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12 Easy Steps to Make a Presentation Creative (+ Examples)

Learn how to make a presentation creative without PowerPoint, and draw inspiration from creative presentation examples by industry and use case.

how to make presentation unique

Dominika Krukowska

9 minute read

How to make a presentation creative

Short answer

How can I make a presentation more creative?

  • Start with captivating cover videos
  • Add chapters for smooth navigation
  • Weave in personalization using dynamic variables
  • Enhance storytelling with animations
  • Highlight key points using subtle visual cues
  • Engage with interactive elements
  • Showcase ideas using vibrant images
  • Sprinkle in video narrations
  • Wrap up with a smart CTA

Boring presentations can damage your brand’s image

Boring presentations can feel like those endless meetings where one person monopolizes the conversation. You know, the ones where you’re zoning out, doodling on the side of your notes, just waiting for it to end so you could move on to something more engaging.

That's the disconnect your audience experiences when faced with a boring presentation.

What’s even worse is that when your presentation is dull, it doesn't just bore your audience—it subtly suggests that you or your brand might be, well, kind of boring too .

The good thing is that with the right tweaks and insights, every presentation holds the potential to be memorable.

In this post, we're diving deep into the heart of what makes a presentation creative. We'll explore the mistakes that lead to forgettable slides and the strategies to elevate your content.

By the end, you’ll have all it takes to transform your presentation from mundane to magnetic and have your audience engage with it from the first click to the last.

Let’s go!

What makes a presentation boring?

A boring presentation is a mix of repetitive designs and long chunks of text without a human touch. When slides come off as too generic or overly complex, or they swing between being too predictable or hard to grasp, they lose their spark.

Add in a lack of visuals, real stories, or interaction, and you've got a recipe for audience disinterest.

To truly engage, a presentation should blend interaction, emotion, and content that is relevant to the audience.

How to make a presentation creative step-by-step

Modern presentations are more than just slides—they're experiences. Gone are the days of static bullet points; today's audience craves engagement, interactivity, and a touch of the unexpected.

Let's explore how to make your presentation more creative step-by-step:

1) Add videos to break up text

Videos can set the tone, explain complex ideas, or simply entertain. By strategically placing them at key moments where you feel energy might dip, you make sure your audience remains engaged, and your message is reinforced.

Whether it's a real-life testimonial, a product demo, or a fun animation, videos can breathe life into abstract concepts, making them tangible and relatable.

And, there’s science behind it too: presentations with a video on the cover slide see 32% more engagement . But the magic of videos doesn't stop at the cover. Presentations sprinkled with videos throughout held people's attention 37% longer and even boosted the click-through rate on calls-to-action by 17%.

2) Create a non-linear flow

Who said presentations have to be a straight line? Let's mix it up! By linking slides, you're handing the remote to your audience. It's like those 'choose your own adventure' books from our childhood.

Group your slides into themes or create chapters and let them pick what they want to see next. It's a fun, interactive way to keep them on their toes and engaged.

3) Use personalization for creating tailored stories

You know those emails that greet you by name and make you feel all special? Imagine bringing that warmth to your presentations using dynamic variables.

By integrating with your CRM, you can fetch specific data about your audience and weave it into your slides. This simple trick can make your audience feel like the content was crafted specifically for them, creating a deeper connection.

If you’re making a presentation to showcase your product, you can even use dynamic variables to create a mock-up with your prospect’s name and logo on it to make your deck stand out.

4) Use narrated design

Scrollytelling is where the magic of scrolling meets the art of storytelling. It's an interactive content experience that weaves text, images, videos, and animations into a captivating narrative.

Instead of static slides, scrollytelling guides readers through a story, allowing them to control the pace. It breaks down complex content into bite-sized chunks, enhancing engagement and retention.

Our founder, Itai Amoza, wanted everyone to enjoy this dynamic content experience. So, he joined forces with visualization expert Prof. Steven Franconeri to weave scrollytelling into Storydoc.

Thanks to their partnership, we have dedicated storytelling slides in Storydoc, like the narrator slide you can see below , designed to make content both clear and captivating for all.

