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11 Design Tips for Beautiful Presentations

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Presentations often receive a bad rap—for good reason. We’ve all sat through those long-winded speeches and hot mess PowerPoints, which completely undermine the point of visual presentations.

So, what differentiates a good presentation from a poor one? Content and design. While your speech may be perfect, the images you show can greatly add or detract from your message. Whether you’re using Visage , PowerPoint, Keynote or good old PDFs, these 11 tips will help you create well-designed presentation slides that effectively get your point across.

Using the slide themes included in your software is presentation death. They’re overused, boring and usually pretty ugly. Create cleaner presentations by starting with a clean presentation and building from there.

2) Don’t Use More than 6 Lines of Text

3) Ditch the Bullet Points 4) Use Sans Serif Fonts

5) Size Fonts Appropriately

6) Maintain a Strong Contrast Between Text and Background

7) Use No More than 5 Colors

8) Use Contrasting Text Colors to Draw Attention

9) Use Single Images

1 0) Use Visuals to Increase Emotional Appeal

11) Freeze the Transitions

Finally, there are plenty of clever transitions built into today’s presentation software, but most quality presentations eschew any distracting transitions.

No matter what your presentation content, make sure you are always using design to your full advantage.

Now go make your own visual presentations in Visage .

Love these tips? Check out our tips for bar charts , blog photos , and e-books . 

©2023 Visage Inc. • (949) 245-6280 • Terms & Conditions

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Updated: July 27, 2022

Published: March 18, 2022

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

marketers learning how to create a great powerpoint presentation

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Slide

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today..

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, and now that you know how to make one, you can delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

1. Open a blank presentation again or start from one you've already created.

If you've already created a presentation, double-click the icon to open the existing file. Otherwise, open Microsoft PowerPoint, click File in the top left corner, and click New Presentation . From there, you can follow the prompts to set up a new presentation.

2. Choose a theme or create your own.

Microsoft offers built-in themes and color variations to help you design your slides with a cohesive look. To choose from these pre-built themes, choose the File tab again, select New , choose one of the options, and click Create .

Otherwise, you can use PowerPoint elements, your design sense, and your brand's color palette to make your own "theme."

3. Create a variety of slides for different purposes.

You don't want to present the same exact slide, only with different content on it. This would bore your audience. Ensure that you create multiple variations, accommodating some of the common uses for slides. At minimum, you'll need:

4. Use the Duplicate Slides feature to save you time.

There's no reason to create these designs over and over again. Now that you have a few to draw from, you can simply duplicate them before inputting your content. Here's how to do that:

This will automatically add a copy of this slide to the presentation. From there, you can customize it for your needs.

5. Add transitions to your slides (optional).

Done well, transitions can add a little bit of movement and showmanship to your presentation. PowerPoint has several transitions built in for you to choose from.

To access them, select the Transitions tab from the top ribbon. From there, you can select a transition for it to preview on your screen. To customize it further, click Effect Options and play with the features to find something that suits your liking. To remove a transition, select Transitions and click None .

6. Add animations to your slides (optional).

Like transitions, animations can add movement, reveal information, and help you underscore the points you want to hit during your speech. To animate an element, follow these steps:

Some of the ways to customize animations include:

These describe how you want the effect to behave, so play around with them until you find an effect that suits your liking.

You'll also have the option to move animations around as you edit your slides by clicking on the Animation Pane button, then reordering the animations in the list that pops up.

7. Save your presentation.

Click File and Save , making sure to specify which folder or destination you want your PowerPoint to be stored. If you're using your slides for education or teaching, it could be beneficial to convert your presentation to an online course .

8. Run your presentation.

It's always good to do a trial run to ensure that your slides are set up properly and your animations fire the way you expect them to.

To present your PowerPoint, go to the Slide Show tab and click Play from Start. The slide will cover your whole screen, blocking out your desktop and PowerPoint software. This is so your audience (in this case, you for the trial run) is solely focused on the visual elements of your presentation.

9. Advance the slides.

When you're done with one slide and want to show the next in your sequence, click your mouse in presentation mode. This will advance the slide. 

PowerPoint Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Style

1. don’t let powerpoint decide how you use powerpoint..

Microsoft wanted to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. But this does not mean you should use them all. Here are some key things to look out for:

2. Create custom slide sizes.

While you usually can get away with the default slide size for most presentations, you may need to adjust it for larger presentations on weirdly sized displays. If you need to do that, here's how.

Tip : You can avoid a headache with the last step if you resize your slides before you add any objects to them. Otherwise, the dimensions of your objects will become skewed.

3. Edit your slide template design.

Often, it's much easier to edit your PowerPoint template before you start — this way, you don't have to design each slide by hand. Here's how you do that.

4. Write text with your audience in mind.

A significant part of a PowerPoint's content is text. Great copy can make or break your presentation, so evaluating your written work from a few different angles could make you seem more persuasive. Thinking about how your text is received differentiates good presenters from the best.


Many people underestimate the influence of typeface, but choosing the right font is important — the perception of your font type could influence your audience's impression of you. The right font is an opportunity to convey consistent brand personality and professionalism.

Some fonts are seen as clean and professional, but this doesn't mean they're boring. A common mistake is thinking your font isn't "exciting" enough, which could lead you to choose a font that distracts from your overall message. We recommend sticking to simple serif and sans-serif fonts . Avoid script fonts because of potential readability issues.

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

PowerPoint Design

6. use "format object" to better control your objects' designs..

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

How many times have you sat through poorly designed PowerPoint presentations that were boring, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to know how to make an awesome and attractive presentation. There are a few simple rules and tips you can follow for creating a professional, beautifully designed deck.

