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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

How to Make a Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation: A Simple Guide

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

Below, we’ll dive into:

Key Elements of Winning PowerPoints

Tips on making beautiful powerpoint presentations, other considerations when creating a slideshow.

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, 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 make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in to learn how to make powerpoint presentation attractive and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information. It’s also one of the most important elements to consider when thinking about how to make your powerpoint look better.

For example, 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.

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

Placement also matters. 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:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

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!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

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. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 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 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 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 presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. 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 for 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.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

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 top of 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.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

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

  • A change in color

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

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

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:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

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 they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy 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 a 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. This is one way to learn how to make your powerpoint stand out and ensure a dynamic presentation powerpoint.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

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 a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. 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 cargo ship

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.

Setting Appropriate Image Resolution in PowerPoint

Want to learn how to make a powerpoint look good? 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 a picture

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 , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

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 compression options for your image

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.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

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:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

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 picture format 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 how to crop an image

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 how to change the shape of an image

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.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

Frequently Asked Questions About PowerPoint Presentations (FAQs)

What is the 5 5 5 rule in powerpoint.

The 5 5 5 rule in PowerPoint is fairly simple: 5 lines per slide, each line with no more than 5 words, and make sure your presentation is no longer than 5 minutes.

How Long Should Your PowerPoint Be?

A PowerPoint can be as long as it needs to be, but some people — and the 5 5 5 rule — advise you to keep five minutes or shorter.

What Is the Easiest Way to Make a PowerPoint Prettier?

Beyond using eye-catching imagery and colors, a pretty PowerPoint should also follow good design principles. You want the information to be organized, balanced, and easy to digest. It doesn’t matter how many appealing images you include are if the information is hard to internalize. Use appropriate fonts and shorts sentences to make sure the words are legible and don’t crowd the slides with too many elements.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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Blog Beginner Guides How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

Written by: Krystle Wong Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

how to make a presentation look good

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

how to make a presentation look good

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

how to make a presentation look good

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

how to make a presentation look good

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

how to make a presentation look good

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

how to make a presentation look good

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

how to make a presentation look good

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

how to make a presentation look good

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

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Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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Microsoft Office Files Have a Secret That Could Help You

Now is the time to buy a laptop portable monitor, i've been using macos sequoia's best features for years, quick links, table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

define a goal

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

avoid walls of text

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

use better fonts

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

use fewer bullets

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

avoid transitions

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

use visuals

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

find a color palette

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

change views

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

  • Microsoft Office

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips From Pro Presenters [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: April 26, 2024

PowerPoint presentations can be professional, attractive, and really help your audience remember your message.

powerpoint tricks

If you don’t have much experience, that’s okay — I’m going to arm you with PowerPoint design tips from pro presenters, the steps you need to build an engaging deck, and templates to help you nail great slide design.

→ Free Download: 10 PowerPoint Presentation Templates [Access Now]

Download Now

Buckle up for a variety of step-by-step explanations as well as tips and tricks to help you start mastering this program. There are additional resources woven in, and you’ll find expert perspectives from other HubSpotters along the way.

Table of Contents

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

Powerpoint presentation tips.

Microsoft PowerPoint is like a test of basic professional skills, and each PowerPoint is basically a presentation made of multiple slides.

Successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and being consistent with your style.

Keep those in mind as we jump into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

A page with templates will usually open automatically, but if not, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New . If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open and then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

how to make a presentation look good

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Creating PowerPoint Slides

3. insert a slide..

Insert a new slide by clicking on the Home tab and then the New Slide button. Consider what content you want to put on the slide, including heading, text, and imagery.

how to make a presentation look good

  • Finally, PowerPoint Live is a new tool that enables you to do more seamless presentations during video calls and may be a better overall match for doing presentations remotely. Check out this video:

11. Try Using GIFs.

how to make a presentation look good

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Fill out this form to access your free professionally-designed templates, available on:

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15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

If you use PowerPoint for Mac it gets a bit complicated, but it can be done:

  • Always bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder.
  • If the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format.
  • 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. The easiest fix? Just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

The next easiest fix is to upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option — just make sure there is a good internet connection and a browser available where you plan to present.

Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides:

  • Navigate to . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account (preferably your own).
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload.
  • Click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import 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.

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

Now that you have these style, design, and presentation tips under your belt, you should feel confident to create your PowerPoint presentation.

But if you can explore other resources to make sure your content hits the mark. After all, you need a strong presentation to land your point and make an impression.

With several templates to choose from — both in PowerPoint and available for free download — you can swiftly be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audiences.

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

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A step-by-step guide to captivating PowerPoint presentation design

november 20, 2023

a dark pink colored circle logo with corporate powerpoint girl in the center of it

by Corporate PowerPoint Girl

Do you often find yourself stuck with a lackluster PowerPoint presentation, desperately seeking ways to make it more engaging and visually appealing? If your boss has ever told you to "please fix" a presentation and you didn't know where to start, you're not alone. In this article, we'll walk you through a straightforward method to transform your PowerPoint slides into a visually captivating masterpiece. 

Let's dive right in! 

Clean up your slides 

The first step in this journey to presentation excellence is all about decluttering your slides and elevating their impact. Say goodbye to those uninspiring bullet points that often dominate presentations. Instead, focus on what truly matters – the key call-out numbers. By increasing the font size of these numbers, you ensure they take center stage, immediately drawing your audience's attention. 

To make those numbers pop, consider breaking the text after the numbers into the next line and adding a touch of color. The contrast created by pairing a dark color with a lighter shade, like dark teal and light teal or burnt orange with peach, can work wonders. This simple adjustment makes your data more engaging , enhancing the overall impact of your presentation. 

Add dimension with boxes 

Now, let's introduce an element of depth and organization to your slides. By adding boxes, you'll create a visually pleasing structure that guides your audience through the content. In the "Insert" menu, select "Table" and opt for a one-by-one table. Change the table color to a light gray shade, elongate it, and position it neatly to the left of your text. 

To improve readability and aesthetics, increase the spacing between text phrases. A small adjustment in the before spacing setting (setting it to 48) significantly enhances the visual appeal of your slides. 

Insert circles 

To further enhance the visual appeal and engagement of your slides, let's introduce circles. In the Insert menu, navigate to Shapes and choose the circle. Adjust the circle's height and width to 1.2, ensuring it complements your content seamlessly. Match the circle's shape fill color with the corresponding text color for a harmonious look. 

Avoid using colored outlines for the circles, as they may distract from the overall aesthetic. This simple addition of circles adds an element of visual interest to your presentation, making it more captivating. 

Choose icons 

Now, it's time for a touch of creativity. Selecting icons to complement your text can elevate the clarity and appeal of your slides. In the "Insert" menu, you can search for relevant keywords to find the perfect icon from PowerPoint's extensive library . 

For instance, if your text discusses investment portfolio yield, search for "growth" and choose an upward arrow growth icon. These icons add an extra layer of visual appeal and clarity to your content, making it more engaging and informative. 

Final touches 

To wrap up the transformation process, we come to the final touches that give your presentation a polished, professional finish. Align your icons with their corresponding circles and change the shape fill color to white. This simple adjustment creates a crisp, cohesive look that ties everything together seamlessly. 

In conclusion, by following these steps, you've embarked on a journey to enhance your PowerPoint presentation . These initial steps are just the beginning of your exploration into the world of design elements and styles that can cater to your specific presentation needs. The key to a stunning PowerPoint presentation lies in the details. By following these steps, you can turn a lackluster set of slides into a visually engaging and dynamic presentation that will captivate your audience. So, the next time your boss says, "Please fix," you'll know exactly where to start. Happy presenting! 

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How to make a good presentation great: 8 pro tips.

A smiling woman engaging in a conversation in a bright office environment, highlighted in a Biteable video maker presentation.

  • 10 Jun 2019

It’s 2am.

You’ve got a huge presentation tomorrow, but you’re afraid to go to bed for fear of having an on-the-stage-in-my-skivvies level nightmare about the big day. We’ve all been there. Learning how to make a presentation (without breaking out into a cold sweat) takes practice.

In our experience, a serious case of the jitters is best fixed by a serious injection of expert wisdom.

We’ve gathered the best advice from experts like Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, and Guy Kawasaki on how to make a good presentation great, along with insider knowledge on both designing and delivering a presentation.

Plus, as a bonus, we included our best practices for adding video to your next presentation. We also threw in a few of our favorite video presentation templates from Biteable. With Biteable’s online video making software, creating a video presentation is as simple as making a PowerPoint (and far more effective).

Content & Design

How to make a good presentation.

Making a good presentation starts with crafting the content. No matter how compelling your message is, if you don’t get it out of your brain and on to the screen in a simple way, you’ll be met with a sea of blank faces. So, where to begin?

1. Create an easy-to-follow structure

When it comes to what you have to say, break it down into three simple sections: your presentation needs an introduction, body, and conclusion.

A compelling introduction . Your introduction needs to briefly sum up what you’re going to talk about and why it’s useful or relevant to your audience.

Offer a body of evidence . The body of your presentation is where you hit ’em with the facts, quotes, and evidence to back up your main points.

Sum up with key takeaways . The conclusion is where you loop back to your original statement and give the audience some key takeaways on how they can put into practice what they’ve learned.

  • No more than 10 slides in total . Who wants to sit through pages and pages of slides? No one, that’s who. By keeping your slide deck to 10 slides, even if your presentation is 30 minutes long, you’ll give the audience a chance to digest the on-screen messages in line with your talk. Using  concept maps  before structuring your slides can help keep to the point.

Man smiling with a quote about how to make a good presentation by Guy Kawasaki.

2. Limit the amount of copy on each slide

Less really is more, especially when it comes to making a good presentation. Too much text and the audience will just be reading the screen instead of looking at you and feeling the emotional impact of your message.

No more than six words per slide . Marketing king Seth Godin says we should have just six words per slide – that’s not a lot of copy. Choose your words carefully and rewrite until you’ve got it just right.

  • Think ‘bite-size’ information . We called ourselves Biteable a reason: studies show information is retained better when it’s broken down into bite-sized chunks. Video is a great way to do this, and research suggests it’s  95% more compelling than text.  Consider adding video to your presentation strategy. But regardless, break your information up into smaller, palatable pieces.

Marketing advice on how to make a good presentation with slides.

3. Be savvy with design details

A well-thought-out design can make all the difference between a good presentation and one that falls flat. Consider these design standards as you make your presentation.

Use color sparingly . Bright colors can dazzle, but too many can be off-putting. Use the colors most relevant to your message. We’d recommend sticking with one or two (not counting black and white) for your palette so it has a consistent look and feel.

Be consistent with your font . Consistent design makes you look more professional. Don’t switch between caps and lower case, Times New Roman and Comic Sans, or 8 and 30 point text size. Stick with one font and one size throughout. You can vary the emphasis with your words later, but keep your on-screen text uniform for a more cohesive message.

  • Format for perfection . A wonky line on a slide or a badly pixelated graphic will put some people off, as it will look like you haven’t tried very hard (or worse, that you just aren’t very good). Make sure your text is aligned and neat like in the example below.

Comparative examples of how to make a good presentation, highlighting good and bad text formatting techniques.

4. Polish several times

Just like a pair of well-worn shoes, a good presentation often needs a few rounds of dusting before it’s shiny and sparkly.

Start Messy . Don’t be afraid to start messy. Using a non-linear writing tool like  Milanote  allows you to explore and outline your initial ideas in a flexible way before you even open up PowerPoint or Keynote. Arrange your ideas side-by-side and discover new connections that you didn’t see before.

Edit ruthlessly . At first you might have a huge amount of information and will wonder how you’re ever going get it down to six words per slide. That’s OK. Keep editing ruthlessly until you’ve pared your message down to the bare essentials.

  • Get someone else to look at it . A fresh pair of eyes can work miracles when it comes to refining your presentation. Get a trusted mentor or colleague to review your work. If you don’t know anyone who can help, an online writing assistant like  ProWritingAid  or  Grammarly  can help you weed out a lot of problems.

Inspirational quote by Steve Jobs on how to make a good presentation, embracing and moving past mistakes, set against a blue background with a portrait of Jobs himself.

How to give a good presentation

How you deliver your slides is as important as their content and design. Here are some quick pointers to help you get your message across with impact.

Inspirational quote from a motivational speaker on presentation skills on a purple background with a portrait smiling to the side.

5. Have a strong opening

How you start and finish your presentation is extremely important. Audiences usually make up their minds about someone in the first seven seconds, so make those first moments count.

Be different . You’re doing a presentation about saving tree frogs in Costa Rica. You open with an amusing story about one that escaped on a  bunch of bananas  to the UK. A story like this is different and unexpected for your audience, so they’ll sit up and take notice.

Ask a question . Rhetorical questions are a great way to frame a topic and introduce ideas. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’”

  • Tailor it to your audience . How much do you know about your audience? The more you know, the better. Especially if you know their likes and dislikes. Inserting a relevant metaphor or popular culture reference. Oprah Winfrey’s Stanford commencement address spoke to the graduates about her lessons learned and how they were entering ‘the classroom of life.’

6. Be genuine

Oscar Wilde said “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” A lack of authenticity will be spotted a mile away. Whatever you’re saying, speak from the heart and don’t try to impress – there’s no need to prove yourself, just to get the point across as you see it. After all, that’s why you’re there, and you can’t do more than that.

Use humor . Humor can be great for giving a presentation, but cut it out if it feels like a stretch. Telling a humorous story can break down any barriers, make you more likeable, and make your message more memorable (and people are surprisingly generous with laughter) but the faintest whiff of desperation will kill a funny vibe.

Don’t be afraid to mess up . The fear of making a mistake can make you inordinately nervous. Relax, even the best speakers mess up or have bad luck. Theresa May, ex-Prime Minister of England, once stumbled and  coughed her way through a presentation , with someone even handing her a resignation letter. She battled through like a pro, though, and simply acknowledged it and moved on. No big deal.

  • Open up and be vulnerable . Brené Brown,  a researcher whose presentations  have amassed over ten million views, says that “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” This means speaking your truth and daring to feel a little uncomfortable as you share a meaningful story. It will connect your audience to you like never before.

7. Have a plan for a smooth delivery

With all the prep you’re doing on the content and design of your presentation, it can be easy to overlook other variables that are within your control for a stress-free delivery.

Have a practice run-through . There’s nothing like reading it out loud to ensure your message makes sense before you actually deliver it. Try recording your presentation on video — this way you’ll be able to review with an accurate eye and notice whether your speech matches up with your slides. It’ll also help you sort out your run time.

Use a remote . A clicker or remote will help you face the audience and not have to keep turning back to your laptop. Sought-after public speaker Garr Reynolds says a remote is essential in order to pause and advance your presentation so you have time to be spontaneous and control the flow of your delivery.

Have backup material . Not everything you say is going to resonate with your audience. It’s best to be flexible enough to change the game as and when needed. Steve Jobs had standby anecdotes prepared to fill time when the technology he was using to give the presentation failed. Preparing for every eventuality will help soothe your nerves and allow you to feel more in control.

  • Use a timer . When you get into the flow of your message, it’s easy to go off on a tangent or even spend too long on audience questions. Put your phone on airplane mode and set the stopwatch just as you begin speaking. A quick glance down at the table during a pause will allow you to make sure you’re not going overtime.

Man with folded arms next to the text:

8. To conclude, focus on audience value

You’re coming to the end of your presentation. How do you wrap it up in a way that will be everlasting in their memories? The experts recommend you focus on the feeling you want the audience to take home.

Leave your audience with an emotional impression .”They might forget what you said, but they’ll never forget the way they made you feel” said the poet Maya Angelou. By leaving them with an emotional impression, from a piece of video with moving music to a line from a song or poem, you’ll strike that resonant chord and end on a high.

Use a pause for key takeaways . Want the audience to remember something specific? Say it slowly and leave a pause at the end. The silence will emphasize what you said and make it meaningful.

  • Make your core message sing . A call-to-action is the best way to wrap up your presentation with strength and impact. What do you want your audience to do next? Tony Robbins tells a great story, moving his audience emotionally towards change.

Motivational quote by Tony Robbins on how to make a good presentation, emphasizing the importance of emotion in retaining information, displayed next to his black and white portrait with a yellow background.

Make your next presentation shine with one of these video templates

You’ve learned from the pros and you feel much more confident about how to make a presentation that stands out. But to really make your presentation one to remember, consider adding video into the mix.

Create a nice change of pace by  embedding a video in your PowerPoint presentation  or go out on a limb and turn your entire presentation into an engaging, thoughtful video.

Either way, make it great with one of the professionally designed video presentation templates available in Biteable.

how to make a presentation look good

Make a video presentation with Biteable

With Biteable, making a video presentation has never been easier.

Biteable’s  online video making software  gives you access to hundreds of brandable templates and video scenes, plus over 24 million stock clips, images, and animations all in an easy-to-use platform.

Add text to your video, include a voice over, and even record your screen without ever leaving the app. Once you’re done making video presentation magic, automatically apply your company colors and logo to your entire video with Biteable’s innovative  brand builder  feature.

Anyone can make an impactful video with Biteable. Are you ready to try?

Make stunning videos with ease.

Take the struggle out of team communication.

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How to Design a Professional PowerPoint Presentation

Our series of tips on presentation design outlined some generic rules and ideas that you can live by to create better, more professional presentations. Today we want to follow that up by taking you through the actual process of designing a presentation from start to finish.

We’ll break down every step of the design process, from choosing colors and images to using whitespace properly. After reading through this you should be all set to design your own beautiful presentation slides that will put your coworkers to shame.