Narrator slide example

5) Tell stories with videos

Videos have this unique power to turn complex ideas into simple, engaging stories. A video might break down a tricky process into fun, easy-to-follow narrative, or give us a peek into real-life examples or experiences.

It's all about making your content feel alive, relatable, and super easy to understand. Because, let's face it, everyone's a sucker for a good story.

Here's a great example of a storytelling video:

6) Use roadmap and timeline slides

Ever tried reading a long-winded description of a company's journey or a product's development process? Yawn, right?

Now, imagine swapping that snooze-fest with a vibrant roadmap or timeline. Instead of slogging through paragraphs, you get a fun, visual play-by-play.

Picture a colorful line showing a startup's journey from a garage brainstorm to its first big sale.

Or a playful timeline marking the stages of turning a wild idea into a bestselling product. It's like turning a history lesson into a comic strip—way more fun and a whole lot clearer!

You can see what it looks like below:

Video timeline slide

7) Direct attention using animations

Ever been to a theater where the spotlight focuses on the main act? That's what animations do for your presentation.

Whether it's a cheeky arrow pointing out a fun fact, a grand entrance animation for a new idea, or using grayed-out content to highlight a key point, animations are your stage directors.

They ensure your audience's eyes are exactly where you want them to be, soaking in all the important bits.

Here's a great example:

Animated slide example

8) Add interactive calculators

Who said numbers have to be boring? With interactive calculators, you're turning math into a fun game. Let your audience punch in numbers and see real-time results.

Whether they're calculating potential savings, ROI, or just playing around, it's an engaging and creative way to make your points tangible. It's like turning your presentation into a hands-on workshop.

9) Use AI-generated images

Instead of sifting through countless stock photos, thanks to the magic of AI, you can have an image that's tailor-made for your slide in seconds.

Storydoc presentation maker lets you generate any image directly in your deck - just give the AI assistant a short description and you’re good to go.

What's great is that you always get an image that matches your topic to a tee. No more "that'll do" compromises. Plus, think of all the time you save when you don't have to hunt for the right picture or take it yourself.

Here's a short video showing how it works:

Storydoc AI image generator

10) Pop into the presentation with video bubble narration

Imagine if, during a presentation, a mini version of you could pop up, share a quick tip, or clarify a point. That's video bubble narration in a nutshell.

It's like having a friendly guide accompanying your audience, ensuring they get the most out of your content. It adds a creative personal touch, making your presentation feel like a cozy chat between friends.

11) Use before-and-after to show transformation

There's something magical about witnessing a transformation. Just think about the buzz online when someone shares a 'before and after' of a design revamp, weight loss journey, or how they helped a client grow their business.

With a before-and-after slide , you're giving your audience that 'aha!' moment. Even if you can't see their reactions in real-time, you can bet they're sliding back and forth, captivated by the change.

Whether it's showcasing a product's impact, a website redesign, or a process improvement, it's a visual treat that makes your message more powerful.

Here's an example of a before-and-after slide:

Before-and-after slide example

12) Close with a smart CTA

The grand finale of your presentation deserves a touch of flair. Instead of a simple 'Thank you' slide, imagine ending with an interactive live chat prompt or a calendar invite for a follow-up. It's like the encore at the end of a concert, giving your audience a chance to engage further.

These smart CTAs aren't just functional; they're creative extensions of your narrative. By integrating them, you're not just concluding your presentation; you're opening doors to new conversations and possibilities.

Here's a great example of a smart CTA:

Next steps slide example

3 presentation opening ideas

Kicking off a presentation with a bang can set the tone for everything that follows. Here are 3 captivating ways to grab your audience's attention right from the get-go:

Dive into a story: Begin with a personal anecdote or a relatable tale. It's like inviting your audience around a campfire, setting the stage for a memorable narrative.

Pose a thought-provoking question: Challenge your viewers with a question that gets their gears turning. It's an instant engagement booster, making them active participants.

Share a startling statistic: Drop a number that makes jaws drop. When you hit them with a fact that's hard to ignore, you've got their undivided attention.