Since PowerPoint remains one of the most popular presentation design programs out there, we’re also going to walk you through some slide design tips and tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills and make you look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize. Using layout is a simple, but effective, way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

You can guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement matters, too. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

PowerPoint slide with Headline and information on the left and ocean and mountain visuals on the right

And not like this:

PowerPoint slide with headline under informational text and images

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you—use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it—you should try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

PowerPoint slide with title above bullet points and abstract visual on the right

And avoid this:

PowerPoint slide with headline and information on left and abstract visual on right

3. Follow the 6 x 6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6 x 6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6 x 6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered—either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text that says Less is More

Slides should never have this much information:

PowerPoint slide with paragraphs to the left and images on the right

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration on your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text

Stay away from color combinations like this:

PowerPoint slide with gray background and black and neon text

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts.

Just keep legibility at the forefront of your mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

PowerPoint slide with san serif font examples

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size should be at least 30pt. Not only does it ensure that your text is readable, but it also forces you to include only the most important points of your message and explain it efficiently, since space is limited.

Red PowerPoint slide with white text showing 30 point font size example

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

PowerPoint slide with simple black text on the left and a pool image on the right

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

Ground view of a plane flying over palm trees

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal . Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell.

Think about the colors and composition in an image, and the distinct mood it sets for your presentation. With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images.

Here are some more guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Black and white photo of five people standing on a rooftop looking over a foggy evening

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it. 

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of city highway at night

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that presentations are just about delivering information. This, in part, contributes to the dirge of lackluster PowerPoints that we’ve all sat through.

In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later?

You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos, colorful markets, and so on.

Aerial view of a container ship in the ocean

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag and drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu. 

Screenshot of how to compress an image

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file box, and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to choose image resolution

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI) , and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of image quality

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Screenshot of how to resize images

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections , Color , Effects , Animation , and a lot more.

This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of cropping options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of cropping options

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios , for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of Crop to Shape option

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft  convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

Nothing makes a presentation more engaging than a well-placed image. You can actually search, preview, and insert captivating images from the Shutterstock collection directly into your slides with our add-in for PowerPoint .

License this cover image collaboration via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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How to Make a Boring Presentation Interesting

make presentation isnt boring hero

Whether presenting to colleagues at work or giving the keynote at a major conference, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides and other slide presentations have become an absolutely essential way to share information.

They’re easy to use, offer a great way to combine images, video, and text, and require almost no training.

So, why are so many presentations so BORING?

All the elements are there for creating effective, eye-catching, and engaging presentations, but so often we’re forced to sit through slide after slide of overcrowded, hard-to-read text and fuzzy (or non-existent) images.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You don’t need to be an expert at public speaking or worry about giving a Ted Talk level presentation.

You can make your presentations dazzle with just a few easy tips.

How to Make a Presentation Interesting

In order to be great, you need to combine story telling, authenticity, and visual supports.  

Basically, it’s all about what you say, how you say it, and giving your audience cool slides to look at while you say it. 

Tell a story 

Often times when we think about how to make a presentation interesting, we focus on the visuals. We add animations and transitions, hoping that will keep our audience engaged. 

Cool slide designs can help, there’s no doubt about that, but if most of your attention and time is spent on that portion of the presentation you are missing out on a key element that is crucial for making presentations interesting – the story. 

The best presentations draw in their viewers with a relatable narrative, but the narrative also helps the presentation to gain memorability as well. 

You should be spending a large portion of your preparation time on crafting your content – the actual information you will be sharing and how you will be sharing it. It deosn’t matter how cool your slide designs are if they aren’t supporting compelling content. 

You don’t have to weave an epic tale for your presentation, but if you are looking to make your presentation interesting you need to incorporate some story telling aspects, like personal connection and impact.  As you sit down to write, consider these questions:

These questions help you get to the most important part of any communication – the purpose.  

Most presentations try to accomplish one or two of these purposes: 

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Whether you want your presentation to inspire or to inform and persuade, you can build your story to achieve the goal!   

You’ll need an outline so that your purpose is kept at the centre of your presentation and so that you follow a familiar structure. You need to make sure that you have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  

Presentations that are interesting from beginning to end take the audience on a journey. If you just recite facts and highlight data your audience won’t be engaged enough to do anything with the information, but if you go on too many tangents with personal anecdotes you will lose them to confusion about what they are meant to be learning.  

To create an interesting presentation, before getting to the cool slides, be sure you structure your content in a way that makes it easy to tell the story and provide your audience with a journey that is relevant and memorable. 

How to Make a Presentation Interesting?

Be authentic and engaging

A key point that often gets forgotten when preparing presentations? YOU are the presentation.  

If you are putting on a show, creating a persona that you believe your audience would be more interested in or confident about, the audience will pick up on it almost immediately. The whole experience will be awkward for everyone.  

Instead, lean in to the parts of your personality that best serve the presentation’s purpose. Tell personal stories, speak in the same manner you normally do, and be open.  

Your energy is contagious. If you want to make your presentation more interesting, you’ve got to bring the right energy. 

High energy presenters get more engagement from their audiences, while coming in with low energy is a surefire way to destroy any hope of engagement, regardless of how good a story you have crafted with your presentation’s content. 

Memorize your content rather than relying on reading your slides, and be sure to use different speeds and volumes throughout the presentation in order to make it more interesting, draw attention to specific points, and present authentically.

Prepare cool presentation slides

A recent study found that poorly constructed PowerPoint decks can lead to “distraction, boredom, and impeded learning,” while a well-crafted one enhances audience engagement and information retention .

