How to Design a Powerful Presentation

Remember clip art and motion effects from the 90’s? The days of clumsy presentation templates are over, and the ability to create beautifully designed slides is easier than ever.

Do you need to create presentations at work or school? Great design can help your ideas stand out and read effectively – improving your ability to become a great communicator.

Try these five tips to improve your presentation design skills. To put them into practice, jump straight the interactive tutorial at the end of this blog!

01 . Use design techniques

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Forget pages of dot points and 3d titles. Presentations don’t need to be boring – use your design skills to create beautiful slides that relay your message powerfully.

These steps were taken to create this slide:

  • An image was used a background with a filter applied to create a moody ‘Shanghai’ feel.
  • The transparency of the white square shape was increased to create a text holder.
  • Different font sizes and colors have been used to create typographic hierarchy.
  • Lines were placed above and below the body text to break it up.

02. Place your images in grids

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Avoid naked images – using grids will give your presentation a professional edge.

Place your images intentionally within your grid. Notice how the bottom two images share a diagonal line, while the top image has a hard horizon line – these complement each other.

Placing images in a grid also leaves you with lots of white space to place text. This will ensure your written content won’t be overpowered by other graphic elements.

03. Match a strong cover with simple content slides

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The idea of ‘less is more’ is about achieving better design through simplicity. Apply this for your body slides – avoid using too many elements (images, shapes, different fonts etc) to ensure your message comes across clearly.

To balance out your simple slides, add a strong cover. See how an image has been used a background in the cover slide above and paired with a solid shape as a text holder.

04. Use the same frames

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Frames are a great way to contain your information. These frames have been created using a transparent shape.

Duplicate your slides to use your frames consistently – a key principle of good presentation design.

05. Duplicate your slides

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Once you’ve created a slide you’re happy with, save it as a template. This means you can duplicate it and adapt the content as body slides. This provides cohesion and is a great time-saver if you’re turning over presentations on a regular basis.

As an extra design tip, bold numbers and bullet points are great visual devices to break up your information.

Discover how easy it is to create great presentation design in Canva – try the interactive tutorial below!

Anna heads up several of Canva's content marketing projects, including her favourite: Design School. She's passionate about the way content can be used to create a meaningful synergy between businesses and their audiences. Say hello on Twitter @AnnaIsabella92.