Using a pre-built PowerPoint template can be a good starting point for many people (we collected some of the best PowerPoint templates for you!). But if you’re wanting to design your own from start-to-finish, you’re in the right place!

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A Word About Content

I usually make a big deal about content preceding design, and presentations are no exception. Ideally, you’ll have the topic and much or all of the content outlined before you even think about design. This will in every way shape the appearance of your design, which is why working from pre-built templates isn’t always the best move (though generic templates can and do work great in some circumstances).

The reason that I bring this up is that I don’t really have an actual presentation in mind for this project. I’ll be running with a basic theme, but the textual information will be entirely placeholder copy. Your image, font, color and layout selection shouldn’t necessarily match mine but instead reflect the topic and content you’re working with.

Choosing A Color Scheme

Before I even open Photoshop (yes, I design PowerPoint/Keynote slides in Photoshop and drop them in), I want to find a color scheme on which to base my entire design. When I need to quickly find several colors that go together I usually start with Adobe Color CC . Not only is it a great way to build your own color schemes, it’s an outstanding source to find schemes built by others that you can just grab for your projects.

As luck would have it, I liked the very first color scheme I saw upon opening Color. This scheme was featured on the home page and looked like a great place to start for our presentation design.

how to make a presentation look good

Now, if you wanted to get everything exactly right, you could make a list of the RGB or Hex values, but I prefer a quicker, more direct route. What I usually do is snap a screenshot of the color scheme, paste it into my document and stretch it across the canvas on its own layer for easy access. This way I can quickly activate the layer, eyedropper the color I want, then hide the layer and get back to work. It’s a bit like having a palette of colors to dip your paintbrush in.

Designing Your Cover Slide

Now that we have a color scheme, the design work is going to be much simpler. One trick that designers often use in presentations is to leverage the color scheme as heavily as possible. If you’re new to design, you’ll likely think that this is too easy, too plain or even that it’s cheating somehow, but trust me, it’ll be much more attractive and professional than that horrid Microsoft clipart library you love so much.

To start, simply grab one of your colors from the scheme you chose and flood the background of your slide with it (I chose #631c25). Good job, there’s your background. Don’t freak out. It’ll look great. Now let’s throw in some typography.

Choosing a Font

Font choice is a major issue for non-designers. The tendency is to think that most fonts are “boring” and to look around for something exciting and fun. This inevitably leads to the use of Comic Sans or some other equally hideous font.

how to make a presentation look good

Unless you’re an elementary school teacher, your presentations should never look like this. Instead, why don’t you try one of those “boring” fonts to see if you can come up with something you like.

Combining fonts can be a tricky task and can take a trained eye to pull off. Fortunately, font designers have already created collections that work well together and if you’re not a designer, they make it easy to pull off great typography. The trick is to just stay in a family. Again, I know this sounds lame, but it works really well if you make sure the two styles you choose are very different.

For instance, I chose a Helvetica Bold Condensed and a Helvetica Light for my cover slide. Notice how different the fonts are from each other in terms of thickness. Choosing two styles that are relatively close causes visual confusion and should be avoided as a general rule of thumb. Instead, what you want is contrast and plenty of it.

how to make a presentation look good

Alignment and Layout

Notice a few things about the way I set up this slide. First, I used a strong left alignment for the text. As I say in just about every design article I write, center alignment should be a last resort, not a first. It tends to be the weakest text alignment that you can choose, having a hard edge increases readability considerably (notice that book pages aren’t center-aligned).

Also, notice the generous whitespace that I used. Remember that you don’t have to eat up every inch of space. Giving your text room to breathe helps your layout immensely and gives the design a clean look.

Adding an Image

At this point you might be wondering why you wasted your time reading so I could give you such plain advice. The truth is, most people that create presentations could improve them by 100% from following the advice above. However, I realize minimalism may be too extreme for some folks so let’s throw in an image to make it look nice.

Since our text is on the left, I wanted to find something a little heavy on the right. The general theme that I’ll go for is “City photos” assuming I had some sort of architecture or city-centric presentation to give. Again, you’ll have to choose iamges relevant to your own topic.

I grabbed this Flickr Creative Commons image from photographer Ben Spreng .

how to make a presentation look good

Now, if we just made this image our background, the text would become unreadable and we would be ditching our color scheme. What we’re going to do instead is set it on top of the colored slide and set our blending mode to Overlay. Then throw your opacity to around 45%.

how to make a presentation look good

As you can see, this helps the slide look much more interesting but keeps the text and colors fairly intact. It’s a simple solution that adds a lot of interest to an otherwise plain design.

Adding Content Slides

The cover may seem like it’s only a tiny part of the battle, but you’ve actually already set the tone for the entire presentation. You’ve got your theme, color scheme and fonts already in place. Now you just need to set up a few different layouts for your content.

The thing to keep in mind is to keep everything extremely simple, and that includes the level of content that you include. Apart from design, these are just good presentation tactics that you’ll learn in every public speaking class. Filling your slides with everything you’re going to say makes you unnecessary. You could just email everyone the slides and shut up.

Instead, the slides are merely meant to be a visual aid. Show a slide with your overall topic or main point, then speak the rest, without reading. Nothing is worse than watching a guy read his note cards word-for-word for thirty minutes, except perhaps watching a guy turn his back to the audience so he can actually read his slides out loud to you the whole time! You may laugh, but I’ve seen it happen folks.

For our first content slide, we’ll grab another Flickr photo and set it to the bottom portion of our slide at full bleed. Then we’ll set the top to another color from our scheme and toss in some text using the same exact formatting that we used on the cover.


See how this closely resembles the theme we’ve already established while still looking significantly different? This is they key to good presentation design: cohesiveness without redundancy.

Now for our third slide, we can simply do the inverse of the second slide with a new color and a new image .


Adding Informational Elements

It would be nice if every slide ever presented could work in a full bleed image, but the truth is that this simply isn’t practical. It will often be the case that you’re presenting graphical information or some other item that isn’t necessarily a photo.

My advice here is to try to stick as close to your theme as possible. For the slide below I flooded the entire background with a solid color from our original scheme and made a quick 3D graph with white columns (I drew a few flat boxes in Illustrator and applied a 3D effect).


As you can see, this slide is very information-focused and yet it doesn’t sacrifice the aesthetics and simplicity we’ve already established.

You’re All Set

From here you might come up with one or two more alternate slide designs and then rotate between them for the duration of your speech. The result is a presentation that is beautiful, very readable and highly professional. The bonus is that the simple, straightforward design will probably result in less work than a clip-art-filled horror show.

Most of the time, great design doesn’t mean being particularly artistic or knowing how to create amazing complex layouts. Instead, it’s about presenting information in an attractive and user-friendly way. With this goal in mind you realize that you’re probably trying way too hard if your end result is ugly. Try cutting out half or more of the elements on one of your slides and giving what’s left a strong left or right alignment with plenty of whitespace.

I hope this article has convinced you to abandon that clip art gallery once and for all. The benefits of clean, minimal design in presentations are clear: the information is easier to take in and the end result is more professional than the mess of information you typically see in presentation slides.

Of course, if you’re looking to get started quickly, flick through our collection of the best PowerPoint templates to find a beautiful set of pre-made designs!

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How to make the best Powerpoint presentation + real examples!

July 1, 2023

how to make a presentation look good

Ever sat through a PowerPoint presentation and thought, "Wow, that was mind-blowing"? Yeah, us either. But, let's face it, we've all been there—either on the giving or receiving end of a less-than-stellar presentation. It's high time we changed that narrative. Creating your best PowerPoint presentation isn't just about throwing together a bunch of slides – it's an art. It’s about telling a story that captivates, informs, and even entertains your audience. 

A new age is upon us, and it’s time to explore the ins and outs of what makes a PowerPoint presentation not just good, but great. From nailing your content and story flow to the nuances of design and delivery, we've got you covered. So, whether you're gearing up for that crucial sales pitch or prepping for an all-important investor meeting, buckle up! Your presentation skills are about to go from mundane to magnificent.

Your Presentation Should Tell a Story

When it comes to creating a killer PowerPoint presentation, it all starts with the story. You heard that right! Not the fancy animations or the snazzy graphics (though they do have their place), but the story. It’s the backbone, the foundation, the heartbeat of your presentation.

Think about how you feel when you watch your favorite TV show or read a book you can’t put down. Good storytelling takes us to another place, where the rest of the world slips away and the story steps into the forefront. Great presentations can do the same thing if the presenter can harness the power of storytelling. 

There are also plenty of science-backed reasons to prioritize good storytelling. One article by Lani Peterson for Harvard Business Corporate Learning says, “Scientists are discovering that chemicals like cortisol and dopamine are released in the brain when we’re told a story. Why does that matter? If we are trying to make a point stick, cortisol assists with our formulating memories. Dopamine, which helps regulate our emotional responses, keeps us engaged.“ More engagement; more impactful presentations.

So, how do you nail down a storytelling strategy that sticks? Let’s break it down.

Craft Your Narrative

First, identify your core message. What’s the one thing you want your audience to remember when they walk out of the room? This is your North Star, guiding every aspect of your presentation. If you’re having trouble with this step, ask yourself, “Why am I giving this presentation?”

Understand Your Audience

Who is your audience? Tailor your story to resonate with them. Are they tech-savvy millennials or industry veterans? Your story should speak their language. Presentations that skip this step will miss out on a crucial opportunity to connect with the audience. And if you can’t connect with them, then what’s the point? One solution is to focus on understanding the needs, challenges, and aspirations of your audience. That way, you’ll be able to address their specific pain points and interests.

Create a Structured Flow

Like any good story, your presentation needs a beginning, middle, and end. Start with an introduction that hooks, follow with content that informs and engages, and conclude with a memorable takeaway. If you need ideas on how to start your presentation, see this guide with 12 ideas for hooking your audience from the very start .

Find Inspiration

Look to the pros! Ever read an article by Andy Raskin or April Dunford ? These folks know their stuff when it comes to strategic narratives. Dive into their work for some inspiration on how to weave a compelling story in your presentation. Just like we’ve all been through our fair share of boring presentations, most likely you’ve experienced a presentation that left an impression. Ask yourself why it was so impactful–you might be able to draw from their expertise!

Change the Narrative

Say you’re working on a sales deck. Instead of going with the typical problem-solution story structure, Andy Raskin has a different take on it:

Start with a big, relevant shift in the world. “We are living in a new era” type of statement. This will grab the attention, but also create some urgency for the prospect.

Then you move on to show that there will be winners and losers in this new era. The ones who act on this shift will have more probability of winning. In other words, “what I am about to offer you is crucial for winning in this new era.”

Now that you have set the stage, you can “tease the promise land” as Andy calls it. This is not where you show your product features. This is simply a teaser about this new future state and what to expect if you react to this shift in the market.

Then, you highlight the “Old world vs New world” to show the contrast, and how old methods do not work in this new era.

And finally, you provide real-life stories to support your claims. These could client case studies, article snippets, industry updates - anything that adds credibility to everything you just said.

Voilà, you’ve got yourself a story arc! This is a simple and straightforward way to craft a story that connects.

Nail Your Story First

Remember, at the end of the day, your presentation is more than just a collection of slides, but rather a vessel for storytelling. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. A well-crafted story can transform your presentation from a mere transfer of information to an impactful, memorable experience. So, take the time to nail your story, and you’re already halfway to creating your best PowerPoint presentation. Your audience will thank you!

how to make a presentation look good

Embracing Professional Design for Impactful Presentations

When you've nailed your narrative, the next crucial step in crafting your best PowerPoint presentation is design. This stage is where your story gets visually translated, elevating it from a mere script to an engaging, compelling experience.

The Role of a Presentation Agency

Not everyone possesses an innate talent for design, and that's perfectly fine. This is where a presentation design agency can become an invaluable asset. These presentation experts act as the alchemists of your PowerPoint, transforming basic slides into visually stunning and strategically aligned pieces of art. However, be selective when you choose who to work with. There is a big difference between a "meh" designer vs a “wow” designer when it comes to preparing well-crafted presentations.

Simplifying Complexity

One of the critical talents of a presentation design agency is their ability to distill complex concepts into simple, digestible visuals. An overcrowded slide can quickly lose your audience's attention, but a well-designed one can convey your message succinctly and effectively. Not only that, presentation experts can remove the complexity of creating great slides by designing the best presentation templates for your needs, making the process easier for you in the end.

"We have been using SLIDES™ services for our corporate PowerPoint template, and the PPT template is so well done and easy to use that we all feel like we now have PowerPoint superpowers creating new presentations in no time with stunning look!"

Jérôme neuvéglise, product owner qoqa, creating visual harmony.

Consistency in your presentation’s visual elements - such as color schemes, typography, and imagery - is essential. A presentation design agency ensures that these elements work in harmony, creating a unified and professional look that enhances your overall narrative. The best presentation layouts are those created by experts who know how to make your brand stand out.

Visualizing Ideas Effectively

Presentation agencies excel in translating your ideas into impactful visuals. They ensure that your graphics, charts, and images aren't just visually appealing but also contribute significantly to the telling of your story. After all, why spend so much time honing your story if your visuals fall flat?

how to make a presentation look good

When to Opt for Professional Presentation Design

We know that deciding to outsource is a tough call, and you want to make sure your resources are well spent. Here are a few things to consider before seeking out help from a presentation agency:

High-Stakes Presentations

For presentations that can have a significant impact on your business - such as those in sales, partnerships, or investment pitches - professional design isn't just a luxury, but a necessity. These are the scenarios where the expertise of a presentation design agency can make a substantial difference. 

Stripe’s CEO Patrick Collison said in a recent podcast:

 “My intuition is that more of Stripe's success than one would think is down to the fact that people like beautiful things and for rational reasons. Because, what does a beautiful thing tell you? It tells you the person who made it really cared, and you can observe some superficial details, but probably they didn’t only care about those and did everything else in a slapdash way. So, if you care about the infrastructure being holistically good, indexing on the superficial characteristics is not an irrational thing to do.“

Oftentimes in presentations, we ignore how we are making people feel with our slides. Think about this quote next time you’re preparing your slides.

Overcoming Skill and Time Constraints

If you're not well-versed in design or if time constraints are tight, opting for professional help is a wise decision. This not only ensures quality but also frees you up to concentrate on refining and rehearsing your presentation. This guide shows 18 of the most common presentation mistakes people make, and gives tips on how to avoid them.

In essence, professional design is about giving your presentation the visual edge it needs to not just capture but also maintain your audience's attention. By considering the services of a presentation design agency, you're ensuring that your presentation is not just seen, but also remembered and appreciated.

Mastering the Art of Delivery

Alright, you’ve got a gripping story and a set of stunning slides. But wait! There’s still a crucial piece of the puzzle left – your delivery. This is where the rubber meets the road. Remember, no matter how dazzling your slides are, they can’t rescue a lackluster delivery. 

how to make a presentation look good

More Than Just Slides

First things first, let’s get one thing straight: people aren’t just buying into your PowerPoint. They’re buying into you – your ideas, your enthusiasm, your conviction. Your slides are merely a tool to complement your narrative, not the other way around. Your slides are never the star of the show. It's you. It sure is harder to improve your delivery compared to your slides. But it will be the best investment of your life.

The Human Connection

At its core, a great presentation is about making a connection with your audience. It’s about storytelling, not just through words on a slide, but through the way you present them. Your tone, your body language, your ability to engage – all these elements combine to create a compelling delivery.

Know Your Story Inside Out

Your first step should be to know your story like the back of your hand. This doesn’t mean memorizing your script word for word but being familiar enough with your content to speak confidently and fluidly about it.

Rehearse, Then Rehearse Some More

Practice might not always make perfect, but it sure does make confidence. Rehearse your presentation multiple times. This will help you iron out any kinks in your delivery and help you manage those pesky nerves.

When our founder Damon gave his first keynote presentation, he experienced some technical issues that would throw off any professional speaker. But since he had rehearsed his speech so well, he knew it inside out. And he could handle the mishap with calm, make some jokes about it, and then get back to his talk when the tech decided to work again.

Engage With Your Audience

Remember, a presentation is a two-way street. Engage with your audience, ask questions, and encourage participation. This interaction makes your presentation more memorable and impactful. The former product manager at Netflix , Gibson Biddle, shared this great example:

“In a virtual setting you need to double-down on engagement tactics. Today, I use Google Slides plus Slido to do real-time polling, word clouds and to answer questions. It makes the experience incredibly interactive to the extent that I now have an equal NPS for virtual and in-person presentations.”

Body Language Matters

Your body language speaks volumes. Maintain eye contact, use gestures to emphasize points, and move around if possible. This non-verbal communication can significantly enhance the impact of your delivery.

In today’s increasingly digital world, we also have to think about virtual presentations and how to put our best foot forward through a screen. An awkward camera angle or a weird background can be a distraction to your audience, so shift your focus to a flattering camera angle, solid camera quality, and a neutral background. 

how to make a presentation look good

Authenticity is Key

Be yourself. Your audience can tell when you’re putting on a façade. Authenticity breeds trust and connection, which in turn makes your message more persuasive.

Investing in Yourself

Finally, investing in your delivery skills is investing in yourself. Whether it’s through public speaking courses, professional coaching, or simply seeking feedback from peers, improving your delivery skills is invaluable. Remember, a great delivery can elevate a good presentation to a great one. So, give your delivery the attention it deserves, and watch as you transform from a presenter to a storyteller, captivating your audience one slide at a time.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it – the roadmap to creating a PowerPoint presentation that’s not just good, but outstanding. It all starts with crafting a compelling story, enhanced by visually striking and well-thought-out design, and brought to life through engaging and authentic delivery. Remember, your best PowerPoint presentation will feel like more than just a collection of slides to your audience. This is a powerful storytelling tool, and you are the storyteller.