Plus, let’s not forget that PowerPoint is a visual medium . People didn’t come to your presentation to read text off a slide. They came to listen to you present important information. And, the best way to present information is with visuals.

In fact, our research on the Value of Visuals shows that people actually absorb information faster and remember it better and for longer when it’s presented visually vs. text.

And a visual presentation doesn’t just help your audience, it will help you too!

Another recent study found that 91% of people feel that a well-designed slide deck would make them feel more confident when giving a presentation.

So, not only will your audience enjoy your presentation and get more out of it, you’ll feel like a better presenter!

It’s a win-win!

Improving Your Internal Communications

A guide to how visual content can help create a more collaborative and productive work environment.

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How to Make Your Slides Look Cool 

While your content is crucial to the strength of your presentation, your slide deck has the power to add to or take away from the overall effectiveness.  Learning how to make a presentation more interesting requires skillful collaboration between the strength of your content and knowing how to make your slides look cool. 

Less is more

Learning how to make a presentation more interesting has a lot to do with learning what not to include on your slides. Less is more when it comes to slide content.  

Your slides should not be stuffed with content, especially text heavy content. Incorporating speaking points rather than fully developed ideas helps your audience follow your message without getting distracted by trying to read the slide.  

It doesn’t matter how cool your slide design is if you crowd in too much content. 

Use cool slide designs

You don’t have to start from scratch with every presentation! Chances are, you are not a graphic designer so why not use the templates that have been created by professionals? 

Using these presentation templates can help you make cool Powerpoint slides, cool Google slides, or slides for other platforms as well without spending too much time trying to create a professional look. 

You can easily find templates online for Google Slides and for Powerpoint. Each of these platforms offer themes within their software as well. 

These templates and themes have all been created by professional designers, so while you will need to make minor adjustments you should refrain from making significant changes to the cool slide designs you are using.

Be on-brand

Using consistent branding is an easy way to build familiarity and trust with your audience. If you have an established brand in place be sure to use it when building your slides.  

The colors and fonts used in your design should always adhere to your brand standards without deviation. 

If you don’t have a brand guide to work from, select a specific color palette, using color theory to ensure the message of your presentation is not counteracted by your color choices. 

Stick with just a few colors, and go the same route with fonts. Only choose a few to use, and try to avoid overly scripty options as they are difficult to read on screen.

Use quality images

Adding images to your cool slides that are blurry, pixelated, or otherwise low in quality is an easy way to let your audience “check out” of your presentation. 

If you don’t have access to high quality branded photos, use sites like Unsplash and Shutterstock to access high quality images for your presentations. 

Use screenshots

Adding screenshots can make your presentation more interesting than stock photos. Screenshots add a level of personalization that can’t be achieved with the use of generic photos. 

You can capture fantastic screenshots and even add highlights and notations with Snagit. Download your free trial here . 

Use infographics

A great way to reduce the amount of text content on your slides is with the use of infographics. 

Infographics are a great tool for making presentations interesting because they can successfully convey a lot of data in a visually interesting way.  

You don’t have to lock yourself in to the idea of charts as the primary visual for your infographics anymore. 

You can display many an idea through a good infographic, like steps in a process or historical values, and they are an excellent addition to your cool presentation slides. 

Add cool transitions to your slides

Adding transitions to your slides is a great way to make a presentation interesting. There is a fine balance to strike though between using enough and using too many. 

Limiting transitions to one per slide is a good place to start. These additions make your presentation more interactive and appealing. 

Use GIFs & memes

If you want to make a presentation more interesting, a GIF or two added to highlight some key points is a great way to go. 

GIFs are a great middle ground option between static images and videos. They can be used very effectively to drive home a specific point or to highlight a specific piece of data.  

GIFs are a great way to make your presentation more interesting and more memorable. Visuals always help with memorability and GIFs usually include a touch of humor and personality – both qualities that help information stick. 

While you are creating your cool slide designs, you may find the perfect place for a meme. These can be an effective tool, especially if the subject matter you are covering is light hearted, but use them with caution. 

They have the potential to go too far with the humor and that can detract from the focus of your presentation.

We live in a video world. A lot of the workforce is now comprised of Millennial and Gen Z workers. 

Something important to note about these two generations is that they have spent a lot of time consuming video content – it is a very comfortable medium for them and can be a really effective tool for keeping them engaged. 

Embedding videos directly into your slides can play a role in creating an interesting presentation. 

However, using too many videos (more than 3 in a standard presentation) can take away the impact your own content has, and using videos that are too long (longer than 2 minutes) can detract from your authority as the speaker – so choose wisely.

Embedding videos directly into your slides can play a role in creating an interesting presentation. 

Create a Video to Share Your Cool Slides After Your Presentation 

You’ve now spent a lot of time and energy creating your presentation. You’ve done all you can to make it interesting and perfectly appealing for your audience. It would be a shame to only use it once!

You can make your presentation a reusable asset simply by turning it into a video. You have already taken the steps to make it visually appealing so it is naturally suitable to video format. 

You don’t need to add any new content, just a simple voiceover . You can use Snagit to screen record the presentation slides and Camtasia to add a voice over recording of you presenting the content!  

Doing this means that you can send your presentation to anyone who couldn’t attend in real time. You can also send it as followup material to those who did attend so that they can continue to access it as they need to.

FAQs about Successful Presentations with Cool Slides

To make a powerpoint presentation interesting you can consider the following:Tell a story Be authentic and engaging Create cool presentation slides

Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint both have built in capacity to add transitions on your cool slide designs.