Want more insights on crafting the perfect presentation opener? Check out our article on how to start a presentation people read to the end .

3 presentation closing ideas

Wrapping up a presentation is just as crucial as the opening. It's your final chance to leave a lasting impression. Here are 3 best ways to ensure your audience walks away inspired:

Circle back to the start: Revisit your opening story or statement, bringing your narrative full circle. It's a neat way to tie everything together and reinforce your key message.

End with a Call-to-Action: End with a captivating personal video message or a lively animation. It's a unique way to engage, surprise, and guide your audience on what's next.

Share an inspiring quote: Leave them with words that resonate. A powerful quote can sum up your message and linger in their minds long after.

Here's an example of a presentation with a personal video message at the end:

Slide with a personal video message

Hungry for more tips on crafting the perfect presentation finale? Read our blog post on how to end a presentation and get people to act .

Best tools for making creative presentations

Crafting creative presentations is an art, and like any artist, you need the right tools to bring your vision to life. Here's a curated list of platforms that are pushing the envelope in presentation design:

Storydoc : Beyond traditional slides, Storydoc offers interactive web stories. It's not just about displaying content; it's about creating experiences. With dynamic visuals and interactive elements, your audience is in for a treat.

Pitch : Collaboration is Pitch's forte. Designed for teams, it offers real-time editing, customizable templates, and a sleek interface. It's where ideas transform into visually stunning stories.

Genially : From animated presentations to responsive infographics, Genially provides tools that make your content come alive on the screen.

Beautiful.ai : Automated design assistance is its claim to fame. Feed in your content, and watch as the tool intuitively crafts slides that are both coherent and captivating.

Canva : A versatile design platform, Canva boasts a variety of templates for presentations, graphics, and more. Its drag-and-drop interface ensures even design novices feel like pros.

Visme : Tailored for visual storytelling, Visme offers a rich library of assets. Think dynamic charts, data widgets, and a suite of animations that turn your data into visual narratives.

Creative presentation templates

Ever felt the weight of the cursor blinking on an empty slide, almost taunting you to come up with something creative?

It's like being handed a stage with an eager audience, but the script is yet to be written. That initial step can be the hardest, but what if you had a little nudge in the right direction?

Creative presentation templates can help you shape your story in a way that stands out in a sea of monotony. Think of them as the paint-by-numbers kits, where the structure is set, but the colors and flair? That's all you.

Grab one and see for yourself.

how to make presentation unique

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

how to make presentation unique

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

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

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

powerpoint tricks

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

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

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

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

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

how to make presentation unique

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

  • Creative templates.
  • Data-driven templates.
  • Professional templates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

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

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

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

how to make presentation unique

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

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

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

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

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

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

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

8. Create custom shapes.

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

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

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

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

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

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

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

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

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

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

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

11. Try Using GIFs.

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

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

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

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

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

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

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

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

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

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

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

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

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

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

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

15. Embed multimedia.

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

  • 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).

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

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

16. Bring your own hardware.

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

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

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

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . 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 , then 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.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

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

17. Use Presenter View.

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

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

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

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

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

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

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

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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20 creative presentation ideas to captivate your audience

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

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Michael Lee June 17, 2019

The ultimate aim of every presentation is to etch a memorable mark that lingers in the minds of your audience long after the final slide fades away. Memorable presentations should be a creative blend of captivating design, innovative elements, and engaging delivery. To ignite your presentation prowess and set your creativity on fire, we’ve handpicked a treasure trove of 20 ingenious creative presentation ideas that will transform your presentations from bland to brilliantly unforgettable:

1. Experiment with color

It’s surprising what a little color can do. The way you use and pair colors in your presentation design can grab an otherwise disinterested audience member’s attention. Just make sure you do it tastefully and carry the theme across all frames. When in doubt, you can simply choose from one of Prezi’s existing content layouts , each with an appealing color palette.

Try experimenting with a two-toned design by adding different accents to your presentation background and other visual elements. You might start with a black-and-white design, then add a bright pop of one color throughout. Contrasting color palettes (think yellow and blue, pink and mint green, etc.) can also create this eye-popping effect. Alternatively, you can use neutral shades to give off a more subdued vibe.

