friend Jimmy who you might have met in our Knowledge Base felt the same way and needed some help to get started with his presentation he was about to create for the potential investors of his lemonade stand he was planning to open.

There are some general guidelines that are worth following if you want to break away from traditional slide-based presentations and use visual storytelling instead to make your message more effective and memorable. Here are five tips to keep in mind when you are putting together your presentation:

1. Give the story some background

The background image and the overview of the presentation is the first thing your audience sees, so you need to make sure it is clear, crisp, and conveys your main message.

The first step to doing this is to choose a background image that is visually meaningful and visually pleasing. This requires some careful consideration, but here are some general tips to make the right choice:

Do:

  • Choose a meaningful background image that brings out the message and theme of the presentation. This can be done through metaphor by using a relevant visual in the image, customizing the color scheme, and utilizing negative space*.

  • Consider how many topics will be on the overview and plan their placement. Use lines, curves, and negative space to align topics and show the direction the presentation will follow.

Don’t:

  • Use an image that is crowded, busy, or has too many colors. This might confuse and distract the audience.

  • Put too much text and information on the overview. Instead, use topics to cover the main ideas, then organize related content within them into subtopics (see “structure” below).

*Negative space is an area without text or graphics.

2. Structure to success

Now that you have the perfect background image and topic layout, you need to build out the structure of your presentation. To do so, you should organize your ideas and content into topics and subtopics. By grouping similar information together, the presentation will be understandable and follow a clear flow.

Drawing a mind map of a presentation before starting is an easy and effective method for to plan the structure. Sketch out ideas and draw lines between them to see how they connect. Then, use the mind map to build layers of planet and stack topic structures to hold the content and information.

3. Hit the mark with text and visuals

We all know a picture says a thousand words, and you can use this to your advantage in a presentation. The key to making a powerful impact with an audience is to connect with them visually. Getting this right is all about creating balanced design of text and images.

Tips to get it right:

  • Group content into easily digestible segments. Don’t give too much information to an audience in one frame of view.
  • Make sure the layout of each view in the presentation is visually balanced. Move and place objects throughout the entire view to create harmony and symmetry.
  • To avoid large blocks of text, compliment small text snippets of the main idea with a relevant image. It should be visually clear what the message is by first glance.
  • Use easily readable fonts and text colors. As a general rule, mixing multiple fonts or colors together in the same box of text is a recipe for confusion.

4. Animate and inspire

The next way you can spiff up your presentation is to add some animations and zoom. This will create smooth transitions between ideas and bring life to his content.

The ability to zoom in and out of the presentation canvas to create impactful visual transitions is what makes Prezi Next presentations unique. With zoom and animation effects, the creative possibilities are endless.

5. Timing is everything

There’s nothing like a little suspense, and a bit of surprise, to make a story more interesting. To make sure that your audience doesn’t lose interest along the way, it’s best to keep some content hidden until just the right moment.

You have the tools to do this by using:

  • Fade-in, and fade-out, animation to show and hide content when presenting.
  • Zoom areas to dive and pan throughout key spots on the canvas.
  • Topic cover visuals to reveal content within your topics and subtopics.
  • A little creativity to make your entire story come together.

And without further ado, here’s Jimmy’s presentation where he applied all the above advice and succeeded in creating the effect and impact he was hoping for (please click on the image to open the presentation):

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