You can find themes to make your presentation more interesting in the design settings on both Microsoft Powerpoint and Google Slides. 

how to make your presentation look good

Danielle Ezell

Marketing Content Specialist at TechSmith

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10 PowerPoint hacks to make your presentations look more professional

Anybody who has been in the workforce for as long as you have has undoubtedly sat through a PowerPoint presentation. When those decks are good, they can be very helpful at explaining goals and visualizing data points.

But when PowerPoint presentations are bad, well, let’s just say you probably spent more time trying to figure out how so many different fonts could fit into a single slide rather than paying attention to the words they spelled out.

When it comes time for you to make a PowerPoint deck—and there will very likely come a time—you want to make sure that you use the program correctly so it reinforces your core messages and connects with your audience.

These 10 PowerPoint hacks can keep your presentations clean, effective and are surprisingly effective.

Write before you design

“At its best, PowerPoint can help show your audience what your message means,” says Kenny Nguyen, co-author of The Big Fish Experience: Create Memorable Presentations That Reel In Your Audience and CEO of Three Sixty Eight, a design agency in Baton Rouge. But first you need to clearly define what your message is and what your presentation goals are.

Sandra Johnson, owner of Presentation Wiz in Green Bay, Wisconsin , advises walking away from the computer completely at this stage because although PowerPoint is a powerful tool for delivering a presentation, it’s lousy for writing one. Instead, create the headlines for your slides on Post-It notes, sheets of paper or a sketchpad.

“Write one headline per Post-It/page, then lay them out so that you can see your story—in the form of headlines—come to life,” she says. “These allow you to move pages around and adjust headlines.”

Make sure your story has a clear beginning, middle and end. Once you have the bones of the presentation laid out, then you can write your script.

Start with a title slide that piques interest

Your title slide should make your audience want to know more. Pull them in quickly with a statement that directly addresses the questions you’re going to answer, such as “Why Stricter Regulations Are Good For Your Business.”

Another tactic is to make the audience part of the presentation. Tell them upfront how they are going to be involved in the information you’re presenting, such as “Choose the New Logo That Will Propel Our Brand Forward.”

Stick to simple designs

As you’re building out your PowerPoint deck, resist the temptation to unleash your inner artist. Less truly is more.

If your organization doesn’t have a template you’re required to use, choose one with a simple background, says David Paradi, presentation expert and owner of Think Outside the Slide in Mississauga, Ontario. If you’re in a hurry, you can always Google “free PowerPoint templates” and get started right away on a basic slide deck.

Select standard, sans serif fonts such as Arial or Calibri that will work on all computers and are easy to read, he says. Speaking of fonts: Choose three, max. And you have to use them consistently, Nguyen says. That means the same font for all headlines and the same for all body text.

Emphasize one point per slide

Your audience needs to easily absorb the information you’re sharing, otherwise all your efforts are for naught. If you pile multiple points into one slide, you risk overwhelming people, Johnson warns. Rule of thumb: Share one thought per slide.

Find yourself needing more slides than you have minutes available in your presentation? That’s a sign you may be cramming too much into the presentation itself. Edit your content ruthlessly.

Use text sparingly

If people are reading your slides, they aren’t listening to you. Keep the volume of text on each slide to the bare minimum; this will also maximize the impact of each word. “Write concise points that allow you to expand on each idea as you speak,” Paradi says.

Choose a font size of at least 24 points to ensure your audience can easily read your slides. Johnson suggests using only one headline or short sentence for each slide. If you must use bullet points, she says, use only three to five bullets with only three to five words each. Everyone’s eyes will thank you.

Select images for impact

Images should be chosen carefully to reinforce your message, not merely to jazz up the slide.

Use graphs and charts to show comparisons and trends, Johnson says. You don’t need a bar chart to show that sales grew by 16% in the fourth quarter, for example, but one can be helpful to show how sales grew compared with other quarters.

And please, pass on the generic clip art. Thinkstock, iStock and Stocksy are all better sources for stock images, should you find you need them. (Pro tip: You probably don’t.)

Practice your verbal presentation

PowerPoint slides are meant to be a complement to your speech—not the star of the show, which is you. Think of them like illustrations of the story that you’re telling.

To tell a good story, rehearse your presentation out loud to make sure it flows and fits in the time allowed, Paradi says. “If you can rehearse in the room and with the equipment you will be using, you will be more confident on the day of the presentation,” he says.

Nguyen recommends recording yourself during the practice presentation so you can identify and correct areas where you stumble.

Run it by a colleague

Let someone review your presentation deck before you go live with it. A trusted colleague or friend can check for embarrassing typos, as well as whether your message comes through loud and clear.

“PowerPoints are a great collaborative opportunity,” Johnson says. “You may be saying something a certain way, and a colleague may be able to offer a better approach.”

End with a persuasive call to action

Your last few slides should quickly summarize what you shared and guide your audience on how to use that information, Paradi says. This isn’t the time to introduce new ideas.

A great call to action is upbeat, specific and actionable. For example, a common one for an internal audience might be to adopt a new business process. If you work in sales, you might invite them to privately demo your product. If it’s a presentation to an external audience, you may invite them to contact you for more information.

Not sure what your call to action is? Return to that wall of Post-it notes you created at the very beginning.

Explore the power of PowerPoint

These hacks are useful in a pinch, but for the long term, it’s worth it to become familiar with the PowerPoint software itself. Take an online course and learn the finer points of creating presentations, including complex graphics, videos and slide changes.

These skills will increase your value proposition to your current and future employers, as well as make you feel more comfortable when creating and delivering presentations.