The key takeaway? Invest time and effort into each aspect of your presentation. Understand your narrative, collaborate with design professionals if needed, and hone your delivery skills. It’s this combination of content, design, and delivery that transforms a standard presentation into an unforgettable experience.

In the end, what sets a great PowerPoint presentation apart is the ability to not just share information but to tell a story that resonates, inspires, and persuades. Whether you’re pitching to potential clients, investors, or sharing insights with your team, remember that the most impactful presentations are those that connect with the audience on a deeper level. So go ahead, create, deliver, and captivate.

Your audience is waiting.

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Author, speaker, coach, 10 easy ways to make any powerpoint presentation awesome.

Make your PowerPoint Presentation awesome

Updated to Speaking on May 3, 2023.

This post was updated in 2023.

It was 20 minutes before lunch, my client was frantically looking at the clock, and the audience was squirming. We had suffered through endless forgettable PowerPoint slides and were all hoping for a merciful end. That’s when the presenter announced, “I see I’m running out of time, so I’ll just hurry through my last 30 slides.”

We’ve all suffered through slide shows with long lists of unreadable bullets, unnecessary YouTube clips, and overuse of graphics. Instead of holding our attention and making their point even stronger, each slide distracts the audience with more content they don’t need. Bad slides are agnostic. You can use PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, Google Slides, or hold up a piece of paper – it’s all a distraction if you don’t do it well.

Done well, a thoughtfully prepared slide deck can be the perfect slide dish for your full meal presentation. Done poorly and your audience will feel like they made one too many trips to the buffet table. This post will help you do it well.

For the first years of my speaking career, I presented with 35mm slides. You know, the photographs framed by cardboard that got jammed in the projector? That was me – hauling out the projector, clicking in the carousel, and praying that tonight it would all work. I soon learned that the more slides I showed the less the audience listened to me. So I cut back on the slides. I also noticed that when I switched to a black screen (see #9) the audience turned all their attention to me. So I practiced fading to black whenever I told a story or had an important point to make.

How I started

When I switched to PowerPoint I suddenly had a candy shop full of treats to sweeten my presentations with. And I started making all the same mistakes again: too many slides, too much content on each slide, and too distracting. After every presentation I always do a quick debrief – what worked, what needs to change? And slowly I developed a checklist for slide presentations.

I have shared with checklist with hundreds of speakers to help put the spotlight on them. Some were designing a new speech, some were preparing for a webinar and others needed slides to back up a video presentation. In every case, this checklist made their presentation better. They sold more products, got more referrals, and, in most cases, spent a lot less time working on their slide deck.

how to make a presentation look good

If you’ve ever struggled to create interesting slides or worry your slides are too wordy or you have too many of them, this will help.

Here are my 10 easy ways to make any PowerPoint presentation awesome.

1. Build your slides last

This might be the most important rule on the list. Don’t build your slide deck until you build your presentation.

You could be tempted to start monkeying with slides early in your speech writing process – after all, it’s a fun way to procrastinate from all that hard thinking – don’t. Building your slide deck before you build your presentation is like building a road before you know where it’s going.

Your slides are there to ADD to a well-designed speech, not to replace it.

2. Don’t try to replace you

People come to hear you. If you are launching your service on a webinar, they want to know how this solution has helped you and whether is it right for them. If you are delivering a keynote speech or workshop, they want a glimpse into your solutions that can help move them forward in their work or in life.

Fancy transitions, superfluous video clips, and endless bullet points will get your audience’s attention, but take their attention off of you. Every time you hit the clicker the audience leaves you and goes to the screen.

Your goal for every presentation is to deliver the goods, not the slides.

3. Use a consistent theme

We are easily distracted and confused. That’s why brands always anchor advertising on their unique colors, fonts, slogan, or a jingle. They know that consistency in their brand theme builds recognition and puts more attention on the message. You should do that with your slides.

how to make a presentation look good

Start with a simple, white background and san serif fonts.

A consistent, simple theme helps your audience focus on the content of each slide. Watch TED talks that have gone viral to see how simple a slide theme can be, like the ones by Dan Pink The puzzle of motivation (30M views), and Shawn Achor The happy secret to better work (25M views).

4. More images, less text

Want to quickly reenergize a tired slide deck? Make your images larger ( in this post I share where to get free images ) and reduce the text size. Remember, the theme in this post is that you are the presentation, not your slides.

how to make a presentation look good

Your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text. When you use images (and less text) you allow your audience to process the image without distracting them away from your powerful story, or making a critical point. Like subtle mood music in the background of a dramatic movie scene, images can augment and enhance what you are saying without stealing the show.

5. One story per slide

When I started using PowerPoint I would have 60 to 80 slides for a 60-minute speech. It was a lot of work to prepare each deck and when I was deep into the speech I would sometimes forget where I was and have to jump forward a couple of slides.

Then it became 30-35 slides and I could breathe easier, knowing that fewer clicks meant less to worry about. As my confidence grew it became 10-12 slides and each slide became a key part of storytelling or point-making—they had to earn their place.

I might use a slide as a backdrop to a story or for a short list that supports a lesson I’m delivering. Either way, it’s always on ‘story’ per slide. If I don’t need a slide, I fade to black (#9).

But, I always stick to one story per slide.

6. Reveal one bullet at a time

This is an easy one – reveal one bullet at a time. The function of bullets is to reinforce (not replace) what you are delivering. That’s why they need to be short (see the 2/4/8 rule, below). A good bullet point is complete on it’s own, but much better when combined with a live presentation of it. Here’s an example from a list of (very wordy) time management strategies:

  • Infrequent visits to your Inbox give you more time for deep work
  • time blocking allows you to protect time for important work
  • the Pomodoro technique can help you focus with fewer distractions

A better list – like one you might use on a PowerPoint slide – would be:

  • visit your Inbox less often
  • block time for important work
  • the Pomodoro technique helps you focus

To reveal one bullet at a time in PowerPoint, right-click on your text box, select Custom Animation > Add Entrance Effect and then choose the effect you want. In Keynote, click Animate > Build in and choose the effect you want.

7. Leave the fireworks to Disney

It’s great that you know how to turn text into flames and make images spin with the click of your mouse – but leave those fireworks to Disney. Your job is to make your content the star of the show. Every time you haul the audience’s attention away to some animation you lose a truckload of opportunity to help them.

how to make a presentation look good

Your slides can still be amazing and helpful, but that should always be secondary to your primary purpose of helping people. Simple transitions, clean, san serif fonts, and large, attractive graphics trump PowerPoint tricks, every time.

8. The 2/4/8 rule

When I am advising other speakers I often don’t know their topic—certainly not as well as they do. So I rely on certain rules I have developed over many years. For slide decks, I use my 2/4/8 rule. Here’s how it goes…

  • about every 2 minutes I have a new slide (that’s 30 slides for a 60-minute speech),
  • no more than 4 bullets per slide, and
  • no more than 8 words per bullet.

Just like any recipe, you can mess with the ingredient a bit. If your content is more technical, you might need more slides. Sometimes I need 5 or 6 bullets. I use the 2/4/8 rule to remind me that slides are there to support what I have to say, not replace me.

9. Fade to black

The last time I was shopping for a car, I noticed the salesperson had a clever technique. While he asked how I liked the car and if I had any questions, he kept his sales offer face-down on the table. Because there were no other distractions, he had my full attention. And when it was time to reveal his offer, it was much more dramatic (so was the price!) Use the same technique with your slides.

When you fade to black you regain your audience’s attention. For example, after I present a solution, I’ll fade to black while I expound on how to apply that solution in my audience’s work/life. When I’m finished, I turn black off and go to the next point. Or if I’m halfway through a story I’ll fade to back before the punchline so I know I have everyone’s attention.

It’s no different than a close-up scene in a movie—the director wants you to focus only on the speaker. Note that if you are shopping for a slide remote, be sure that yours has the black screen feature.

10. When in doubt, delete

This might be the most advice I can leave you with. When in doubt, delete it.

There is a weird attraction to more. Authors add more pages thinking it makes the book more valuable. Sales people who talk too much miss the opportunity to ask for the sale. And presenters add more slides thinking it will make them look better. Wrong.

When you are doing the final edits on your slide deck, the ultimate question you should be asking about each slide is, “Will it make my speech better?” If not, dump it.

Remember, nobody will miss what isn’t there. Also fewer slides allows you more time for side stories, spontaneous thoughts or even time for Q&A.

Remember this…

I’ve said it numerous times in this post, but it’s worth repeating. You are the show, not your slides. More slides means more time your audience is not paying attention to you. Fewer (and better) slides means you have more time to build rapport, share memorable stories, explain your solutions and motivate your audience to action. You are there for a reason. Now go and deliver.

One last thing. Spend the $80 and pack a remote (with spare batteries.) Nothing’s worse than watching a speaker repeatedly lean over, hunt for the right key, and then peck away to advance the slides.

If you enjoyed this article, here is more about presentation skills:

How the experts create world-class PowerPoint Slides (and you can too) PowerPoint Primer – the only 3 slides you’ll ever need How to add video to PowerPoint and Keynote like a pro

Slide by  Nathan Anderson  on  Unsplash

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Blog > Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

08.14.21   •  #powerpoint #tips.

If you know how to do it, it's actually not that difficult to create and give a good presentation.

That's why we have some examples of good PowerPoint presentations for you and tips that are going to make your next presentation a complete success.

1. Speak freely

One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes. The goal is to connect with your audience and get them excited about your topic. If you speak freely, this is much easier than if you just read your text out. You want your audience to feel engaged in your talk. Involve them and tell your text in a vivid way.

2. Familiarize yourself with the technology

In order to be able to speak freely, it is important to prepare the text well and to engage with the topic in detail.

However, it is at least as important to familiarize yourself with the location’s technology before your presentation and to start your PowerPoint there as well. It is annoying if technical problems suddenly occur during your presentation, as this interrupts your flow of speech and distracts the audience from the topic. Avoid this by checking everything before you start your talk and eliminate any technical problems so that you can give your presentation undisturbed.

  • Don't forget the charging cable for your laptop
  • Find out beforehand how you can connect your laptop to the beamer. Find out which connection the beamer has and which connection your laptop has. To be on the safe side, take an adapter with you.
  • Always have backups of your presentation. Save them on a USB stick and preferably also online in a cloud.
  • Take a second laptop and maybe even your own small projector for emergencies. Even if it's not the latest model and the quality is not that good: better bad quality than no presentation at all.

3. Get the attention of your audience

Especially in long presentations it is often difficult to keep the attention of your audience. It is important to make your presentation interesting and to actively involve the audience. Try to make your topic as exciting as possible and captivate your audience.

Our tip: Include interactive polls or quizzes in your presentation to involve your audience and increase their attention. With the help of SlideLizard, you can ask questions in PowerPoint and your audience can easily vote on their own smartphone. Plus, you can even get anonymous feedback at the end, so you know right away what you can improve next time.

Here we have also summarized further tips for you on how to increase audience engagement.

Polling tool from SlideLizard to hold your audience's attention

4. Hold eye contact

You want your audience to feel engaged in your presentation, so it is very important to hold eye contact. Avoid staring only at a part of the wall or at your paper. Speak to your audience, involve them in your presentation and make it more exciting.

But also make sure you don't always look at the same two or three people, but address everyone. If the audience is large, it is often difficult to include everyone, but still try to let your eyes wander a little between your listeners and look into every corner of the room.

5. Speaking coherently

In a good presentation it is important to avoid jumping from one topic to the next and back again shortly afterwards. Otherwise your audience will not be able to follow you after a while and their thoughts will wander. To prevent this, it is important that your presentation has a good structure and that you work through one topic after the other.

Nervousness can cause even the best to mumble or talk too fast in order to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid this by taking short pauses to collect yourself, to breathe and to remind yourself to speak slowly.

6. Matching colors

An attractive design of your PowerPoint is also an important point for giving good presentations. Make sure that your slides are not too colorful. A PowerPoint in which all kinds of colors are combined with each other does not look professional, but rather suitable for a children's birthday party.

Think about a rough color palette in advance, which you can then use in your presentation. Colors such as orange or neon green do not look so good in your PowerPoint. Use colors specifically to emphasize important information.

To create good PowerPoint slides it is also essential to choose colors that help the text to read well. You should have as much contrast as possible between the font and the background. Black writing on a white background is always easy to read, while yellow writing on a white background is probably hard to read.

Using colours correctly in PowerPoint to create good presentations

7. Slide design should not be too minimalistic

Even though it is often said that "less is more", you should not be too minimalistic in the design of your presentation. A presentation where your slides are blank and only black text on a white background is likely to go down just as badly as if you use too many colors.

Empty presentations are boring and don't really help to capture the attention of your audience. It also looks like you are too lazy to care about the design of your presentation and that you have not put any effort into the preparation. Your PowerPoint doesn't have to be overflowing with colors, animations and images to make it look interesting. Make it simple, but also professional.

avoid too minimalistic design for good presentation slides

8. Write only key points on the slides

If you want to create a good presentation, it is important to remember that your slides should never be overcrowded. Write only the most important key points on your slides and never entire sentences. Your audience should not be able to read the exact text you are speaking in your PowerPoint. This is rather annoying and leads to being bored quickly. Summarize the most important things that your audience should remember and write them down in short bullet points on your presentation. Then go into the key points in more detail in your speech and explain more about them.

Avoid too much text on your presentation slides

9. Do not overdo it with animations

Do never use too many animations. It looks messy, confusing and definitely not professional if every text and image is displayed with a different animation. Just leave out animations at all or if you really want to use them then use them only very rarely when you want to draw attention to something specific. Make sure that if you use animations, they are consistent. If you use transitions between the individual slides, these should also always be kept consistent and simple.

10. Use images

Pictures and graphics in presentations are always a good idea to illustrate something and to add some variety. They help keep your audience's attention and make it easier to remember important information. But don't overdo it with them. Too many pictures can distract from your presentation and look messy. Make sure the graphics also fit the content and, if you have used several images on one slide, ask yourself if you really need all of them.

example of good PowerPoint slide with image

11. Choose a suitable font

Never combine too many fonts so that your presentation does not look messy. Use at most two: one for headings and one for text. When choosing fonts, you should also make sure that they are still legible at long distances. Script, italic and decorative fonts are very slow to read, which is why they should be avoided in presentations.

It is not so easy to choose the right font. Therefore, we have summarized for you how to find the best font for your PowerPoint presentation.

How you should not use fonts in PowerPoint

12. Do not use images as background

In a good presentation it is important to be able to read the text on the slides easily and quickly. Therefore, do not use images as slide backgrounds if there is also text on them. The picture only distracts from the text and it is difficult to read it because there is not much contrast with the background. It is also harder to see the image because the text in the foreground is distracting. The whole thing looks messy and distracting rather than informative and clear.

Do not use images as a background in good PowerPoint slides

13. Never read out the text from your slides

Never just read the exact text from your slides. Your audience can read for themselves, so they will only get bored and in the worst case it will lead to "Death by PowerPoint". You may also give them the feeling that you think they are not able to read for themselves. In addition, you should avoid whole sentences on your slides anyway. List key points that your audience can read along. Then go into more detail and explain more about them.

14. Don't turn your back

Never turn around during your presentation to look at your projected PowerPoint. Not to read from your slides, but also not to make sure the next slide is already displayed. It looks unprofessional and only distracts your audience.

In PowerPoint's Speaker View, you can always see which slide is currently being displayed and which one is coming next. Use this to make sure the order fits. You can even take notes in PowerPoint, which are then displayed during your presentation. You can read all about notes in PowerPoint here.

how to make a presentation look good

15. Do not forget about the time

In a good presentation, it is important to always be aware of the given time and to stick to it. It is annoying when your presentation takes much longer than actually planned and your audience is just waiting for you to stop talking or you are not able to finish your presentation at all. It is just as awkward if your presentation is too short. You have already told everything about your topic, but you should actually talk for at least another ten minutes.

Practice your presentation often enough at home. Talk through your text and time yourself as you go. Then adjust the length so that you can keep to the time given on the day of your presentation.

timer yourself to know how long your presentation takes

16. Avoid a complicated structure

The structure of a good presentation should not be complicated. Your audience should be able to follow you easily and remember the essential information by the end. When you have finished a part, briefly summarize and repeat the main points before moving on to the next topic. Mention important information more than once to make sure it really gets across to your audience.

However, if the whole thing gets too complicated, it can be easy for your audience to disengage after a while and not take away much new information from your presentation.

17. Choose appropriate clothes

On the day of your presentation, be sure to choose appropriate clothing. Your appearance should be formal, so avoid casual clothes and stick to professional dress codes. When choosing your clothes, also make sure that they are rather unobtrusive. Your audience should focus on your presentation, not on your appearance.

Choose appropriate clothing

18. Adapt your presentation to your audience

Think about who your audience is and adapt your presentation to them. Find out how much they already know about the topic, what they want to learn about it and why they are here in the first place. If you only talk about things your audience already knows, they will get bored pretty soon, but if you throw around a lot of technical terms when your audience has hardly dealt with the topic at all, they will also have a hard time following you. So to give a successful and good presentation, it is important to adapt it to your audience.