Another idea? Add a color filter to your images to tie them into your color theme. Learn more about presentation colors in our guide.

2. Use a striking background theme

A colorful background image for a creative presentation

Looking for more presentation ideas and creative ways to present? Put some thought into your background image, as it’s what your audience will be looking at during the entire presentation. If you want to use a photo, choose one that’s beautiful, sentimental, or has action and flow. Just make sure you pick an image that has enough negative space on which to place text. You can also play around with textures and patterns, such as ripples or wood, or themes that are symbolic of your message, such as a passport, billboard, rocket launch, road trip, etc.

Additionally, make sure your chosen background image isn’t distracting. You want to keep your audience’s focus on the foreground — the graphics, text, and special effects you’ve created. Prezi already has a large library of effective and high-quality backgrounds and images you can search for when designing your presentation, so no need to source them from somewhere else.

3. Put thoughts into speech bubbles

Other creative ways to present information include using speech bubbles to communicate key points to audience members. Use them to illustrate an idea or to reveal a character’s thoughts or fears in your story. Have them pop up as notes or commentary in the frame you’re presenting. Similarly, you can use speech bubbles to show milestones on a timeline. If you’re revealing poll or survey results about a product or service, for instance, place data or participant feedback in bubbles.

But, like anything in a presentation, don’t go overboard with it. While speech bubbles can be a fantastic addition, excessive use might divert your audience’s focus from the core message. So, using speech bubbles in the right places to create impact can be effective for engaging your listeners, but scattering them throughout every slide might be a little excessive and cause the opposite effect. Balance is key when using speech bubbles. 

4. Abandon the slide-by-slide style

Prezi's PowerPoint Converter feature lets you turn slides into a dynamic Prezi presentation. It's another great creative way to present.

Free your presentations from the confines of slides. As an interactive presentation tool, Prezi allows for dynamic designs to take your audience on a journey as you tell your story. Zoom in and out on key points. Navigate between topics and sections of your presentation in any order. Go vertical instead of horizontal. Make transitions between ideas look like pathways or scenes instead of simply clicking sequentially from frame to frame. All of these elements come together to make a memorable presentation.

These types of tactics will give your presentation a cinematic feel that will captivate and inspire your audience. An open canvas design also makes it easier for you to tell a story , which people tend to process and remember more easily than straight facts. Prezi’s ready-made templates and striking graphics make it simple for you to share your narrative via one of these seemingly complex designs. If you want to transform a static PowerPoint presentation into a dynamic moving story, simply upload your file and try Prezi’s PowerPoint Converter feature .

5. Tell your story with a video

Female Video Editor Works with Footage on Her Personal Computer, She Works in Creative Office Studio.

Presenters have been incorporating video into their slide decks for decades. Video is one of the most creative ways to present projects. It allows you to tell your story using visuals instead of big blocks of text. Now, however, it’s time to elevate the video so it captures your audience’s attention and enhances your narrative. Embed videos that play automatically when you navigate to certain parts of your Prezi canvas.

Just be sure to use videos that aren’t distracting and that work with the rest of your presentation’s flow. They should still complement your presentation’s overall design theme and message. If you’re not producing a video yourself, you can find thematic ones from stock video sites or on YouTube. Just be aware that you might need permission to use some videos.

It’s important to select videos beforehand and place them strategically so that they hit hard in the right places. Selecting the perfect videos is like choosing gems to adorn your presentation’s crown. These videos should harmonize seamlessly with your content, elevating the story you’re weaving.

Imagine, for instance, using a time-lapse video of a bustling cityscape to represent the rapid pace of change in the business world during your presentation on industry trends. Blending your videos with the theme of your topic in this way goes beyond just catching your audience’s eye, it actually adds depth to your story while also making your message more impactful.

6. Bring your story to life with audio

Another presentation idea to minimize text and maximize audience engagement is to add sound to your presentation. Tell your story using pre-recorded audio. This creative presentation style turns the viewer experience into just that — an experience. While the audio plays, you can move around the stage and navigate to various parts of the presentation that support the narrative visually. Again, the effect is almost movie-like.