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How to Make Google Slides Presentations Look Good (10 Cool Effects for 2022)

Brenda Barron

Google Slides makes it easy to create a great looking presentation. But, if you want your presentation to stand out, adding a few cool effects on Google Slides might be just what the boss ordered. 

Netto - Architecture Google Slides Templates

In this tutorial, we’ll show you five cool effects you can add to your Google Slides presentations to make them more memorable and more visually appealing. 

We’ll share where you can find beautiful Google Slides templates to use as a starting point as well as show you some examples of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">awesome Google Slides effects templates . We’ll also share resources that'll help you learn more about using ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">cool Google Slides effects for making presentations .

10 Cool Effects for Better Google Slides Presentations

As mentioned earlier, you can add cool effects to Google Slides to make your presentations more appealing and memorable. Below, we’ll cover five cool and popular tips and tricks to use on Google Slides: 

1. Animate Objects

Animate Objects

If you want to emphasize an object or image on your slide, add animations to that object. To add animations, click on the object you want to animate. Next, click on Insert and a menu drops down. From the menu, click on the Animations option. A sidebar appears where you can choose which animation you want.

2. Add Music

Add Music

Once you’ve clicked on the Audio option, a window will pop up. Search for the music file on your drive. After you’ve found the file click on the file and click on the Select button at the bottom of the window.

3. Use a Professional Google Slides Theme

Tips and Tricks on Google Slides

Our number one tip is to use a professional Google Slide theme. While this isn’t technically a cool effect, a professional template will do wonders for your presentation design. Here are some of the benefits:

While there are some free Google Slides templates out there, most of them have limited features. Not to mention that they don’t have as many individual slides to choose from. Choosing a professional and premium Google Slides template is the best option.

4. Get Creative With Your Text With Fonts and Drop Shadows

You’ve probably heard many times that you should keep the text to a minimum to keep your audience engaged throughout the presentation. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative with your text. 

First, consider changing the fonts used in your Google presentation. Since Google Slides is a part of Google, that means you get access to thousands of Google Fonts. To change the fonts, click on a text box you want to edit and highlight the text. Then, click on the font name and click More fonts to see all the available Google Fonts. 

Adding custom fonts

Clicking on a font name will add it to your font list. Then use it in your presentation. 

Second, make your text stand out more by adding a drop shadow effect for Google Slides. Follow the steps below to achieve this effect:

Adding drop shadow

You can apply this effect to both images and text, so get creative.

5. Make Creative Image Shapes With Shape Masks

Another way to make your presentation stand out is to create a shape mask and give your image a different shape. Let’s face it. Standard square and rectangular images in presentations can get boring rather quick. 

Not to mention, everyone uses them. Instead, stand out from your competition and get creative with your images. Here’s how to apply a shape mask to any image in your presentation.

shape masks

To use shape masks, follow these instructions:

Apply this effect to make your team slides or about slides more interesting or to make your portfolio pieces stand out. 

6. Reflect the Images

Aside from an easy way to add a drop shadow in your Google Slides presentation, there's another cool feature that can be applied to both images and text. We’re talking about the ability to reflect images and text. 

While you can apply this to text, it’s recommended to reserve this effect for images alone. Use it on a few images to make them stand out. This effect would work well for a slide with a single image and it’s easy to do. 

image reflection

To apply the reflect images and text effect, follow these steps:

To apply this effect to text, consider using it only on the title slide to avoid making your presentation look amateurish. 

7. Add Subtle Transitions

Our next tip is to add subtle animations to individual slides. This can be done with slide transitions. Adding transitions can help delay certain text on your slide. It's perfect when you've got a lot of information to share but don’t want your audience to lose interest. 

adding animations

To add or change existing slide animations, all you've got to do is follow the steps below: 

You can animate both images and text. 

8. Add a GIF

Add a GIF

A GIF can add some visual interest to your slide. To add a GIF to your slide, click on Insert . When you click on Insert , a menu drops down. Click on the Image option. Then click on the By URL option. If you've got a GIF downloaded on your computer, just drag and drop the GIF onto the slide.

9. Embed a Video

Embed a Video

You can add a YouTube video right onto your slide. This saves you from exiting your presentation and finding the video. To start, click Insert from the menu that drops down. Then select the Video option.

Embed a Video

Next, a window pops up where you can search YouTube for the video you want. Click on the video and click on the Select button to add it.

10. Add Voice Dictation

Add Voice Dictation

If your computer has a microphone or if you can hook a microphone up to your computer, you can use voice dictation. Start by making sure your microphone is turned on.

Next, click on the Tools tab. From the menu that drops down, click on the Voice, Type Speaker Notes option. When you click on this option, a speaker window appears. Click on the Microphone and begin speaking.

5 Quick Design Trends to Make Google Slides Look Good

If you want to know how to make your google slides presentation better, then using a premium template from Envato Elements is the best way. Here are some presentation design trends to get you started:

1. Geometric Shapes

This premium template from Envato Elements has a geometric design.

Geometric shapes are a simple design but can add a lot of visual interest to your slide. Geometric shapes can have a modern or a retro look, depending on the design. Some geometric design even have 3D shapes and animation. Geometric shape design work with any presentation topic.

2. Minimalism

Minimalism has been a trend for a long time, and this trend won’t be going anywhere for a long time. This trend is popular because it’s hard to create a messy and unprofessional presentation if you use a minimal design.

3. Nature-Themed

This premium template from Envato Elements has a nature themed design.

A Nature-themed presentation doesn’t necessarily need plants and flowers. (Even though it still can have those.) A nature them can also mean a nature-inspired color scheme.