You can also ask a few questions at the beginning of your presentation to learn more about your audience and then adapt your presentation. With SlideLizard , you can integrate polls directly into your PowerPoint and participants can then easily answer anonymously from their smartphone.

19. Mention only the most important information

Keep it short and limit yourself to the essentials. The more facts and information you present to your audience, the less they will remember.

Also be sure to leave out information that does not fit the topic or is not relevant. You will only distract from the actual topic and lose the attention of your audience. The time your audience can concentrate and listen with attention is rather short anyway, so don't waste it by telling unimportant information.

20. Talk about your topic in an exciting way

Tell compelling and exciting stories to make your presentation really good. If you speak in a monotone voice all the time, you are likely to lose the attention of your audience. Make your narration lively and exciting. Also, be careful not to speak too quietly, but not too loudly either. People should be able to understand you well throughout the whole room. Even if it is not easy for many people, try to deliver your speech with confidence. If you are enthusiastic about the topic yourself, it is much easier to get your audience excited about it.

microphone for presentations

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About the author.

how to make a presentation look good

Helena Reitinger

Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.

how to make a presentation look good

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Audience response system (ars).

Audience Response Systems (ARS) are technical solutions that are used in presentations in order to increase the interaction between the presenter and the audience. There are various forms of ARS that offer different features.

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30+ tips and tricks to make Google Slides presentation look good

Home 30+ tips and tricks to make Google Slides presentation look good

how to make a presentation look good

Let’s face it, it’s no fun to look at a slide with heavy texts and overcrowded images. It leaves the audience bored and disinterested. It’s very important for your Google Slides presentation to look good in order to have your audience on board. You don’t need to be a designer to learn how to make aesthetic google slides. You can make some basic editing and formatting easily in Google Slides presentation to take it to the next level. In this article, we present some amazing hacks to have a killer presentation that leaves the audience in awe.

Be prepared for a bonus at the end!

Use Google Slides layouts wisely

1. customize slide layouts.

Every presentation needs to follow a basic layout which is regular throughout. Google Slides have a set of layout and theme options to choose from. But in case you wish to edit certain elements, you are free to do it. This will make the presentation truly yours. Click here for a complete guide on using layouts any fresher can use.

2. Use pretty backgrounds for Google Slides

Most of the professional presentations contain a lot of jargon-heavy information written in plain texts on plain backgrounds. Instead, include a transparent or mild background to support your text. The background can either be related to the story or just a plain color wall that goes with the text font and the context.

3. Draw attention with dark background

Audience gets tired of looking at bright colors all day. So, using a dark background not only catches their attention, but is also pleasant for the eyes. But remember to use the matte finish or mild colors for text with the dark background.

4. Try black and white theme to look professional

Often, a black and white theme stands out both because of the professionalism it conveys. This keeps your presentation minimal in appearance and adds to the authenticity of your delivery. But you should be careful not to make it look boring.

5. Use the Master Slides tool

Any change you make in the master slide will automatically reflect on all other slides. Customize the master slide first so that you can save time. You can modify backgrounds, rearrange placeholders, or change theme for the whole presentation with Master slides tool.

6. Keep it minimal

Don’t go fancy with the designs and fonts, keep it minimal. Overcrowding the slides with bulky texts and images or vibrant colors is not a good idea. It will distract the audience and make the presentation look unprofessional.

How to make Google Slides look good with Images

1. use shape masks to make creative images.

Using regular shapes like square and rectangle for images can get boring. To make it interesting, give different shapes to the images.

How to use shape masks in Google Slides:

Select the image you want to apply a shape mask on. Crop the image to the size you want. In crop tool, go to Shapes and choose a shape from the drop-down menu.

2. How to import images from the web

Adding relevant and catchy images make your google slides aesthetic. But you may not have the perfect image to go with the slide. In that case, you can directly download the picture from Google without leaving the tab.

How to import Google images into Google Slides:

Go to Insert >> Image >> Search the web >> Type in the name of the image you want. Or, go to Explore section and Google directly from the Slides tab.

3. Reflect your images if it suits the context

This will be a really cool effect, especially for slides with a single important image. Reflecting your images is a creative way to grab the attention with a single slide. But, this is a bit outdated feature, so it’s better to avoid for professional presentations.

How to reflect an image in Google Slides:

Select an image. Go to Format options and tick the box next to Reflection. Use the slider to adjust the size and transparency.

4. Make the image transparent

Another tip is to adjust the transparency of your image rather than adding a plain image. Plus, you can write relevant text on top of a transparent image.

How to make an image transparent in Google Slides:

Right-click on the picture and go to Formats option. Go to Adjustments >> Transparency. Adjust the transparency as per your requirements.

5. Resize and rotate shapes and images

When you import an image from the web, it might not be the right size for your slides. Google Slides allows you to resize and rotate the images and shapes.

To resize a picture, simply select the picture and move the cursor to bring to the desired size. To rotate an image, click the picture and choose Arrange. Then, click Rotate and select the preferred orientation. Avoid these while using images in Google Slides presentation: Though there are a hundred things you can do to your image, overdoing it will beat the point of making your Google Slides presentation look good. Following are some of the things you should avoid so that the slides look professional.

Using blurry or irrelevant pictures. Stretching or cropping the image more than necessary Low resolution images Watermarked images Not adding citations while using a picture you don’t own Crowding the slides with pictures Using reflection or transparency settings in all the images

Make your Google Slides presentation interactive

1. use the interactive q&a tool.

Having a Q&A section at the end helps you clear any doubts your audience might have. You can make it more interesting by using the Q&A tool. The audience don’t have to wait till the end of the presentation, they can type in the question whenever they want.

How to use the Q&A tool:

During your presentation, activate the Q&A feature by clicking on the Q&A tool. Audience sees a weblink where they can submit their questions. You can answer them at the end of the presentation. You can check the past questions by going to Tools >> Q&A history

2. Create a timeline

In many business presentations, you might need to present the progress of a project and timeline is an important part of it. It is easy to understand and remember. This can be used for interactions and discussions with the audience.

How to create timeline in Google Slides:

Go to Insert >> Diagram This shows a list of different types of timeline templates in built with Google Slides. Choose the one you like and edit it for your data.

Color schemes for your Google Slides presentation

1. edit theme colors.

Every Google Slide theme you choose comes with a pre-set color scheme. However, you can customize the theme according to the color you prefer.

Go to Slide >> Edit Theme Choose a color from the drop-down menu. Here’s a guide on choosing the right color for your Google Slides presentation.

2. Use color split

Using two different colors on the same slide is visually appealing. Make sure you use complementary colors like yellow and blue. For example, if you are using a blue background, use orange color for the texts.

3. Create a color overlay

Color overlay is a technique to make transparent shapes appear on your images or text. You can either apply it to the whole slide or a part of it.

Go to Insert >> Shape Choose a shape if you want to overlay only a part of your slide. Place the selected shape on the slide. Click on the shape and go to Fill colors and choose the color you want. Avoid these while choosing colors for your Google Slides presentation: While adding colors in a smart way can grab the audience’s attention, there are certain rules you should stick to while using them. Here is a small list of things to avoid in order to make your Google Slides look good.

Using multiple bold colors in a single slide Using same color for theme and texts Not sticking to your brand colors Using bright colors for reflection of images or texts. Overusing color gradient

Tips for text in Google Slides presentation

1. try different font attributes.

No one is going to read all the text in your presentation. So, you can highlight the parts which you want to stress on. You can make the text bold, italics, or underlined.

2. Research the top text fonts to use in Google Slides

There are a number of text fonts available in Google Slides, but not all of them make it to a professional presentation deck. So, it’s very important to know the most preferred text fonts to use in Google Slides.

Here are the 5 top text fonts:

Open sans Montserrat Cabin Ubuntu Lato

3. Use text box to have neat texts

Texts randomly strewn across the slides can be distracting for your audience. So, use a text box to have the texts placed in a neat way. You can also align your texts to left, right or centered to make it look professional.

4. Add a drop shadow to the text

Another way to make your texts look interesting is to use a drop shadow effect for Google Slides. However, if you lack experience in designing, we suggest you not to use this effect.

How to add drop shadow:

Select the text you want to use drop shadow on. Go to Format and check the box near Drop Shadow. Use the slider to adjust blur, transparency, and angle.

5. Add the technical terms to your personal dictionary

There might be terminologies or names that are specific to your topic, which may come off as spelling errors. In slides, they may appear in red and you may lose your credibility. To remove this, you can add those terms to the personal dictionary.

Go to Tools >> Personal dictionary Add the technical terms. They will no longer be shown as spelling errors. Common mistakes people make in Google Slides text: While the above features can make your text professional and easy to read, most people miss out on the basics.

Omitting indentation Wrong alignment of text on the slide Using very large or very small texts Not proofreading for typos Inadequate spacing between texts or lines.

Include infographics in Google Slides presentation

1. experiment with different types of diagrams.

If you have a lot of data to present, it’s better to present as graphs or charts instead of pulling off large sheets of data. There are different types of graphs you can use like line graph, bar graph, histogram, pie chart, etc. So, use them in your presentation. This adds credibility to your work and presentation.

2. Let your graph speak for itself

This means you must label, highlight or add everything in the graph such that anyone can analyze it. A single graph with right labels and arrows to show the trend can convey the meaning much better than large amount of texts or spreadsheets.

Add animation to make Google Slides presentation attractive

1. add subtle animation effects on texts.

If you have a lot of information to share on a single slide, use animations to delay some texts instead of displaying everything at a time. This works well for bullet points where you can display one point after another.

2. Add a GIF or a meme

One of the main reasons why presentations are boring is the lack of fun element. Adding a GIF or a relatable meme is not only funny, but helps you put the message across easily. It is an effortless attention grabber.

But you have to make sure it gets added as an animated GIF rather than a still image. For this, the following steps will help:

Find the GIF in Google and copy the image address. Go to Google Slides >> Image >> by URL Paste the URL and click Insert. Remember you have to insert the image by URL for it to play.

3. Add trimmed videos in Google Slides

People recollect visuals better than written text. So, if there is a video on YouTube which can explain what you want to convey, use it. But instead of including the full video, you can add only the relevant part by using the embed option.

4. Use transitions for slides

Adding smooth transition effects for individual slides helps in keeping the flow. The most recommended transition effects to use in a professional presentation are dissolve, fade in, slide from the left, fly in from bottom and fly in from left to right.

Go to Insert >> Animation Select a transition from the available options. Apply to a single slide or all slides, as you wish.

Are you terrified by the amount of effort you have to put in researching about fonts, choosing best colors and get the formatting perfect? This can be time-consuming if you designing is not your biggest flex.

Don’t worry! Here’s the good news!!

You can skip all these steps and still have an amazing presentation deck if you use professional templates!

Use Google Slides presentation templates

Making a presentation from the scratch is wasted time and energy which could be spent on crafting the story you want to convey. That’s why we bring to you the best presentation templates to help you tell your story in your unique way. SlideKit has professional templates designed by experts and you can customize it according to your needs. This can be installed as an add-on in Google Slides for free. It ensures consistency of aspects like font, theme, color scheme and layout used throughout the deck.

SlideKit has slides in the business and other professional domains which you can download, edit and use for free. Premium membership gives you access to 3500+ templates over 35+ niches. Using these templates will make your Google Slides presentation stand out. Here are a few tips to make the most out of SlideKit’s professional google slides templates .

1. Customize the templates

The presentation deck you choose will have all the design and infographic elements you need; but you need to customize them according to your data and your preferred color and font. In SlideKit, you can add images, videos, or hyperlinks, and place them wherever you want on the slide. Additionally, you can acquire hyperlinks from other websites to your own which is referred as niche edits .

2. Use niche-specific templates

There are templates available for different domains, so choose the one that fits your industry. Templates are perfect for branding since they come with placeholders for logo, letterhead, contact details and website address. But it’s important to choose the one that is aligned with the industry. SlideKit makes it easier for you by giving you a variety of industry-specific options to choose from. Moreover, incorporating effective SEO strategies , such as optimizing presentation titles, using relevant keywords, and providing quality content, can significantly enhance the online visibility of your Google Slides presentations, making them more accessible to your target audience and boosting overall engagement.

3. Plug in your data to relevant infographics

As mentioned before, including graphs and charts is beneficial for both you and your audience. Depending on the domain, SlideKit offers relevant infographics which can be customized according to your data. You can change the labels, legends, scale and figures, among many other features.

Now you have the best resources and tools to make your Google Slides presentation look compelling.

Happy presenting!

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  • How to make Powerpoint slides look more professional: 16 design tips

A laptop screen showing a powerpoint slide

Greetings, office peeps! When you’re designing a Powerpoint presentation or Word document, do you ever feel like something doesn’t look right? You can’t put your finger on it. Somehow the page looks amateur instead of professional. If you don’t have a designer friend to advise you, or enough time to hire a pro, these DIY design tips can help. Small tweaks will make your page layouts and Powerpoint presentations look more professional.

1. Gather all the content before you start

Have your text written and any crucial pictures and graphs in a folder, collected before you start designing. Then, like with a moving truck full of furniture, you can simply unpack it and place it around the room. You don’t want somebody showing up with a surprise piano halfway through! You can always add non-essential decorative elements later, but make sure you’ve got all the key ingredients before you start arranging content.

2. Begin with the longest slide

If you’re making a multi-page document, design the page or slide that has the most text first. Use this page as a starting template for the rest of your pages. Then you’ll never run out of room on a page later. You’ll already have planned for the most stuff that needs to fit. If some pages end up with extra white space, great! You can make a picture bigger or just leave some breathing room. (More on that in a sec.)

3. Set healthy margins

A common mistake is skinny margins. Placing items too close to the edges of your document creates uneasy tension. Like a glass on the edge of table near a toddler or a cat.

Pull your content away from the edges, and your page will look more professional. If needed, scale down fonts and pictures, or move some elements to the next slide.

Slides examples showing narrow margins corrected

4. Make a visual hierarchy

Where do you want people to look first? Interesting layouts have a clear focal point, where one item is bigger or louder than everything else. A main image could be the star, or big text could be the star. If everything in your layout commands the same attention, the page is boring and our eyes don’t know where to land. Layouts that have a nice mix look more dynamic: a main big thing, some medium things, and some small things.

Slide designs showing how to create a visual hierarchy

5. Leave empty space

Unless it’s a dense report or a novel, filling every bit of white space feels crowded and daunting to readers. Aim to leave a quarter of your page empty. You might need to ruthlessly cut some content, shrink pictures, or use more pages. If it’s a presentation, see if you can boil your points down to a short phrase each. The examples below show pages that need to be readable on their own, like a brochure. If you’re presenting live, use just a few lines or points per slide.

6. Align what you can

Our eyes move through layouts by following edges—edges of paragraphs, boxes, lines, etc. Make it easy for readers to move through your layout by keeping essential elements organized in rows and columns.

Example slides showing how to align elements in a design

7. When in doubt, left align text

Centering lengthy copy looks messy. Those ragged edges mean each line begins in a different place. Our eyes have to do more work to find the start of each row. This is fine when you have only three or four short lines of text, but not when you have more than that. In that case, left alignment is better.

Centered text versus left-aligned text

8. Avoid orphans

In typography, an orphan is a sad little word that ends up on a line all by itself at the bottom of a paragraph. They are not cute! Look after those little babies and give them a family. Type some soft returns (shift+enter) to break lines at better places, pushing another word or two down to keep your orphan company.

Example showing a typographic orphan

9. Avoid rivers

Rivers are awkward trails of vertical space that can show up in justified paragraphs. “Justification” is an option for text alignment, where space is added between words to make the left and right edges of a paragraph line up. Choosing justified alignment is not always wrong, but it’s harder to work with. To fix rivers, you’ll need a generous number of words per line and lots of hyphens, often added manually. This is a hassle. In general, left alignment is a better choice than justification. It prevents unsightly rivers.

Example showing a typographic river

10. Avoid long lines of text: target 45-90 characters

Long lines of text are hard to follow across a page. In paragraphs, target 45-90 characters per line, including spaces. Research has shown that readers are more likely to avoid reading text when line lengths don’t fit the optimal range. To fix lines that are too long, use a larger font size, wider page margins, narrower text boxes, or more columns. In general, a landscape slide will need two or more columns of text. A portrait letter will need much wider margins than Word’s default settings.

Line length examples to show the correct number of characters

11. Stick to one or two typefaces

Using too many fonts can look chaotic. Choosing just one typeface (a.k.a. family of fonts) and using different weights is nice. For example, use bold headings with regular-weight paragraph text. Or, pick a font from two different families, using one for headlines and one for paragraphs. Make sure they’re noticeably different from each other, so it doesn’t look like an accident.

A reliable combination is pairing a serif font with a sans serif font. (If you just said, “what the what?” serifs are the little feet on some styles of letters. “Sans serif” means without the feet.) See examples below that use free Google Fonts .

Examples of font combinations

12. Use limited colors

To keep your life simple, choose one main color for your design. If you like, add one or two accent colors in smaller amounts. Repeat those accents so they look intentional, not like random one-offs.

13. Use icons instead of bullets

Icons are more interesting than bullets. If your page needs to look more engaging, swap in small icons instead of bullets to add interest and color. Links to free icon sources are below.

