The Three-Step Cure for Sucky Slide Presentations

The Three-Step Cure for Sucky Slide Presentations
Adam Tiouririne Adam Tiouririne | Bio | Posts
12 Dec 2014 | 1:23PM

One of my favorite parts of my job (somewhere after obsessively watching the news) is designing the presentations that I and other Logos consultants use to coach CEOs and senior executives. One the most heartbreaking parts of my job is watching some leaders undermine brilliant content with visuals that are too complicated, too distracting, and too just-plain-ugly.

Just-plain-ugly visuals like this:

Logos Blog - Slide Design - Bad 1

Logos Blog - Slide Design - Bad 2

Logos Blog - Slide Design - Bad 3

The words are mine, but the backgrounds are real-world slide templates. And the style (if you can call it that) is all too familiar.

Instead, get your Steve Jobs on with these three design principles — not for prettiness, not for sexiness, but for effectiveness.

 

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Simplicity Title

Simplicity is about getting rid of the unimportant to focus on the important. Simple presentations help audiences – and sometimes even speakers – focus. Achieving simplicity is an act of ruthlessness: Doggedly delete every single thing that doesn’t directly support what your message.

This example shows how a few simple steps can transform a sales chart from distracting to impactful:

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Simplicity Example

Thanks to the downtrend in useless junk, the audience can now focus on the uptrend in sales.

 

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Consistency Title

Consistency takes the guesswork out of presentation design and, more importantly, lets the audience focus on the content instead of visual flourishes. Achieving consistency is an act of discipline: Choose core visual elements before drafting a single slide, and then stick to them.

Here’s an example of how those core elements can work together:

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Consistency Example

Remember: Constraints make you more creative, not less.

 

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Hierarchy Title

Hierarchy is the visual manifestation of the elements of effective presentation structure, such as ordinal numbers, signaling, and repetition. Achieving hierarchy is an act of logic: Match each level of content with its own level of visual rendering.

These examples, from Logos presentations, prove that we’re taking our own advice:

Logos Blog - Slide Design FINAL - Hierarchy Example

And at its best, hierarchy in design forces you to carefully consider the most effective structure for the content itself.

 

Simplicity, consistency, and hierarchy are the keys to creating slide presentations that support you, instead of overshadowing or undermining you.  And achieving these principles takes a lot less time and effort than failing to achieve them.

Share your thoughts here, like this post on LinkedIn, or tweet @Tiouririne.

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Posted on: December 12, 2014
Posted by: Adam

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