So, a nature color scheme would have browns, greens, and other colors found in nature. This has become a trend because these colors and nature can soothe the audience.

4. Muted Pastels

Muted pastels are part of the monochromatic color scheme trend.

A muted pastel background won’t distract your audience from important information. For some, musted pastels can even be fun while also relaxing. Try musted pastels to add a touch of whimsy and color without distracting the audience.

5. Dark Backgrounds

This premium template from Envato Elements features a dark background.

Dark backgrounds are a new trend that's become popular because of the dark mode on technology. Dark backgrounds are often paired with neon elements because the neon elements stand out on the slide. This creative trend works with most presentation topics.

Where to Find Google Slides Templates

If you’re planning to create a presentation for your business, you’re probably wondering where to find Google Slides templates. The good news is that there are thousands of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">great Google Slides templates available on marketplaces like Envato Elements and ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">GraphicRiver : 

Envato Elements Cool Google SLides Presentation

Envato Elements has thousands of ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Google Slide decorations templates . Download an unlimited number of templates, all for one low monthly price. Besides Google Slides templates, you also get access to thousands of other design assets and templates such as:

Customize these templates to your liking and use them in an unlimited number of projects. Learn more in this ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">guide to Google Slides templates .

Envato Elements is the perfect choice if you need design assets and templates on a regular basis. But if you prefer buying resources individually, check out GraphicRiver. It's got thousands of ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent"> Google Slides effects templates . Buy them one template at the time.  

Graphic River templates

5 Gorgeous Google Slides Template Examples

Now that you know where to find Google Slides templates, let’s look at a few examples. Below, you’ll find out top five  ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">best-selling Google Slides templates from Envato Elements and ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">GraphicRiver : 

1. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Kintel - Modern Nature Google Slides Template

Kintel - Modern Nature Google Slides Template

The Kintel template has a modern, nature-oriented design. It would be a great fit for any nature-related business or animal-related business. The template was designed in full HD. It comes with 75 unique slides with creative designs. The template also includes custom icons and vector shapes. Use them to spice up your presentation design. 

2. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">Netto - Architecture Google Slides Template

Netto - Architecture Google Slides Template

The Netto template is a perfect choice if you've got an architecture or construction company and need to make a presentation. The template has a clean and professional design. Easily add your own images thanks to image placeholders and use included icons for extra visual appeal. The template was designed in full HD and includes 100 slides. 

3. ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">The Riffs - Creative Google Slides Template

The Riffs - Creative Google Slides Template

Consider The Riffs Google Slides template if you’re looking for a creative presentation. This template is a perfect choice to create a portfolio presentation. It’s suitable for designers, illustrators, and artists. The template includes 150+ premade slides, five premade color themes, and image placeholders. 

4. ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">Swift - Minimal Google Slides Template

Swift - Minimal Google Slides Template

The Swift template has a clean and modern design. Thanks to the minimal design, it can be used for any type of presentation. The template includes over 200 unique slides, 3000+ vector icons, and was designed in full HD. You’ll also find image placeholders, resizable vector shapes, and various infographic elements such as maps and charts. 

5. ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">Report - Multipurpose Google Slides Template

Report - Multipurpose Google Slides Template

The Report template has a multipurpose design. It makes this template suitable for a variety of business presentations. Inside the template, you’ll find 660 total slides (which are based on master slides), image placeholders, custom icons, and editable shapes. The template was designed in full HD and is fully animated. It also includes a dark and a light version.

More Google Slides Templates

To see even more Google Slides templates, check out the articles below featuring various Google Slides themes for all kinds of presentations:

how to make your presentation look good

Common Google Slides Questions Answered (FAQ)

If you have a question about Google Slides, you're not the only one. Here are some common Google Slides questions and answers:

1. Can I Use a PowerPoint Presentation Template in Google Slides?

You can convert a PowerPoint presentation to a Google Slides. First, add your presentation to Google Drive. Next, click on Open With Google Slide s. Now you can use your PowerPoint template in Google Slides. Find more information here:

how to make your presentation look good

2. How Do I Zoom In and Out on Google Slides?

There's a Zoom button in the toolbar on Google Slides. It's a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it. If you click on that button, then Google Slides will zoom in. If you select the arrow next to the button, then you'll have the option to zoom in or zoom out. Learn exactly what to do in this tutorial:

how to make your presentation look good

3. Can I Add Infographics to My Slide?

If you want to know how to make google slides look better, add infographics to your presentation. The easiest way to have infographics in your presentation is to use a premium template that already contains them. For more information on how to add an infographic, read this helpful tutorial:

how to make your presentation look good

4. Can I Add a Map to my Slide?

One way to make Google Slides look good is to add maps. This is especially helpful if you’re talking about different countries. A map helps people visualize the information you’re presenting. There are premium templates on Envato Elements that come with maps. For more information, read this article:

how to make your presentation look good

5. How Do I Show Time Passing in My Presentation?

If you’re showing time passing or projecting when you think milestones will be completed for a project, a timeline is the best way. You can easily make a timeline to add to your Google Slides template. For a step-by-step tutorial, read this article:

how to make your presentation look good

Learn More About Using Google Slides

Google Slides is easy to use, but there are plenty of features in this software to create beautiful and professional presentations. To become a Google Slides pro and learn more about how to make Google Slides look cool , we've got you covered. Get started with these tutorials on Google Slides: 

how to make your presentation look good

Create Awesome Google Slides Presentations With Cool Effects Today

Google Slides makes it easy to create great-looking presentations. With the help of this article, add cool effects on your Google Slides presentations and make them even more visually appealing. 