Examples showing how icons are more interesting than bullets

14. Use matching icons

It’s easy to get carried away searching for the icon subject matter you need, and then forget to consider the style of the icon. Does it look like the same artist drew all the icons in your document? It should. Consistency is key to professional design. Icon styles can be solid or outlined with thin or thick lines. They can have rounded corners or sharp ones. They can be smoothly geometric or roughly hand-drawn. Make sure they match! The internet is full of designers you can hire, sets you can purchase, or for freebies, check out:

Reshot free icons — a variety of styles Feather icons — adjust the size, color and stroke thickness of 287 icons Font Awesome icons — 2,000+ freebies with 19,000 more for purchase Hand-drawn Goods icons — sets of sketched icons

Examples of icon styles

15. Keep icons small

To help fill a page, it’s tempting to make icons really big. This can look clunky. If your icons don’t have much detail, keep them small, since that’s the purpose they were designed for.

Example of icons used too big in a design

16. Use better illustrations instead of “clip art”

Stock photographs are easy to find (see my list of free sources ) but good, free illustrations are trickier. Some sources of free illustrations are below, or you can purchase stock illustrations or hire an illustrator. Just like icons, make sure all of your illustrations are the same style.

Blush illustrations Humaaans illustrations Storyset illustrations

Be the design star in your office

Often just a few basic tweaks can help designs and Powerpoint presentations look better. Even if you don’t feel like a designer, you’ll be ahead of the pack in your office!

And if your company needs a consistent brand look and feel, instead of every person reinventing the wheel every time, a brand identity designer can help. We use a strategic approach to create a signature theme for your company: colors, fonts, and images in templates that your team can use all the time. No more guessing each time you make a document. If this is something your business could use, let’s talk!

Note: Text in the example images was auto-generated by Corporate Ipsum  for humor. Please do not write this way for real. 🙂 

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

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Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

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  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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How to Give a Good Presentation: 11 Top Tips for Killer Presentations

How to Give a Good Presentation: 11 Top Tips for Killer Presentations

Written by: Orana Velarde

how to give a good presentation - header

Giving a good presentation takes practice. Not everyone is born a natural public speaker, which is  why we’re here today.

In this article, we’ll give you some of the best tips for killer presentations. These are techniques used by all the best public speakers, and yes – even they had to practice to get this good.

If you need to give a presentation for work, be it a pitch about a new project or product idea, a quarterly marketing report, a product launch or as an industry expert in a summit, we’ve got you covered.

How to Give a Good Presentation [Presentation]

To learn more about our top 11 tips for giving a killer presentation, keep reading throughout this article. But for those of you who are skimmers, feel free to browse through this presentation rounding up our top tips.

How to Give a Good Presentation

Here’s a quick look at the 11 tips on how to give a good presentation. Plus, you’ll find a bonus resource you won’t want to miss, The Visme Presentation Guru Course.

  • Rehearse What You’re Planning to Say
  • Prepare Mentally, Emotionally and Technically
  • Start Strong
  • Follow the Outline You Practiced With
  • Finish With Confidence
  • Use a Storytelling Technique on Your Slides
  • Keep Your Slides Short
  • Use Templates
  • Learn From Your Mistakes
  • Keep Yourself Inspired for the Future

Let’s dive in.

1 Rehearse What You’re Planning To Say

Before you even give a good presentation, you need to prepare.

This part has two steps – to rehearse what you’re going to say and to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. These two tips go hand in hand, but we’ll explain what each one is about individually.

Notice that we didn’t say “memorize your presentation.” There’s a big difference between memorizing a speech and practicing telling a story. The difference is that a memorized speech can end up sounding robot-like and practiced storytelling sounds effortless. 

You’ll be better off if you have at least a rough outline of your slides before you start rehearsing.

Section 1, Pause, Section 2, Pause, Repeat

Rehearse what you’re planning to say during your presentation by using a written outline, index cards, printed out versions of your presentation slides or whatever works for you.  

Practicing the spoken part of your Visme presentation is easy when you use the presentation notes feature . 

Separate your presentations into sections. The best way to do this is by topic. Try and keep all the sections about the same length, that way you can plan your pauses. 

Presenter’s Notes

Add presenter’s notes to your slides to help you along as you present. Visme makes this easy for you. As you go through each slide, you’re able to see the notes, what slide you’re on and what slide is next. There’s also a timer to help you pace each slide switch.

This tool will help if you can have a computer close by as you give the presentation. But if you are giving a presentation on a stage without a screen to help you, you’ll have to practice without notes. 

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How to Give A Good Presentation With Mnemonic Tools

Create some mnemonic tools into your presentation to help you remember what comes next. For some people, this comes as second nature and is easy. For others, it can become convoluted and cause you to overthink things. 

Try out a variety of different techniques until you find the one you feel the most comfortable and confident with.

Ask For Feedback

For better results and to know if you’re improving, record yourself or ask someone to watch you.  Ask them to give you honest feedback. Don’t accept feedback like “that was great.” Insist they go into the details. Offer them a pen and paper to take notes as you present.

You’ll notice as you practice and rehearse, that when you follow an outline, all the information you want to share is easier to remember. The TED talk below by Dr. Bolte Taylor was rehearsed 200 times and it’s one of the most famous TED Talks ever. 

You don’t need to practice that many times – just enough so it feels effortless. Needless to say, rehearsing is key to learning how to give a good presentation.

2 Prepare Mentally, Emotionally and Technically

It’s highly likely that you’ve already had to give presentations before, most probably at school. But let’s be honest, a classroom and a TED stage are a little different. So is an online summit via Zoom, which as you know are even more common now!

Let’s get one thing straight, though. We’re not talking about just any presentation here – we’re talking high stakes, high-quality presentations.

Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for a weekly sales report meeting is not as important as doing so for one that will be in front of thousands of people and recorded for posterity.

This tip includes mental, emotional and technical preparation. Let’s focus on each one.

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Mental Preparation

While you’re rehearsing the outline and general speech for your presentation, notice the times when you feel like things flow and when they don’t. 

Why do you think that’s happening? 

If it flows well it’s because you feel comfortable with the content. You know what you’re talking about. You might even be passionate about it!

On the other hand, if you’re having trouble, maybe the content is still new to you. You might need to do a little more research to feel more knowledgeable about that topic. If you are unsure, you might completely forget what you had to say next during the presentation. 

That’s why rehearsing, adjusting and creating mnemonic cues will help.

Emotional Preparation

Not everyone needs to get emotionally prepared before a presentation. Conscientious rehearsing can usually be enough. But not everyone is the same. 

Many people that suffer from glossophobia or the fear of public speaking. Some have anxiety or social anxiety and just being close to that many people is difficult for them. Many successful speakers used to be riddled by fear before their first few presentations. 

Some of them still are, every single time. The difference is that they have learned how to manage their fear and lean into it. As soon as they step on the stage, the fear and anxiety melt away and all the rehearsing and practicing take over. 

To get emotionally prepared, you can try some mindfulness exercises and relaxation techniques. 

Wear clothes that make you feel powerful and confident. Try doing the power pose and high five some people before you go on stage. Sing your favorite song and have a little quick uplifting dance. 

Technical Preparation

You might be wondering what technical things you need to give a good presentation. It’s all in the details. 

Regardless if you’ll be speaking in a venue or an online summit, you have to test all technicalities.

If you’ll be speaking in a venue, visit the space and stand in the place where you’ll speak. Have a look around and pinpoint some elements or aspects that make you comfortable.

If there’s anything that bothers you, like a weird smell or a column in the middle of the room, think of ways to overcome that. 

Always ask to test the technical aspects in the room. Connect your computer or tablet to their system to check if your slides will look good with their setup. Also, test the audio. These detailed checks might not always be possible but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

If your presentation will be online, test all your tech beforehand. Locate a spot with the strongest wifi or hardwire your computer to the router.

Check your background and the lighting. Organize with housemates or family for some quiet time during the time of your presentation.

3 Start Strong

The day and time of your presentation have arrived! Now it’s time to shine.

Starting strong is a huge factor in achieving a good presentation. The first few seconds and minutes that you’re on stage will make a first impression on your audience . And yes, you can leverage that to your advantage!

How To Give A Good Presentation Through Impactful Body Language

The first thing people will notice is your body language. The way you carry yourself says a lot about how confident you are at that specific moment. If you prepared emotionally and mentally before your turn, then you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.

Watch the video below to learn about the power pose and how body language affects both you and your audience.

Make An Impressionable Statement

Starting a presentation with a joke, for example, can make the audience relate or feel more familiar with you. Letting them laugh a little will clear the air in the room and it’ll be easier to continue. 

Other opening techniques include:

  • Be Provocative
  • Incite Curiosity
  • Shock the Audience
  • Ask a Question
  • Tell A Story

Use your first slide as a visual and impactful complement to start your presentation.

We have an article all about starting strong with plenty of inspiration. Check it out here – it’ll inspire you to think of new ideas for your presentation.

4 Follow The Outline You Practiced With

If you followed our tip above, you used an outline or a ‘section, pause, section’ technique to practice with. Maybe you even used some mnemonic tools or presenters’ notes. 

It’s time to put them all to use.

As long as you follow what you practiced you’re gold. This tip, as you can see, is a short one. It’s more of a reminder that the rehearsing step is more important than you might think at first. 

Only when you practice and rehearse a lot will you feel more comfortable when you present.

5 Use Props

Are you wondering how to give a good presentation with props? Good, that means you’re thinking creatively. Using props is a technique that not many consider when preparing for a presentation. 

Props can help not only to get the message across but also to serve as emotional support for the speaker! Just make sure it’s obviously a prop and not an emotional crutch.

A prop can be as small as a book, as big as a washing machine, or as weird as a preserved human brain. 

Of course, the prop must make sense with your presentation and topic. Not only that, but you must also practice with it. It’s important to be comfortable with your prop or props as you talk and switch slides. 

Actually, if you use props you might not need slides at all!

To get you inspired, watch this TED talk where Hans Rosling uses a washing machine as his prop.

6 Finish With Confidence

The end of the presentation is just as important as the beginning. You have to bring it all full circle. Knowing how to give a good presentation is like knowing how to structure a story, essay or article. The beginning and end are connected and must be relevant to each other.

For example, if you made a joke at the beginning, make the same joke but with a fun twist. If you made a provocative statement, close it up with a similar statement or question about it.

Closing Statement

Your presentation’s closing statement is a section in itself. Even if you do as we suggest above, the entire closing statement must be a conclusion of what you talked about during the entire presentation.

The last sentence you say will stay in your audience’s memory. At least until the next speaker takes the stage. If someone in your audience noted down your last sentence, you’ve hit the mark 100%.

Q and A Session – Yes or No?

Ending a presentation with a Q and A session is a bit iffy. If you ended your presentation with impact, a Q and A section can fizzle that out.

What you can do is ask the host to let the audience know that if they have questions, they can find you in the lobby for a conversation. For a digital summit, offer your Twitter handle where people can get in touch. 

In the case of webinars or instructional lectures though, Questions and Answers is a great idea. These can help familiarize you with the audience and make them more confident to work with you in the future. 

Consider the purpose of your presentation and make a decision according to what impact you’re looking to make.

Here's a great example of the chat section from Visme's webinars , where viewers make comments and ask questions throughout. In our webinars, we have someone help the presenter by gathering questions and ensuring everyone gets answers.

how to give a good presentation - q&a

7 Use A Storytelling Structure

Moving on to the tips for the creation of your slides.  It’s important to remember the role your slides will play in your presentation. The audience’s attention should be on you, not your slides. These are meant to be complementary, not a crutch, nor even a text to follow.

With that said, this tip is the most important. It applies to your slides AND your spoken speech. They should both follow a storytelling structure that you and the audience will follow together.

Some of the most common storytelling structures are:

  • Fact and Story – Go back and forth between facts and stories, or “what is” and “what could be.”
  • The Explanation – Inform about a process or plan to fix something or to learn something new.
  • The Pitch – Take your audience uphill over a hurdle and onto a positive resolution.
  • The Drama – AKA “The Hero’s Journey,” this follows the plight of a main character from beginning to end.

You can also check out our quick video on how to structure a presentation like the experts to learn even more.

how to make a presentation look good

8 Keep Your Slides Short and Visually Balanced

There are two ways to design slides for a good presentation:

  • As a standalone presentation
  • As visual support, while you speak

Either way, you need to keep your slides short in text and visually impactful. For a visual support deck, the slides need even less text than a standalone presentation. 

If that idea worries you, and you have tons of information to share, you can always create a full-fledged informative PDF version of your deck to give your audience, investors or guests.

Here are some important things to remember when designing the slides for your presentation:

  • The flow from start to finish
  • Visual hierarchy
  • Keeping the words to around 6 per slide
  • Visual impact
  • Balanced compositions

The 29 Best Presentation Layout Templates for 2020 [Plus Design Ideas]

9 Use Presentation Templates

Creating presentation slides doesn’t need to be difficult or a stressful affair. When you use a Visme presentation as a foundation, you’re on your way to being an expert on how to give a good presentation. 

To select a presentation template, you can either go for a topic-based template or a style based template. Both have their merits, you just need to figure out what’s easier for you. 

Topic-based templates are fully designed templates with color themes, graphics, images, icons, etc. You’d only have to adjust the content and maybe the colors and graphics. 

Style-based templates are better for those of you that need more freedom in terms of colors and visuals. The Visme slide library is full of layouts organized into categories that you can choose from. 

Presentation Templates

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Ecommerce Webinar Presentation

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Buyer Presentation

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PixelGo Marketing Plan Presentation

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Product Training Interactive Presentation

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Company Ethics Presentation

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Work+Biz Pitch Deck - Presentation

Create your presentation View more templates

10 Learn From Your Mistakes

When the presentation is over and you feel like you just conquered the world, it’s not the end just yet. Celebrate the moment but remember, there will be more presentations in the future. 

If your presentation was filmed, watch the recording. If there was anyone in the audience that you can fully trust to be honest with their feedback, ask them for it. Take mental notes and the next time you’ll be even more prepared.

The secret sauce to know how to give a good presentation is to always keep learning the ways to improve.

11 Keep Yourself Inspired for Future Presentations

When you keep learning, you keep growing. This also applies to the art of giving good presentations. Follow well-known presentation experts like Nancy Duarte and Carmine Gallo. Read their book, their stories and their theories about giving good presentations. 

Watch famous speeches or TED talks to get inspired. Take notes of what you notice in those speeches that you think would suit your personality. You don’t want to copy how other people speak, but you can definitely be inspired!

Bonus: The Visme Presentation Guru Course

To top off your knowledge base for giving good presentations with killer slides, we present you with the Visme Presentation Guru Course .

How to Give a Good Presentation Every Time

As long as you’re prepared, your slides are well-balanced and your speech is rehearsed, you’re ready to give an impactful presentation.

Plus, never underestimate the power of templates! Check out the Visme slide library to visualize the possibilities. Take our presentation course and improve your abilities as a public speaker and slide creator.

Learn how to give a good presentation with all the resources Visme has in store for you. Sign up for a free Visme account today to get started.

Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.

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About the Author

Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Istanbul. Find out more about her work at

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What are the main difficulties when giving presentations?

How to create an effective presentation, after that, how do i give a memorable presentation, how to connect with the audience when presenting.

If you’ve ever heard someone give a powerful presentation, you probably remember how it made you feel. Much like a composer, a good speaker knows precisely when each note should strike to captivate their audience’s attention and leave them with a lasting impression.

No one becomes a great public speaker or presenter without practice. And almost everyone can recall a time one of their presentations went badly — that’s a painful part of the learning process.

Whether you’re working within a small creative team or a large organization, public speaking and presentation skills are vital to communicating your ideas. Knowing how to present your vision can help you pitch concepts to clients, present ideas to your team, and develop the confidence to participate in team meetings.

If you have an upcoming presentation on the horizon and feel nervous, that’s normal. Around 15-30% of the general population experience a fear of public speaking . And, unfortunately, social anxiety is on the rise, with a 12% increase in adults over the last 20 years . 

Learning how to give a good presentation can dismantle your fears and break down these barriers, ensuring you’re ready to confidently share your point of view. 

It’s the week before your presentation, and you’re already feeling nervous . Maybe there’ll be an important mentor in the room you need to impress, or you’re looking for an opportunity to show your boss your value. Regardless of your countless past presentations, you still feel nervous. 

Sharing your vision and ideas with any sized group is intimidating. You’re likely worrying about how you’ll perform as a presenter and whether the audience will be interested in what you offer. But nerves aren’t inherently negative — you can actually use this feeling to fuel your preparation.


It’s helpful to identify where your worries are coming from and address your fears. Here are some common concerns when preparing for an upcoming presentation:

Fear of public speaking: When you share your ideas in front of a group, you’re placing yourself in a vulnerable position to be critiqued on your knowledge and communication skills . Maybe you feel confident in your content, but when you think about standing in front of an audience, you feel anxious and your mind goes blank.

It’s also not uncommon to have physical symptoms when presenting . Some people experience nausea and dizziness as the brain releases adrenaline to cope with the potentially stressful situation . Remember to take deep breaths to recenter yourself and be patient, even if you make a mistake.

Losing the audience’s attention: As a presenter, your main focus is to keep your audience engaged. They should feel like they’re learning valuable information or following a story that will improve them in life or business.

Highlight the most exciting pieces of knowledge and ensure you emphasize those points in your presentation. If you feel passionate about your content, it’s more likely that your audience will experience this excitement for themselves and become invested in what you have to say.

Not knowing what content to place on presentation slides: Overloading presentation slides is a fast way to lose your audience’s attention. Your slides should contain only the main talking points and limited text to ensure your audience focuses on what you have to say rather than becoming distracted by the content on your slides.

Discomfort incorporating nonverbal communication: It’s natural to feel stiff and frozen when you’re nervous. But maintaining effective body language helps your audience stay focused on you as you speak and encourages you to relax.

