The perfect length for a presentation should be no more than 20 minutes.
That does not leave you with much time to impress your point on your audience. However, one good way to very quickly lose their attention is to have a poorly designed presentation behind you.
Read our short guide and learn about the top five presentation design mistakes that you need to avoid when you next create some slides.
1. Poor Font Choice
One of the classic mistakes made when designing presentation slides is to make poor font choices. There are two ways that you could make this mistake. Either your font is literally unreadable, or you have too many fonts on one slide giving your reader a headache.
Fonts should be minimalist. Choose smooth sans serif fonts for the body text and bold serif fonts for the headings. Do not use Comic Sans unless you are writing a presentation for children under the age of five.
Pacifico is another no-no when it comes to choosing a font. Look for classic fonts that are easy to read, like Tahoma and Verdana. If you use the defaults like Arial or Times New Roman, it will look like you have not made an effort.
2. Too Much Text
Business presentation designs need to be succinct and to the point. One wise person once wrote: Your presentation is like your bassline, but you must sing the treble.
People are attending the presentation to hear what you, the presenter have to say, not read a wall of text. Stick the principle of less is more and keep your slides elegant but minimal. If you have more than twenty words on a slide, you have too many.
3. Inconsistent Layout
Once you have chosen a template for your presentation, stick to it. Do not keep moving the heading from left to right or placing the text differently each time. Avant-garde styles can be impressive but are very difficult to follow.
Again, your presentation should be in the background and not be distracting from what you have to say. If everything keeps moving about on each slide, your audience will become confused. Follow consistent presentation design ideas and keep things in their place.
4. Not Being Visual
Presentations are a visual medium, so images are essential. Every slide needs at least one image to visualize your point. This will also prevent you from writing too much.
Use the images to stimulate your audience’s thoughts, drive home your points, or as in the case at murphymaude.com, demonstrate your product in a beautiful and visual way. Images for presentations are an essential element.
5. Too Many Animations
It can be tempting when you first learn how to put together a visual presentation to get carried away by the animation settings. In reality, you should use them sparingly.
Avoid spinning or flipping graphics and text altogether. They will increase the length of your presentations, and your audience will tire of them very quickly. If you do use slide transitions, keep them subtle and quick, so they are barely noticeable.
Avoid These Presentation Design Mistakes
Everyone makes these presentation design mistakes when they first start making their own slides. However, it is important to learn from these mistakes so that you do not distract from the important part of your show, what you are saying. Design should be subtle so that your message is clear.
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