Get started on your presentation today by finding the ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">perfect template for Google Slides on Envato Elements. Take advantage of everything this marketplace has to offer. 

Or, if you prefer buying individual templates, stop by GraphicRiver and browse our ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">Google Slides templates . Download your favorite today.

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Sarah Joy . Sarah  is a freelance instructor for Envato Tuts+.

Brenda Barron

Presentation Design and PowerPoint Formatting Services

Consultants need overnight PowerPoint formatting -- We do it! Companies need presentation design inline with corporate style guide - We do that too!

8 Easy Ways to Know if your Presentation is Designed Well Enough

When it comes to PowerPoint or Keynote Presentation, which of these is tougher? Knowing “what to present” OR “how to present”? Thanks to your education at business schools and subsequent years of corporate experience, you are probably a subject matter expert by now. The “WHAT” comes easily…..but…..the “HOW” is where the nightmare begins?

Surely, you would not like your well thought out and well-prepared script presented poorly. You would like your slides to do the talking as you present them.

We often hear the phrase “It’s not HOW MUCH (or WHAT) you give, but HOW you give”. It is the same thing when it comes to presentation - “It is not WHAT you present, but HOW you present it”. You either bore the audience to sleep or have them hooked to your presentations slide after slide. So,  knowing the “HOW” makes all the difference .

Here are 8 key points to keep in mind when designing your slides

The master slide is the place where you design your template. Once you have a template, 50% of your work is done. You can now concentrate on the content for your slides.

There you have it, the 8 essential characteristics of a well-designed presentation, without which we cannot have a great presentation.

Quite simple, isn't it?

To summarize:

A simple, consistent and well-formatted presentation communicates for itself. It connects with the audience instantly and exudes your brand value.

Use the below infographic and tick off one formatting step after the other.


Would you like a checklist to ensure your presentation looks crisp and professional?

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About Sunitha Anupkumar

Sunitha Anupkumar was the Sales and Marketing manager at Chillibreeze. She loves juggling her duties of working with prospective customers and strategizing marketing initiatives for Chillibreeze’s presentation design services. 

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February 1, 2022 at 5:41 am

thanks for this blog,its really helpful for design my ppt

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10 Tips to Improve your Presentation Slides

May 01, 2019

By: Charles E. Davis Ph.D., CMA, CPA, CGMA

As accounting and finance professionals, we are ­frequently called on to present data and information to facilitate strategic decision making. These presentations must effectively tell a story that convinces others to take appropriate action. Since the presentation slides are an important tool in telling the story, we must give due care to their design and preparation.

When trying to present a lot of vital information, one of the easiest mistakes to make is to create slides that are nothing but bullet points and large blocks of text. Your slides shouldn’t read like a transcript of your presentation. If they do, you can cancel the face-to-face meeting and simply send the presentation deck to the expected attendees so they can read the slides at their convenience and get all the content they need.

Your slides should be a visual aid to your presentation—with heavy emphasis on visual. People can process visuals faster than they can process text, so your audience will be better able to concentrate on understanding what you’re saying when they aren’t reading along with (or, more likely, ahead of) you as you speak. Here are 10 tips to help you move away from text-heavy slides and harness the power of the visual aid to tell your story and give a more impactful, informative presentation.


There are a number of rules of thumb that people use for determining how many slides should be used in a presentation of a given length, such as “No more than one slide per minute” or “10 slides for a 20-minute presentation using 30-point font.” Forget these and any other rules you may have heard.

Slides are free, so don’t worry about the number of slides in the presentation deck. What you need to concentrate on is preparing effective slides that contain only one idea. You won’t save any presenting time by cramming three ideas on a single slide rather than doing one separate slide for each idea. But while your slide count will increase, it’s likely that your effectiveness in communicating those ideas will also increase because your audience will be focused on the one, single idea rather than juggling three different ideas at a time.


You’ve probably heard that a slide should have no more than six bullet points with no more than six words on each point. The problem with those slides is that your audience will be reading your slides while you’re talking, and they can’t concentrate on what you’re saying if they’re reading. They also will read faster than you can talk, so they will have to sit and wait while you finish saying what they have already read.

Consider converting the text to a graphical format as shown in Figure 1. PowerPoint Smart Art provides several options for changing bulleted lists to graphical displays. Notice that the slide on the right contains the same words as the bulleted list, but it’s much more visually appealing. To prevent your audience from reading ahead, add an animation to the slide so that each point appears as you begin talking about it, helping your audience focus only on that particular point.

how to make your presentation look good


It has long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so convert your bulleted lists to pictures. In Figure 2, adding the image of the map brings the words to life. You can also add slide animations so that each text box and the related color-coded arrow appears on the map as you discuss that specific option. The picture helps the audience understand the concept much faster than just printed or spoken words. Since research shows that people remember pictures better than words, following this tip also should help your audience remember your content after the presentation. Being able to use pictures to help tell your story or present your argument in this manner is quickly becoming a particularly important skill for accounting and finance professionals, who are increasingly being expected to use visualizations in the era of Big Data.

how to make your presentation look good


It’s easy to open PowerPoint and select a stock template. But after a while, everyone recognizes the template and it can start to feel “old’ or “tired.” You can capture your audience’s attention by designing a custom template. It doesn’t have to be fancy—just something different. Another option is to consult with your company’s marketing and branding department to see if there’s a corporate-specific template available.