If you struggle to incorporate body language into your presentations, try starting small by making hand gestures toward your slides. If you’re working with a large audience, use different parts of the stage to ensure everyone feels included. 

Each presenter has their own personal brand and style. Some may use humor to break the ice, while others might appeal to the audience’s emotional side through inspiring storytelling. 

Watching online presentations, such as TED talks, is an excellent way to expose yourself to various presentation styles and develop your own. While observing others, you can note how they carry themselves on stage and learn new ways to keep your audience engaged.

Once you’ve addressed what’s causing your fears, it’s time to prepare for a great presentation. Use your past experience as inspiration and aim to outshine your former self by learning from your mistakes and employing new techniques. Here are five presentation tips to help you create a strong presentation and wow your audience:

1. Keep it simple

Simple means something different to everyone.

Before creating your presentation, take note of your intended audience and their knowledge level of your subject. You’ll want your content to be easy for your intended audience to follow.

Say you’re giving a presentation on improving your company’s operational structure. Entry-level workers will likely need a more straightforward overview of the content than C-suite leaders, who have significantly more experience. 

Ask yourself what you want your audience to take away from your presentation and emphasize those important points. Doing this ensures they remember the most vital information rather than less important supporting ideas. Try organizing these concepts into bullet points so viewers can quickly identify critical takeaways.

2. Create a compelling structure

Put yourself in your audience member’s shoes and determine the most compelling way to organize your information. Your presentation should be articulate , cohesive, and logical, and you must be sure to include all necessary supporting evidence to strengthen your main points.

If you give away all of your answers too quickly, your audience could lose interest. And if there isn’t enough supporting information, they could hit a roadblock of confusion. Try developing a compelling story that leads your audience through your thought processes so they can experience the ups and downs alongside you. 

By structuring your presentation to lead up to a final conclusion, you’re more likely to keep listeners’ attention. Once you’ve reached that conclusion, you can offer a Q&A period to put any of their questions or concerns to rest. 

3. Use visual aids

Appealing to various learning styles is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure they absorb your content. Visual aids are necessary for visual learners and make it easier for people to picture your ideas.

Aim to incorporate a mixture of photos, videos, and props to engage your audience and convey your key points. For instance, if you’re giving a presentation on anthropology subject matter, you could show your audience an artifact to help them understand how exciting a discovery must have been. 

If your presentation is long, including a video for your audience to watch is an excellent way to give yourself a break and create new jumping-off points for your speech.

4. Be aware of design techniques and trends

Thanks to cutting-edge technology and tools, you have numerous platforms at your disposal to create a good presentation. But keep in mind that although color, images, and graphics liven things up, they can cause distraction when misused.

  Here are a few standard pointers for incorporating visuals on your slides: 

  • Don’t place blocks of small text on a single slide
  • Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
  • Ensure text stands out against the background color
  • Only use high-resolution photos
  • Maintain a consistent font style and size throughout the presentation
  • Don’t overuse transitions and effects

5. Try the 10-20-30 rule

Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides , last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30. Following this strategy can help you condense your information, eliminate unnecessary ideas, and maintain your audience’s focus more efficiently.

Once you’re confident in creating a memorable presentation, it’s time to learn how to give one. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your audience invested during your talk: 

Tip #1: Tell stories

Sharing an anecdote from your life can improve your credibility and increase your relatability. And when an audience relates to you, they’re more likely to feel connected to who you are as a person and encouraged to give you their full attention, as they would want others to do the same.

Gill Hicks utilized this strategy well when she shared her powerful story, “ I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned .” In her harrowing tale, Hicks highlights the importance of compassion, unconditional love, and helping those in need.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing personal stories, that’s okay. You can use examples from famous individuals or create a fictional account to demonstrate your ideas.

Tip #2: Make eye contact with the audience

Maintaining eye contact is less intimidating than it sounds. In fact, you don’t have to look your audience members directly in their eyes — you can focus on their foreheads or noses if that’s easier.

Try making eye contact with as many people as possible for 3–5 seconds each. This timing ensures you don’t look away too quickly, making the audience member feel unimportant, or linger too long, making them feel uncomfortable.

If you’re presenting to a large group, direct your focus to each part of the room to ensure no section of the audience feels ignored. 


Tip #3: Work on your stage presence

Although your tone and words are the most impactful part of your presentation, recall that body language keeps your audience engaged. Use these tips to master a professional stage presence:

  • Speak with open arms and avoid crossing them
  • Keep a reasonable pace and try not to stand still
  • Use hand gestures to highlight important information

Tip #4: Start strong

Like watching a movie trailer, the first seconds of your talk are critical for capturing your audience’s attention. How you start your speech sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and tells your audience whether or not they should pay attention. Here are some ways to start your presentation to leave a lasting impression:

  • Use a quote from a well-known and likable influential person 
  • Ask a rhetorical question to create intrigue
  • Start with an anecdote to add context to your talk 
  • Spark your audience’s curiosity by involving them in an interactive problem-solving puzzle or riddle

Tip #5: Show your passion

Don’t be afraid of being too enthusiastic. Everyone appreciates a speaker who’s genuinely excited about their field of expertise. 

In “ Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ,” Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the importance of passion in research and delivery. She delivers her presentation excitedly to show the audience how excitement piques interest. 

Tip #6: Plan your delivery

How you decide to deliver your speech will shape your presentation. Will you be preparing a PowerPoint presentation and using a teleprompter? Or are you working within the constraints of the digital world and presenting over Zoom?

The best presentations are conducted by speakers who know their stuff and memorize their content. However, if you find this challenging, try creating notes to use as a safety net in case you lose track.

If you’re presenting online, you can keep notes beside your computer for each slide, highlighting your key points. This ensures you include all the necessary information and follow a logical order.


Tip #7: Practice

Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes progress. There’s no way of preparing for unforeseen circumstances, but thorough practice means you’ve done everything you can to succeed.

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or to a trusted friend or family member. Take any feedback and use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your speech. But remember: who you practice your presentation in front of may differ from your intended audience. Consider their opinions through the lens of them occupying this different position.

Tip #8: Read the room

Whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event or presenting to a small group of clients, knowing how to read the room is vital for keeping your audience happy. Stay flexible and be willing to move on from topics quickly if your listeners are uninterested or displeased with a particular part of your speech.

Tip #9: Breathe

Try taking deep breaths before your presentation to calm your nerves. If you feel rushed, you’re more likely to feel nervous and stumble on your words.

The most important thing to consider when presenting is your audience’s feelings. When you approach your next presentation calmly, you’ll put your audience at ease and encourage them to feel comfortable in your presence.

Tip #10: Provide a call-to-action

When you end your presentation, your audience should feel compelled to take a specific action, whether that’s changing their habits or contacting you for your services.

If you’re presenting to clients, create a handout with key points and contact information so they can get in touch. You should provide your LinkedIn information, email address, and phone number so they have a variety of ways to reach you. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all template for an effective presentation, as your unique audience and subject matter play a role in shaping your speech. As a general rule, though, you should aim to connect with your audience through passion and excitement. Use strong eye contact and body language. Capture their interest through storytelling and their trust through relatability.

Learning how to give a good presentation can feel overwhelming — but remember, practice makes progress. Rehearse your presentation for someone you trust, collect their feedback , and revise. Practicing your presentation skills is helpful for any job, and every challenge is a chance to grow.

Enhance your presentation skills

Discover coaching that transforms your public speaking and boosts your confidence in presenting.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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  • Presentations
  • Presentation Techniques

How to Make Google Slides Presentations Look Good (15 Cool Effects for 2024 + Video)

Brenda Barron

Google Slides makes it easy to create a great looking presentation. It's easy enough to learn how to make a Google Slides presentation. But, if you want your presentation to stand out, you should learn how to make your slides look cool !

Intro How to Make Google Slides Presentations Look Good (15 Cool Effects for 2023)

In this tutorial, we’ll show you 15 cool effects you can add to your Google Slides presentations. These are the secrets of how to highlight on Google Slides the top content in a presentation. Learn how to make your slides look cool to bring emphasis.

We'll also show you some examples of awesome Google Slides effects templates . Each helps you make slides more memorable and more visually appealing. Let's learn more.

Learn About Cool Google Slides Effects for Presentations (Quickstart Video)

Do you want to get a head start in learning how to make your google slides look cool? We've put together this short video to help give you a head start:

how to make a presentation look good

To learn even more about how to make a good slideshow, keep reading.

Jump to content in this section:

Why It’s Important to Make Your Google Slides Look Cool

15 cool effects for better google slides presentations, 5 quick design trends to make google slides look good, where to find google slides templates, 5 gorgeous google slides template examples, more google slides templates, common google slides questions answered (faq), learn more about using google slides.

Well, cool Google Slides ideas really bring your presentations to life.

Using cool Google Slides ideas is the remedy. Be unique and deliberate in your designs. When you do, your presentations will stand out from the crowd. You'll elevate your designs and craft slides that are compelling, memorable, and inspiring. Your message will be remembered long after you're finished sharing. 

With thousands of options, premium templates show you how to get cool themes on Google Slides. In moments, you can add your own content to share. When you do, you'll build truly unique and unforgettable presentations on every topic. You'll wow every audience!

Need help finding cool Google Slides ideas? Turn to our helpful roundup of the best options available today:

how to make a presentation look good

It's easy to see how to make a Google Slide look good with our design tips. You can add cool effects to Google Slides to make designs more appealing and memorable. 

Below, we’ll cover 15 cool and popular tips and tricks to use on Google Slides. They use tools you may not know about to really bring your slides to life. Anyone can learn how to make a cute Google Slides design once they know the insider secrets.

In this section, we'll work with the Hasta Presentation theme . It's one of the top options for design on Envato Elements , an all-you-can-download service for creatives. Think of pre-built templates as your shortcut of how to highlight in Google Slides your best content.

Tips and Tricks on Google Slides

When you use templates like Hasta, you have a major head start on how to make Google Slides look good. Most of the work is already done for you - you just update the placeholders.

Now, let's learn how to make a Google Slides presentation! You'll see the tips of how to highlight on Google Slides your skill as a presenter. Follow these tips for how to make a good slideshow and you're on your way.

1. Add Zoom Effects to Emphasize Content

When you’re presenting, it’s often useful to emphasize a specific piece of content. Or you may want to focus on only one part of a slide at once.

But doing this with zoom animations can get tricky. You might only succeed in distracting your audience and losing part of your message.

How to get cool themes on Google Slides

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. It works whenever you’re using Slideshow Mode to share slides in full screen. To add emphasis, you can use your cursor to zoom in and out.

Using a touchpad? The process is just the same as zooming in on your smartphone. This way, you can dynamically present and steer focus exactly where you want it.  

Bringing focus to a specific part of a presentation is key in how to make a good slideshow. It draws the audience's focus to what matters most.

2. Animate Objects

If you want to emphasize an object or image on your slide, add animations to that object. To add animations, start by clicking on the object you wish to animate.

How to make a good Slideshow

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.

3. Add Music

How to make a cute Google Slides

Once you’ve clicked on the Audio option, a window pops 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.

4. Use a Professional Google Slides Theme

Always use a professional Google Slide theme. A professional template will do wonders for your presentation design.

Slide sorter how to make a good slideshow

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Variety of slide designs. Professionally designed templates come with many slides to present information about your company. You can present your services, share important statistics about your company, and more.
  • Design elements. Professionally designed themes have all the design elements in place. So, all you've got to do is to customize them with your presentation text and brand colors and fonts. This will help keep your presentation on brand, so your slides look cohesive. 
  • Extra design elements. Many premium Google Slides themes include icons and elements such as graphs, maps, and image placeholders. These all make customizing your presentation a breeze. Want to add a chart to showcase your company’s financial growth? How about a map that shows a global distribution of your clients and customers? With a professional template, these are quite easy to do. 

Remember, learning how to get cool themes on Google Slides is easier with premium templates. There are some free Google Slides templates out there, but most have limited features.  Choosing a professional and premium Google Slides template is the best option.

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

You’ve probably heard that you should keep the text to a minimum. This helps 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. 

How to make a good slideshow font

Clicking on a font name adds 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:

  • Select the text where you want to apply the drop shadow effect. 
  • Click Format Options and check the box next to Drop Shadow.  
  • Adjust the settings for your drop shadow by dragging the slides for the transparency, blur, angle, and distance.

How to make a good slideshow text

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

6. Try Neon Text Effects for Striking Titles

Neon lights: they’re built to grab attention. Why not use these same effects in your Google Slides work? With neon titles, you can craft headlines and titles that audiences simply can’t miss. 

Find a slide where you want to place a neon title effect. Then, go to Insert > Word Art . In the dialogue box that pops up, type in your title text. Press Enter when you’re finished. When you do, you’ll see the headline text appear on your slide. Now, let’s give it a neon effect.

Neon cool Google Slides ideas

To do this, with the Word Art text box selected, go to the Fill Color menu. From it, choose the Gradient tab. These are 3D, neon color gradient effects for text.

Select a shade that you like and click to apply it. That’s all it takes! In moments, you’ve added neon text titles of your own. These are cool Google Slides ideas that you’ll use every day!  

7. 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 quickly. 

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.

Image Masks on Google Slides shape

To use shape masks, follow these instructions:

  • Click on the image that you want to apply the shape mask to. 
  • Locate the crop tool on the toolbar. If the image is too big, adjust the size of your image first. 
  • Click the caret symbol next to the crop tool and select a shape from the drop down. In this example, I’ve chosen the oval shape. You can also get creative and apply a bevel shape. This adds a more sophisticated look and to make your photo appear more as a portrait. 

Apply this effect to make your slides more interesting. Or use them to make your portfolio pieces stand out.   

8. Reflect the Images

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.

How to highlight in Google Slides

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

  • Decide which image you want to apply the reflect effect to. Then, click the image to select it. 
  • Click the Format Options. Tick the box next to the Reflection option.
  • Adjust the transparency, distance, and size using the sliders. 

Consider using this effect only on the title slide. This helps you avoid making your presentation look amateurish. 

9. 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. 

How to make a good slideshow transition

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

  • Click on the slide that you want to apply the transition to. 
  • Click the Transition option on the top toolbar. 
  • A sidebar appears with all the options for an existing transition. Now add or change the transition options. 
  • You can change the type of transition. You can also adjust how fast or how slow the transition is. 
  • Another option is to adjust which objects are animated and define the animation trigger. 
  • Choose whether the transition should apply to all slides. It's useful if you want the same animation throughout your presentation. 
  • When you’re done customizing or adding the transition, play it to see how it'll look. Then adjust as necessary. 

You can animate both images and text. 

10. 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.

How to make a cute Google Slides GIF

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.

11. Create Infographics to Illustrate Ideas

Infographics are powerful visuals, now in demand with audiences everywhere. In essence, they combine information and graphics to help you illustrate data, ideas, and concepts. Part of how to make a good slideshow is thinking of new ways to share these. Infographics help you do it.

Many premium templates have infographic layouts already built in. But you can also add infographics of your own to any slide. For a quick example, go to Insert > Diagram in Google Slides. 

Cool Google Slides ideas

You'll see a list of options, spanning many categories of infographic. If you click on Hierarchy , for example, you'll see a dynamic chart appear on your slide! To it you can quickly add your own details, customize the colors, fonts, and more. Audiences always enjoy these visuals, and they're powerfully easy to make.

12. Embed a Video

How to make a good slideshow 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.

How to make a cute Google Slides 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.

13. 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.

How to make a good slideshow narration

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.

14. Use an Image Background

Image backgrounds are a great way to make Google Slides look cool. They replace the solid backdrops most audiences are used to seeing. You can use any photo from your collection as a slide background in Google Slides.

To do this, work on a slide where you want to add the image. Then, from the menu bar, click Background . On the Background menu, select Choose Image. On the Upload tab, you can then browse to and select a photo. 

How to make a good slideshow

When you click Upload , you’ll see the image appear as your slide background!

Keep in mind: you may need to adjust things like font colors after you use an image background. This helps you be sure that content always stays visible and readable. 

15. Work With Custom Icons

Need an extra way to add cool emphasis to your Google Slides? This is a key part of presenting. Knowing how to get cool themes on Google Slides means thinking differently. And custom icons and shapes are an ideal way to do just that.

Tired of calling out key points with old, boring bullet points and numbers? Most of us are, and audiences get bored with this, too! Why not use custom, unique icons that instantly stand out on the page? Google Slides includes many of these, found on the Insert > Shape menu.

How to make a Google Slideshow icon

If you want even more great icon options, Envato Elements once again has you covered. As a subscriber, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to thousands of custom icon sets . Download your favorites today and bring them to your next Google Slides presentation!

Want to know how to make your Google Slides presentation better?  Using a premium template from Envato Elements is the best way! Here are some presentation design trends to get you started:

1. Geometric Shapes

Want a tip of how to make your slides look cool? Let's explore new 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 designs even have 3D shapes and animation. Geometric shape design work with any presentation topic. Think of it as a kickstart of how to make a good slideshow with interesting designs.

2. Minimalism

Minimalism has been a trend for a long time, and this trend won’t be going anywhere for a long time. Learning how to get cool themes on Google Slides means embodying the "less is more" mindset.

Think about it: when you give your audience less to focus on, you'll get more attention on your key points. Minimalism is how to highlight in Google Slides your top content.

This trend is popular because it’s hard to create a messy and unprofessional presentation if you use a minimal design. Think of it as a shortcut of how to make your Google Slides look cool.

