Designing Professional Presentations to Increase Audience Engagement

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Teaching & Student Work

When you are designing presentations, make sure you use refined graphics  that complement your work and conversation. It is important to design graphics and language on your presentation slides that support what you are saying without repeating information in a redundant and boring manner. Specifically, you can try to create stimulating graphics that show examples of concepts you are trying to show or include simple buzzwords to spark ideas and brainstorming.

Some important things to think about while compiling assets for a visual presentation are photography, typography, vector graphs and charts, animations, slide transitions and narrative. A great first step is to think about the narrative and build photos and type according to an intial storyboard of your presentation. As you refine your presentation, look at how you can include graphs and charts to show more factual and statistical information that support the presentation. As the body of the work comes to fruition, move forward with verbal transitions from ideas to ideas as well as visual transitions from slides. Also, animation can add a great deal of interest in slides that stay up longer as continuous visual changes keep viewers interested and engaged.

In personal experiences preparing presentations for clients like Trend Influence, Adidas and Office Depot, I tried to incorporate a few different design schemes into one presentation, although I follow one general template. This ads more interest from one slide to the next without creating difficult animations. Also, plan to choose a color palette, display typeface and text typeface, and a general template to follow. This will help guide your design decisions as you dig deeper into the project.

I’m currently working on a new presentation for a client interested in earning new business. The presentation has to be captivating, modern, and exciting. We are using lots of photos, animation, and stimulating graphics to enhance the narrative – almost like a video backdrop.

Remember, presentations don’t have to be dull. Try some of these tips in your own work and see how it helps enhance the work and your confidence come presentation time. If you have any tips you would like to share or have some great presentations you want to show, leave a comment below with a link to your work.

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