Consider the title slides in Figure 3. The slide on the left is a generic template. It does nothing to generate interest and grab the audience. The slide on the right, however, is a custom template based on the topic of the presentation. The bat, ball, glove, and grass picture can be repeated at the bottom of each slide, or you could find a related picture or graphical elements to use on the content slides.

how to make your presentation look good


For those of us in the accounting and finance realm, charts and figures will likely be major components of our presentations. With a few mouse clicks, you can generate nice graphs in programs like Microsoft Excel. While they’re helpful in displaying data, using them effectively in a presentation will require some adjustments to the standard output. Identify the most important information in the graph and make it stand out in some way.

Consider the first set of slides in Figure 4. Audience members aren’t going to sit at a presentation and try to read all the data points on the line chart in the left-hand slide. (And if they try, that means they won’t be paying attention to you speaking.) Now look at the slide on the right. Unnecessary grid lines were removed, other lines were lightened, and the data labels were reformatted. The result is much easier to read.

how to make your presentation look good

In the second set of slides, the chart is being included to highlight the performance of the Custom line. Notice how your eye is drawn immediately to the relevant line in the right-hand slide. All it took was increasing the size of the line and adjusting the colors of the chart.

Also avoid the temptation to use 3D-style charts. They present a distorted view of the data. Consider the 3D bar chart at the left of Figure 5. It’s almost impossible to determine the correct height of the bars. Should you look at the front or the back of the bar to determine the height? And look at the Standard bar for 2014. In the 3D chart, the value appears to be less than 4. When you convert it to a 2D chart, however, the value is clearly greater than 4.

how to make your presentation look good

Pie charts have the same issue. In the second set of graphs in Figure 5, Regions 1, 3, and 5 are all the same value (10%). In the 3D pie chart, however, Region 3 looks quite a bit larger than 1 and 5.


Let’s face it, while a plain white background may be appropriate in some circumstances, the result looks very plain. Consider using an image as your slide background instead. When using a picture, however, you need to make sure there is enough contrast between the background and the information presented on the slide. Make sure the text is still readable and will stand out. This might require adding a semi-transparent shape behind the text to increase the contrast while still letting the picture show through, as shown in Figure 6.

how to make your presentation look good

While it may be tempting to use the first picture that appears in a Google search, you must be aware of copyright issues. Look for pictures that are shared under a Creative Commons license ( ) or that are in the public domain. And as with any work, provide appropriate citations when required.


White space, also called negative space, is the space between the various elements on your slide, including the slide margins. Notice the little bits of space added between the bars in Figure 6. Adding that extra bit of white space makes the chart appear less crowded and more readable.


When looking for a picture to use on a slide, most of us choose one without giving its composition a second thought. Even though the photographer took it a certain way, that doesn’t mean we have to use it that way. Sometimes the picture becomes more effective after it’s resized and cropped. Notice in Figure 7 how the original picture on the left, which puts the whale in the center of the slide and doesn’t fill the slide, has been enlarged to cover the slide and then repositioned and cropped. The result is a background picture that provides more visual interest, greater focus on the whale as the picture’s subject, and more space in the upper-left to add text.

how to make your presentation look good

One trick to help maintain a consistent feel within a slide deck is to recolor the pictures to a single color palate. In Figure 8, PowerPoint's Colortool was used to match a color palette by adding a green tint to a full-color picture. Other recoloring options include adjusting the color saturation and color tone to alter the color vibrancy.

how to make your presentation look good


First articulated by John Thomas Smith in 1797, the rule of thirds is a guideline used by painters, photographers, and cinematographers to frame a visual image in a way to generate compositional energy and interest. Basically, this rule divides the design canvas into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Rather than positioning the important visual elements in the center of the canvas, these elements are placed on or near one of the “third” lines or at their intersections. Notice in Figure 9 how the people are in the lower-right-hand side of the frame rather than centered in the photo. This makes it more dynamic than if the people were right in the center. If a picture you want to use doesn't follow this rule, resize it and position it on your slide so that it does. The two slides in Figure 7 are an example of using this trick to make a picture more visually appealing.

how to make your presentation look good

As you adjust the image to make it more effective—whether you’re cropping or resizing it, changing its colors, or applying the rule of thirds—remember to keep in mind how the text and other elements will appear on top of the image. You don’t want the photo to draw attention away from the ideas you’re presenting or make it too difficult for the audience to read.


Most of us have a tendency to put too many words on a slide. Perhaps it’s because we think that having the words on the slide will help our audience remember what we’re saying. But research actually shows that people will remember more of what we say in a presentation when the words aren’t on the slide. Removing the words also will eliminate the temptation to read the slide to the audience.

In the set of slides presented in Figure 10, much of the initial text has been eliminated to create a simple pictorial slide. The eliminated text will be shared with the audience through the spoken presentation. If you believe it’s necessary to provide the extra words or a transcript of the presentation to the audience, prepare a handout to distribute at the end of the presentation.

how to make your presentation look good


Applying these 10 tips will get you started in creating more visually engaging presentations, but don’t stop there. Presenting information is a critical skill for accounting and finance professionals, so you always need to be on the lookout for ways to improve. A good way to begin to master a more visual slide design approach is to look at what others are doing. When you see an effective slide design that speaks to you, file it away for later use. Think of it as curating your own “Pinterest” board of good slide designs.

To get started, I recommend that you check out three books that have helped me make the switch to more visual slide design. Garr Reynolds, a pioneer in this movement, has written two books that provide many examples of redesign efforts: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery and Presentation Zen DESIGN: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations . Nancy Duarte, founder of leading presentation development company Duarte, Inc., details her approach in slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations .

It may take a little more time and creativity to implement these tips, but with practice they will become second nature. Then your audience will thank you for saving them from “death by PowerPoint.”

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