And when it comes to being minimalistic with content, you can add information-rich QR Codes to your Google Slides to ensure only essential points get highlighted, and all the detailed knowledge is shared through QR Codes. These QR Codes can be generated using Uniquode's QR Code Generator . 

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.

As you learn how to decorate Google Slides, borrow inspiration from the outdoors. You might be surprised that it's a common source of inspiration for cool Google Slides ideas.

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. They add enough color, but don't overwhelm your slides. Cool Google Slides ideas often leverage pastel color schemes.

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

5. Dark Backgrounds

Dark backgrounds are a new trend that's become popular because of the dark mode on technology. Get inspired by those interfaces as you learn how to make your Google Slides look cool.

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.

You've begun to learn how to make slides look good. As you've seen, starting with a template helps you see how to make a good slideshow. Cool Google Slides ideas take any template to the next level.

Wondering how to get cool themes on Google Slides? You’re probably wondering where to find Google Slides templates. The good news is that there are thousands of great Google Slides templates available on Envato Elements:

Find Google Slides Templates

Envato Elements has thousands of Google Slide decorations templates . Download an unlimited number of templates, all for one low monthly price. Many of the templates have designs that serve as cool Google Slides ideas.

Extra assets are another shortcut of how to make your slides look cool. Besides Google Slides templates, you'll also enjoy millions of other design assets, like:

  • web mockups
  • social media templates
  • stock photos

Customize these templates to your liking and use them in an unlimited number of projects. You can learn more about how to get cool themes on Google Slides with this guide:

how to make a presentation look good

Envato Elements is the perfect choice if you need design assets and templates on a regular basis. As you can see, it's the top value for creatives in 2024. When you think of how to make a good slideshow, always make Elements your very first stop!

Now that you know where to find cool Google Slides templates, let’s look at a few examples. Below, you’ll find best-selling Google Slides templates from Envato Elements:

1. 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. Netto - Architecture Google Slides Template

Netto - Architecture Google Slides Template

Netto is a top choice if you need to make a presentation for an architecture or construction job. The template has a clean and professional design. Add images in seconds, thanks to image placeholders, and use the icons for extra visual appeal. The template is designed in full HD and includes 100 slides.

3. 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. Fenera - Multipurpose Google Slides Template

Fenera how to make a cute Google Slides

With Fenera, you’ll unlock incredible flexibility. The template has over 150 slides inside, spread across 5 color themes. It includes sleek infographics and data visuals that are easy to edit. Plus, the graphics are a breeze to adjust to fit your project needs. It’s how to highlight in Google Slides key details for your audience.

5. The Clean Presentation Template

Clean how to highlight in Google Slides

Clean is an elegant, minimal template for 2024. It includes over 20 slides in widescreen layouts. Think of this one if you need to know how to highlight in Google Slides topics and ideas. Don't forget to make full use of the resizable graphics and stylish design features.

For more Google Slides templates, check out the articles below. They feature various Google Slides themes for all kinds of presentations:

how to make a presentation look good

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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a presentation look good

Google Slides is easy to use! Learning how to make a good slideshow is easy when you have tips to assist.

Slides includes many amazing features to help build 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 a presentation look good

Create Awesome Google Slides Presentations With Cool Effects Today

You just learned how to make a cute Google Slides presentation! Plus, you saw how to get cool themes on Google Slides. Always be sure to add cool effects to Google Slides presentations. It's really a great way to make them even more visually appealing. 

Get started today by finding a perfect template for Google Slides  on Envato Elements. Take advantage of everything this marketplace has to offer. Then, start creating! You'll be amazed at what you can build in moments.

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Andrew Childress and Sarah Joy . A video has been added by Andrew Childress . 

Brenda Barron

100+ Presentation Topics for Inspiration (+ Free Templates)

100+ Presentation Topics for Inspiration - Fotor Blog

Looking for some fresh inspiration for your next presentation? Look no further! In this article, we've compiled a comprehensive list of over 100 presentation topics that are sure to engage your audience.

Whether you're looking for something to educate, entertain, or spark inspiration, we've it all covered. Plus, we've included free, customizable presentation templates. You can easily customize them online to create a visually stunning slideshow.

Let’s dive in and elevate your presentations to new heights!

Table of Content

How to Choose a Good Presentation Topic?

Presentation topics for fun, general topics for presentation, 5-minute presentation topics, easy presentation topics for kids, presentation topics for high school students, presentation topics for college students, presentation topics for work, presentation topics about self-development, the bottom line.

Choosing the right topic is the first step in delivering an excellent presentation. Here are some tips to help you select a good presentation topic.

1. Define the goal of your presentation

Think about the goal of your presentation. Are you aiming to share your knowledge or skill, educate your audience on a new concept, or simply share a fun and light-hearted talk? Make sure to choose a topic that aligns with your purpose.

2. Understand your audience

Who are you presenting to? Classmates, colleagues, industry professionals, or a general audience? Make sure your presentation topic is relevant to their interests, knowledge level, and expectations. Consider the location too! A casual gathering allows for more flexibility than a formal conference.

3. Brainstorm and research

Spark some ideas! Brainstorm ideas that you are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about. Your passion will make the presentation more engaging. Write down a list of potential presentation topics that both interest you and your audience.

4. Test Your Topic

Share your presentation topic with your trusted friends, teachers, or colleagues. Get feedback on its clarity, relevance, and potential interest. Be open to refining your topic based on feedback or further research.

5. Prepare and Practice

Develop a clear and logical outline for your presentation. Highlight key points, supporting evidence, and a compelling introduction and conclusion. Remember, practice makes perfect. Rehearse your presentation to ensure smooth delivery and maximum impact.

Presentations don't have to be stuffy! Spice up your next gathering with a lighthearted presentation. Use these funny presentation topics to inject a dose of laughter.

  • The 10 Most Pointless Inventions Ever Created : Share hilarious product failures and share their stories, leaving your audience wondering "Who came up with this?"
  • The Do's and Don'ts of Workplace Emojis : Share some funny stories about using Emojis in business emails. Guide your audience on the proper use of emojis in the workplace.
  • The Art of Procrastination : Share relatable stories of procrastination to lighten the mood and spark laughter.
  • Dad Jokes (or Mom Jokes) : Share fun stories of your family members, encouraging lighthearted participation and shared groans.
  • The Science Behind Why Cats are Better Coworkers Than Humans : Explore the humorous reasons (and surprisingly scientific) why cats make great work companions. Compare feline coworkers to human ones in a lighthearted way.
  • Optical Illusions: Tricking Your Mind and Eyes : Showcase mind-blowing optical illusions. Explain the science behind how these visual tricks work in an engaging way.
  • The Funniest Laws Around the World : Provide examples of funny regulations from around the world and their origins.
  • The Unexpected Perks of Becoming a Professional Pillow Tester : Or pet food tester, lego builder, mermaid, etc. Choose an unconventional career and delve into the funny behind-the-scenes stories about these unusual jobs.
  • Adulting: Nailed It... (Mostly) : Delve into the relatable everyday challenges of adult life. Make your audience laugh and see themselves in the story.
  • Hilarious Travel Experience : Share entertaining stories from your travels.
  • Phobias You Won't Believe Exist : Introduce some truly strange phobias that people actually have. Let your audience be both amused and amazed.
  • Funny Cultural Misunderstandings: Explore the humor in cultural misunderstandings! Share some amusing or embarrassing mix-ups you've had with foreign friends.
  • History's Funniest Moments : Uncover some absurd and unbelievable events in history that seem too strange to be true.
  • Hilarious Fashion Trends from the Past : Take a look at fashion fads from previous decades. Showcase some outlandish and hilarious trends.
  • Weird Traditions from Around the World : Present some of the most unusual and quirky customs practiced in different cultures.
  • The Weirdest Foods Eaten Around the World : Share some bizarre and exotic foods from different cultures. Discuss the cultural significance of these foods and their unique flavors, all while keeping the tone light and humorous.

Free, editable ppt presentation templates

Click to customize this presentation template online for free 

Feeling stuck with presentation ideas? A range of general presentation topics that can be adapted to any audience and interest. Feel free to pick one that ignites your passion, and prepare to wow your audience.

  • Data-driven decisions: How to use data analytics to improve decision-making
  • 10-minute morning routine: How to start a more productive day
  • Friend or foe: Willai take your job?
  • The minimalist lifestyle: Living more with less
  • Healthy eating hacks for busy bees
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Techniques for stress reduction
  • Be open and celebrate cultural diversity
  • Language learning hacks: Quick strategies to accelerate language learning
  • Saving seas, preserving life
  • From procrastination to progress: Practical strategies to get things done
  • Never stop learning: Learning a new skill at any age

Professional presentation templates

A compelling 5-minute presentation can be just as impactful as a longer one. These 5-minute presentation topics offer a variety of options to engage your audience in a short timeframe. Have your audience hooked from start to finish, and deliver an unforgettable talk!

  • Do schools kill creativity
  • Freelance freedom: How to build a career on your own terms
  • Advocating for a 4-day work week: Benefits and challenges
  • 5 Tips to kickstart an honest conversation at work
  • The hidden costs of our fast-paced world
  • Help me, help you: How to ask for help and get a “yes”
  • Is your partner ‘the one’? Why that’s the wrong question
  • Magic and wonder in the age of AI
  • How to learn something fast
  • Fuel your day: Simple and nutritious meal recipes
  • How to maintain work-life balance
  • 5-minute mindfulness practice: How to find calm in the chaos
  • Time management hacks for busy lives
  • The power of saying no: Protecting your time and energy

Free presentation templates on Fotor

Making presentations can be a great way to develop communication skills, and build confidence for kids. Here are some engaging and age-appropriate simple presentation topics that will spark a child's curiosity and encourage them to share their knowledge. Empower your little ones to become confident presenters!

  • Why reading is fun: My favorite book
  • Fun facts about my favorite season
  • How plants grow: From seed to plant
  • The importance of brushing your teeth
  • My awesome family: Who we are and what we love
  • The life cycle of a butterfly
  • How to take care of a pet (e.g., dog, cat, fish)
  • Space explorers: A tour of our solar system
  • Explore different types of dinosaurs
  • The importance of friendship
  • The history of my favorite holiday
  • How to make new pals
  • The different parts of a flower and their functions
  • A fun day at the park: What to do and see
  • How to make a simple birdhouse
  • My favorite outdoor adventure
  • Why rainbows appear after the rain
  • How a tornado forms: The science behind storms

Customizable presentation templates for kids

High school is a time of exploration and discovery. Here is a diverse range of good presentation topics for students. From science and history to social issues and more. Feel free to pick a topic that resonates with you. Make an engaging and informative presentation to impress your classmates and teachers.

  • Trending social media challenges
  • The psychology of color: How colors our emotions and behavior
  • Climate change: Local impacts and what students can do
  • Future careers: What jobs will exist in 2050?
  • The science behind video games
  • Data privacy: How to stay secure in a digital world
  • Public speaking: Tips for overcoming stage fright
  • Artificial intelligence: How AI is changing our everyday life
  • Cultural diversity: Celebrating our differences
  • Fast fashion: The environmental cost of fashion
  • The psychology of procrastination: Why we delay and how to conquer it?
  • Renewable energy solutions: Solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear
  • Vrtual influencers: The rise of the digital stars

Aesthetic slide templates

College presentations offer a chance to showcase your academic passions and research skills. This section provides a rich resource of presentation ideas. Whether you're diving into a captivating research project or leading a group discussion, a well-crafted presentation can showcase your knowledge and leave a lasting impression on professors and peers. Here are some unique topics for presentation in college.

  • The latest discoveries in [your field of study]
  • The influencer effect: How social media influencers change consumer behavior
  • The evolution of language: How words and phrases change over time
  • The global refugee crisis: Causes, consequences, and potential solutions
  • Sustainable living: Practical tips for reducing your carbon footprint
  • Hip-Hop: From the streets to the mainstream
  • Generative AI: Theory, applications, and challenges
  • Big data analytics: Challenges and opportunities
  • Personal branding in the digital age
  • The sharing economy: Benefits and challenges
  • The power of music: Explore music therapy for mood, memory, and overall wellness
  • Storytelling for success: How storytelling can power up business
  • How to travel on a student budget: Explore the world and expand your horizons
  • The debate on gun control in the United States
  • Space exploration: The future of humans beyond Earth

Presentation templates for college students

Crafting a work presentation can feel daunting. Worry not! We curate a diverse range of ideas suitable for everyone in the workplace, from the seasoned leader to the eager new hire. These ppt topics will help you stand out in the conference room and engage your colleagues. Use presentations to effectively communicate your ideas, demonstrate your expertise, and leave a lasting impression.

  • Time management hacks for increased productivity
  • Talking about anxiety at work: Why it’s important
  • Effective communication skills for teamwork
  • The importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Strategies for conflict resolution and mediation
  • Work-life harmony: How to achieve a healthy balance
  • Dream big, do More: Why businesses need a dreamer’s magic and a doer’s realism
  • Project management best practices
  • The role of emotional intelligence in leadership
  • Thinking Outside the Box: Innovative problem-solving techniques
  • The impact of technology on modern workplaces
  • Career development and continuing education
  • How to leverage social media for brand growth
  • Remote work: Challenges and opportunities
  • Build your network: Effective networking skills for career success
  • Customer service excellence: Strategies for success
  • Agile methodologies in project management
  • Effective presentation skills: Captivating your audience
  • The power of feedback: Giving and receiving constructive criticism
  • Adapting to market changes: Strategies for business resilience
  • The role of corporate social responsibility in modern business

Presentation templates for work

Investing in yourself is a lifelong journey. Explore some presentation topics that can empower individuals to overcome challenges and inspire personal growth. From the power of positive thinking to effective time management strategies, our presentation topics cover a diverse range of areas. Get ready to spark meaningful conversations and ignite a journey of self-discovery.

  • The power of positive thinking: From self-doubt to self-belief
  • Mindfulness & meditation: Your toolkit for inner peace
  • Self-confidence: Unlock your inner strength
  • How to overcome procrastination
  • Gratitude: The secret weapon for happiness
  • The benefits of journaling
  • Effective strategies for stress management
  • Building bridges, not walls: Communication skills for healthy relationships
  • The art of letting go: How to release negative emotions and move forward
  • Bounce back like a boss: Building resilience in the face of failure
  • How to stay focused and motivated
  • The importance of self-belief: How confidence can shape your success
  • How to build deeper connections and relationships

Cute presentation templates

Say goodbye to the struggle of coming up with a perfect presentation topic. Here are over 100 presentation topics to spark your creativity. Remember, this is just a starting point. Get creative and experiment with different ideas to craft a perfect presentation.

Thanks for reading. Hope this article helps you!

how to make a presentation look good

How To Make Google Slides Look Good [Complete 2024 Guide]

  • Last updated January 2, 2024

Making a standard presentation is easy, but knowing how to make Google Slides look good is an entirely different challenge. In my guide, I will show you how to make your Google Slides better , both functionally and aesthetically.

Keep reading to learn how to take your Google Slides presentation from good to great !

Table of Contents

1. Choose a Google Slides Theme

How to make Google Slides look good—theme slide

Themes ensure your presentation has visually consistent colors, fonts, sizes, and layouts. This goes a long way toward providing a professional and polished appearance, and it’s much easier for the audience to follow along.

  • Choose a theme that aligns with the tone and purpose of your presentation.
  • Ensure slides have a consistent set of colors, fonts, and layouts.
  • Select a visually appealing color scheme and legible font combination.

While you can handpick background color palettes, typefaces, and slide layouts, many of the best Google Slides templates are built into the program! In a blank presentation, you’ll find them on the right-hand side.

How to make Google Slides look good—blank presentation

Creating Your Own Google Slides Theme

It’s fairly straightforward to create your theme in Slides. Add whatever background color, images, shapes, and page formatting you prefer. Right-click your chosen slide and select “ Add to theme .”

Adding a personalized theme in Google Slides

Related : Don’t want to make one from scratch? I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite Google Slides templates  at the bottom of this article.

How To Import a Theme to Google Slides

  • Create a new presentation or open an existing one.

How to import themes to Google Slides—Where to find Themes tool

Note : Importing a theme into your presentation will impact all of your slides.  To revert to the previous version, use the “ Undo ” button by pressing the keyboard shortcut  Ctrl + Z  (on Windows) or use  Command + Z  (on Mac).

2. Choosing Color Schemes in Slides

A color scheme is one of the first things your audience will see, so it’s one of the most critical elements. Google Slides offers plenty of color options, including gradients  (which can be used for almost all the elements, including background, font, and shapes).

Use color theory principles  (like complementary colors) to create combinations that stand out for the right reason. Color psychology is also a great way to express emotions or convey messages purposefully:

  • Warm colors (e.g., red, orange, yellow) can express warmth, energy, or even a warning.
  • Cool colors (e.g., blue, green, purple) can represent relaxation, sophistication, or security.

Use Color to Make Sections Stand Out

Strategically use color to highlight essential elements (e.g., headings, critical data). To guide the audience’s attention:

  • Use vibrant shades that contrast the color scheme.
  • Assign specific colors to categories, sections, and team members.

Be Mindful of Contrast

Check that the text and background colors have enough contrast for better reading. The most readable combination is dark text on a light backdrop (or vice versa). In charts and graphs, use color to improve focus and understanding.

Note :  Avoid colors that can blend together or present difficulties for people with color blindness .

3. Choosing Text and Fonts

Your chosen font portrays information and dramatically improves your presentation’s overall aesthetic. If you’re trying to make a cool presentation on Google Slides, you’ve got a lot to consider!

Use Clear, Legible, and Easy-to-Read Fonts

Avoid overly decorative or ornate fonts because they can hinder readability (especially when projected on a larger screen). Stick to widely available and compatible fonts across devices like Arial, Georgia, or Open Sans.

Ensure Font Sizes, Weights, and Styles Stand out

Headings should stand out; supporting text should be smaller (or less emphasized). This is done to guide the audience’s attention and improve readability.

Note : While they can add visual interest, excessive use of font styles can be distracting and more challenging to read.

Complement Font Pairings

Select a combination of fonts  that contrast each other and create visual interest. Consider using online resources or font pairing tools for inspiration. We recommend sticking to a maximum of two to three fonts to prevent visual chaos.

Use Fonts That Align with Branding Guidelines

If your website uses a specific font and color scheme, incorporate them into your presentations to support the organization’s visual identity.

Align Text and Spacing

Align text and leave enough white space for a clean, organized look.

4. How to Add Word Art to Google Slides:

  • Select “ Insert ” > “ Word Art ” from the drop-down menu.

Where is Word Art in Google Slides

  • Type your text, then press the “ Enter ” key on your keyboard.

How to add multiple lines of text in Word Art

There you have it! Your Word Art will now appear on your selected slide.

How to insert Word Art in Google Slides

Note: If you want to edit the font or color, click the Word Art, and a formatting box will pop up.

Word Art formatting box

5. How To Add Google Slides Transitions

You can ensure seamless transitions from slide to slide with a couple of clicks:

Google Slides transitions—How to add transitions

  • If you want to apply the selected transition to all slides in your presentation, click “ Apply to All Slides .”
  • Any transitions applied to skipped slides won’t play during the preview.
  • Click the “ Stop ” button when you’re finished.

How to apply a transition to all slides on Google Slides

Tip : You can configure your presentation to play automatically  using Google Slides’ automatic transitions. This removes the need to press the spacebar or click on the screen to trigger the next slide.

How Many Transitions Are Available in Google Slides?

At the time of writing, Google Slides offers seven built-in transitions . There is currently no option to add or download additional transitions.

6. How To Add Animations on Google Slides

Enhance the visual appeal of your slideshow by incorporating animations (i.e., effects that make elements move). They can be applied to almost every object, from images to tables to bullet points. Follow the steps below to add animations to your slides:

How to animate individual objects on Google Slides

  • You’ll notice that your selected object’s “ Animation Type ” is set to “ Appear .”

How to set animations for individual objects

  • Fade in : This transition introduces the object by gradually fading it in.

A sample of the fade in animation in Google Slides

  • Fly in from left/right or top/bottom : The object flies into the slide from one side.

A sample of the fly in animation in Google Slides

  • Zoom in : The object starts small and slowly increases in size.

Under “ Animation Type ,” you’ll see the “ Start Condition ” drop-down. Open it to select whether the animation should play upon clicking a slide, with the previous animation, or after the previous animation.

How to set the start condition of an animation

Note: The start conditions “With Previous” and “After Previous”  will only work if there is another animated object immediately before your selected object .

How to adjust the speed of animations

  • Click on the “ Play ” button to preview your animation(s).
  • Click the “ Stop ” button to end the preview and continue working on your slideshow.

Related : Google Slides vs. PowerPoint: Which Program Is Better?

Tips for Using Transitions & Animations

We recommend using these effects sparingly to emphasize essential elements or facilitate the flow of information. Avoid using them solely for decorative purposes.

Pick Subtle and Smooth Transitions

Flashy or distracting effects can overshadow your content. Your goal is to provide a seamless flow between slides. Try a simple fade or slide transition.

Adjust the Timing and Duration

Transitions shouldn’t be too fast or slow. Aim for a natural pace that allows the audience to follow along comfortably.

Highlight Specific Elements Within a Slide

Selectively animating text, images, or charts can emphasize critical points (or reveal information) in a controlled manner. Avoid excessive animation that appears gimmicky or distracting.

Be Consistent

Choose a specific transition style or animation effect — then stick to it. This will help you avoid distractions and inconsistencies.

7. Using Images and Videos

Images and videos on a Google slide

Adding images and videos to slides can greatly enhance visual appeal and engage your audience. Here are some points to consider when choosing an image:

  • Choose images that are relevant to your content.
  • Use high-quality images that are clear, crisp, and well-composed.
  • Use images that evoke emotions or illustrate concepts.
  • Strike a balance between text and images on your slides.
  • Consider using images as slide backgrounds.
  • Adjust transparency or apply overlays to maintain readability.
  • Experiment with image formatting options (e.g., cropping, resizing, transparency, brightness).

8. How To Include Infographics in Google Slides

Infographics on a Google Slide

Infographics in a presentation can communicate complex information effectively. Use the drawing feature in Google Slides to make attractive and informative infographics. Keep these points in mind when using infographics:

  • Keep your infographics clean and basic.
  • Choose from bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, timelines, flowcharts, maps, and diagrams.
  • Avoid overwhelming your audience: Use limited details, succinct labeling, and clear graphics.
  • Use custom colors, typefaces, and visual styles to reflect your presentation or company identity.
  • Highlight the most significant facts or data.
  • Make sure infographic details are simple to read and understand.

How Can Poor Design Affect A Presentation?

Your presentation could be significantly impacted if you haven’t learned how to make Google Slides look professional. Here’s why:

Lack of Clarity

Poor aesthetics often make it more difficult for the audience to grasp — or focus on — details. Avoid cluttered or crowded presentations, imprecise typefaces, and insufficient color contrast. Key points might be missed, or the audience may get distracted.


A disorganized presentation might give the appearance of being unprofessional, affecting the presenter’s credibility.

Poor Readability

Small fonts, poor contrast, and ornamental typefaces can strain the eyes and make it difficult to follow a presentation.

Lack of Visual Appeal

A presentation with a dull or unappealing design may fail to catch attention (and make the material less memorable).

9. A Few of My Favorite Google Slides Templates

If you’re not interested in using stock templates (let alone creating your own), I’ve got you covered with these slick presentations:

Ganymede Template

Ganymede—Dark-colored title slide in a presentation template

The Ganymede template offers a modern style with bold text for extra impact. Whether you aim to make a lasting impression with your pitch deck — or simply want to use colors that align with your brand — this template suits your needs.

Access Template

Dynamic Business Template

Green-and-white title slide in a presentation template

An effective project management report is characterized by clarity, and your color scheme plays a significant role. I love the streamlined theme of this Google Slides template and appreciate that a blank timeline chart, roadmap diagram, and funnel are included for incredible customization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make google slides vertical.

You can make Google Slides vertical  by following simple steps:

  • Open a new or existing presentation.
  • Click the “ File ” button to open a drop-down menu.
  • Click the “ Page setup ” option.
  • Select the “ Custom ” option and set your desired size (width and height)
  • Hit “ Apply ” to save the changes.

Can You Do Hanging Indent in Google Slides?

Yes. There are three methods to do hanging indent in Google Slides:

  • The ruler (blur triangle) along the top to position your hanging indent.
  • The keyboard Tab key for quick indentation adjustments.
  • Select “ Text Fitting ”> “ Indention ” > “ Hanging ” > “ First line indent ” > “ Hanging indent ” to the desired amount.

Are There More Google Slides Templates?

Yes. There are many free Google Slides templates out there. Here are ten additional templates  for you to use.

Bottom Line

Any presentation’s goal is to keep the audience’s attention, and you can do that with a balance between aesthetics and practicality.

I hope I’ve helped you learn how to make your Google Slides look good, express your message, and captivate your audience. If you need more assistance, Spreadsheet Point’s premium Google Slides templates  can take the pressure off you. When you use the code SSP, you’ll get 50% off !

Get Premium Templates

  • How To Download Google Slides [Step-by-Step Guide]
  • How To Add Bitmoji to Google Slides
  • How To Make Google Slides Play Automatically

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how to make a presentation look good

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Organization > How to turn your paper into a presentation

How to turn your paper into a presentation

To make your information and findings more accessible, you might need to transform an academic or white paper into a slideshow presentation. Whether you’re a student presenting your research, a professional conveying a proposal, or someone simply looking to share ideas, turning a paper into a presentation is much easier than it seems. See how you can seamlessly transition from written content to a captivating presentation.

Man giving a virtual presentation

Why turn your paper into a presentation?

How can you turn pages of dense text into an easily digestible PowerPoint ? By knowing your audience and the key points of your work, you can easily create a compelling way to convey your research and findings.

Academic and corporate papers are dense, usually written in jargon, and might be dozens of pages long—which can be a detriment in conveying your information, research, and findings to a widespread audience. If you need to make a presentation in front of a class or company meeting, it can be effective to distill your work into slides that merely touch upon the key points onscreen, while giving you enough room to further delve into detail before moving on to the next slide. See more ways you can create successful presentations .

Tell your story with captivating presentations Banner

Tell your story with captivating presentations

Powerpoint empowers you to develop well-designed content across all your devices

Tips for turning your paper into a presentation

  • Understand your audience: Whether the people you’re presenting to come from a technical background, or you’re introducing a new subject to an audience that might be unfamiliar with your topic, knowing who you are speaking to will guide your content choices, tone, and overall approach to your presentation.
  • Know what to read aloud: The key difference between a paper and a presentation is that you’ll be reading the latter out loud, usually in a natural and conversational tone. This means that you’ll need to pay attention to what you need to say out loud, which can entail rewriting major passages, condensing text into talking points, and eliminating jargon so you won’t stumble over your words.
  • Summarize key points : Understanding the gist and overall point of each section of your paper is key to knowing how to divide your paper into different slides. Start with the headers for each section of your paper, which is an easy shortcut to summarizing your topics per slide.
  • Develop a structure: A paper and a presentation have different ways of conveying information, and a presentation needs to capture attention in more direct ways—especially if your audience is unfamiliar with your subject. Begin with an introduction that grabs your audience’s attention, followed by the main body containing your key points, and conclude with a summary or call to action.
  • Use speaker notes: In PowerPoint, you can add speaker notes to the bottom of a slide that can help you remember what you need to cover. These will show up on your device or monitor, but they won’t appear to your audience. Therefore, they can be immensely helpful to store talking points that you might otherwise forget. You can put elements of your paper in here that might be too unwieldy to mention out loud here, which can also demonstrate how well-versed in the subject you are.
  • Add visuals and interactive elements: One of the most effective ways to captivate your audience is through compelling visuals. Create slides that complement your key points with images, graphs, and charts. These might be taken from your paper itself, or you can take the chance to reinterpret your data into graphs that can illustrate your point more effectively than in your text.
  • Seek feedback: Unlike turning in a paper, when you deliver a presentation, you have the unique opportunity to seek feedback from your peers and audience. Take constructive criticism with valuable insights that can generate feedback to iterate and refine your presentations.

Turning a paper into a presentation allows you to summarize key points, add visuals that enhance your work, and allow you to reach a wider audience. Presenting takes a wide variety of skills, so it’s worth checking out presentation tips on how to handle public speaking , design captivating presentations , or use common guidelines to create a compelling presenting session .

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Key takeaways from Biden’s news conference: Insistence on staying in the race and flubbed names

President Joe Biden held a news conference Thursday evening, the key event in a monumental week for his campaign as he fends off calls for him to step aside as the party’s presumptive nominee. His big moment comes on the last day of the NATO summit. (AP Video Production by Ao Gao)


President Joe Biden sounded a defiant tone at a news conference Thursday evening, the key event in a monumental week for his campaign as he fends off calls for him to step aside as the party’s presumptive nominee.


In announcing a compact that would bring together NATO countries to support Ukraine, President Joe Biden referred to the nation’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “President Putin.”


President Joe Biden’s news conference is projected onto a screen inside the media center on the final day of the NATO Summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference Thursday July 11, 2024, on the final day of the NATO summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Joe Biden clears his throat as he speaks at a news conference Thursday July 11, 2024, on the final day of the NATO summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden faced a test Thursday that he had avoided so far this year — a solo news conference with questions from the White House press corps.

The news conference was meant to reassure a disheartened group of Democratic lawmakers, allies and persuadable voters in this year’s election that Biden still has the strength and stamina to be president. Biden has tried to defend his feeble and tongue-tied performance in the June 27 debate against Republican Donald Trump as an outlier rather than evidence that at 81 he lacks the vigor and commanding presence that the public expects from the commander in chief.

He made at least two notable flubs, referring at an event beforehand to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “President Putin” and then calling Kamala Harris “Vice President Trump” when asked about her by a reporter. But he also gave detailed responses about his work to preserve NATO and his plans for a second term. And he insisted he’s not leaving the race even as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers ask him to step aside.

Here are some highlights from the press conference:


AP AUDIO: Key takeaways from Biden’s news conference: Insistence on staying in the race and flubbed names

In remarks, President Biden mistakenly switches the Ukrainian and Russian presidents.

He bungled key names — and remained defiant

Perhaps Biden’s biggest slip-up in the press conference came early on when he referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “Vice President Trump,” in saying he picked her because he believed she could beat Trump.

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Even before the news conference, Biden had bungled an important name at the NATO summit and instantly lowered expectations for his performance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said as he was introducing Ukrainian President President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is most definitely not Russian President Vladimir Putin. The gaffe immediately prompted gasps, as Biden caught himself and said to Zelenskyy: “President Putin? You’re going to beat President Putin.”

But he was defiant when a reporter brought up his reference to “Vice President Trump” and noted the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign was already promoting the slip-up. “Listen to him,” he said, before walking off the stage.

One House Democrat, Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, issued a statement minutes later calling on the president to withdraw.

He insisted, ‘I’ve got to finish this job’

It’s a delicate dance between the president and vice president, with many Democrats openly pining for Harris to replace Biden on the ticket. Biden didn’t acknowledge that tension, but only brought Harris up in response to pointed questions about whether he believed she had the capability to replace him.

“I wouldn’t have picked her unless I thought she was qualified to be president,” Biden said, citing Harris’ resume from prosecutor to the U.S. Senate.

But in response to a later question he acknowledged he’d moved on from his 2020 campaign promise to be a “bridge” to a new generation of Democrats. “What changed was the gravity of the situation I inherited,” he said, without a word about his vice president.

Repeatedly, he said, “I’ve got to finish this job.”

The press conference ended with Biden being asked directly whether he’d step down for Harris if he saw polling showing she had a better chance of beating Trump. “No, unless they come back and said there’s no way you can win,” Biden responded. Then he added, in a stage whisper, “No poll’s saying that.”

He argued he’s delivered results over rhetoric


Biden tried to make the case that what he’s doing matters more than how he talks about it.

He praised the just finished NATO summit as elevating America’s standing. “Have you ever seen a more successful conference?” Biden said to a group of reporters who often only got to see the conference during prepared remarks.

He drilled down on how inflation has eased from its 2022 peak as he reeled off stats such as the creation of 800,000 manufacturing jobs under his watch, saying that world leaders would want to trade their own economies for what United States has. He also said he would cap how much rent could grow for tenants of landlords who are part of a tax-credit program for low-income housing.

It’s the same pitch Biden has made in stump speeches without necessarily doing much to move his own popularity. His team believes it will sink in if repeated constantly.

He brought up his work on NATO


Biden kicked off the press conference by talking at length about NATO and its value to the United States — one of his strongest political issues against Trump, who has been openly skeptical of the alliance and once suggested he’d encourage Russia to attack NATO members whom he considered delinquent.

Biden tied himself to an American tradition stretching “from Truman to Reagan to me” of defending NATO. “Every American must ask herself or himself, is the world safer with NATO?” he asked.

Later, to assure a European journalist asking about governments on that continent worrying Trump could win, Biden launched into a detailed recounting of how he helped shepherd Finland into the alliance. After that, he went into detail about how to push back against China for supporting Russia during its war against Ukraine and contended he will continue to be able to deal with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Overall, Biden spoke forcefully and fluently about foreign policy, one of his favorite subjects. But the news conference’s focus wasn’t really foreign policy, it was reassuring Democrats and the world that Biden is still able to be president and beat Trump.

That shows how even Biden’s strengths are being overshadowed by questions about his capabilities.

When possible, he went back to the stump speech


Every politician has a stock set of lines. And whenever Biden could, he went back to his favorite talking points. It was a way to answer the question without necessarily needing to say anything spontaneous or new.

He went after trickle-down economics, borrowing a line about his father never benefiting much from tax cuts aimed at the wealthy (“I don’t remember much trickling down to his kitchen table”). He hailed Delaware for leading the country in corporations. He said he’s the “most pro-union labor president in history.” He explained his decision to run for a second term with a variation on his “finish the job” catchphrase. He went into his standard spiel about computer chips.

With no time limit on his answers like he faced at the debate, Biden went on for several minutes at a time telling stories about his interactions with foreign leaders and making the case for his reelection.

He answered questions in detail — unlike at the debate


There were few fireworks in Biden’s answers -- with the highly anticipated event at times coming across as more of a think tank lecture than an effort to grab voters’ attention. He went into granular detail on geopolitics and rattled off numbers — asking at one moment, though, to not be held to the precise figure.

While it didn’t erase the stumbles and blank stares from the debate, it showed that he could engage with reporters’ questions on a range of issues without losing focus.

There was still regular coughing and throat clearing. And at times he lowered his voice to a hoarse whisper that evoked the rasp of his voice on debate night.

Overall, his presentation was a reminder that people are focused on him now with an almost clinical eye toward possible slip-ups and mistakes, the kind of pressure that is unlikely to go away for as long as Biden insists he’ll stay in the race.

Riccardi reported from Denver.



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