Another auditory presentation tool is music. Use music to set the tone of your talk, or inject it periodically to regain the audience’s attention. The appropriate song choice can get the entire audience into the mood of your presentation. Choose upbeat tunes to convey excitement or dramatic ones that will trigger an emotional response . Plus, if you play a catchy tune that sticks in people’s heads, that’ll help them remember your presentation that much more.

7. Add animations

Another creative way to present is by bringing an otherwise static design to life is animation. Go beyond video by borrowing from stop-motion principles for your presentation. Stop motion is a technique in which you film objects one frame at a time to simulate motion in a scene or a story. You can recreate this effect in Prezi by using zoom, fade, and pan animations to tell a moving story frame by frame.

Animations can inspire and engage your audience, but just be sure to use them sparingly and as a complement to your story or message.

7.1. Make it fun with GIFs

Adding animated GIFs to your presentation can not only make it more fun but also help catch your audience’s eye. Because they’re trendy and often reference pop culture or common emotions, GIFs can help you get your point across without having to use just words.

However, it’s crucial to exercise moderation when employing these elements. While animations and GIFs can enhance engagement, excessive use of them can become distracting. There’ll be certain presentation topics or subjects where GIFs will look misplaced, so just make sure you think carefully about whether they correlate with your message before you use them. However, GIFs are a great way to inject humor and light-heartedness right after slides filled with heavy information. When executed skillfully, animations and GIFs transform your presentation into a dynamic and interactive visual journey, leaving an enduring impression on your audience.

8. Create a timeline

The timeline is nothing new. It’s how you apply it to a presentation that can really wow an audience. Prezi’s dynamic designs let you use the timeline as the basis or focal point of the presentation and then navigate along as you tell your story or plan of action.

Zooming in on specific elements of your timeline as you discuss them adds another layer of clarity and focus. It helps make sure your audience stays on track with your story and doesn’t get lost in the details or complexities. This laid-back way of highlighting key moments or steps keeps people interested and makes it easier for them to remember what you’re talking about.

Timeline dashboard example from Prezi Design

9. Use maps

Deliver a creative presentation with maps, especially if there’s a geographic or location-based topic in your content. Set a map as your background or focal point, and prompt different regions to change colors or pop out as you navigate over them. When it comes to designing maps , make sure you’re purposefully selecting colors, as the color palette you choose can change the way people respond to your data. Don’t pick colors that are too similar when you’re making comparisons, for example. Use Prezi’s zoom function to zero in on areas for more details, or pull back to reveal the larger context.

You can also go the thinking map route, which is a visual learning technique that can convey complex ideas simply and creatively. Start with a central theme, then branch out into paths or surrounding points. The eight variations of thinking maps include circle maps, bubble maps, flow maps, treemaps, and more. These can be effective interactive aids in educational presentations as well as for small businesses.

10. Do away with bulleted lists

Avoid bullet points. Instead, use a canvas layout for your presentation ideas. One of the best creative ways to present.

To truly transform your presentations, consider stepping away from the conventional bullet-point lists that often lead to passive learning. Instead, harness the power of visuals to inspire active engagement from your audience. Visual content stimulates the brain’s cognitive processes, making your message more memorable. Engage your listeners by replacing bullet points with visuals .

Prezi’s open canvas design is a valuable tool in this transformation. It shifts the focus from passive delivery to interactive engagement. By using visuals, you prompt your audience to actively process and respond to your content, fostering a deeper understanding and connection with your message. This shift from traditional bullet points to a visually driven, interactive approach can significantly enhance the impact of your presentations.

11. Communicate with images

Presentation images are nothing new. However, when standing alone, photographs, paintings, and other images can have a really powerful effect. Instead of trying to talk over an image, use it as a stepping stone in your presentation, a point of reflection. Once in a while, let visuals do the talking.

Also, a study has found that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text . So, incorporating more images will make your presentation more memorable.

Androgynous Black woman sitting with dog near mural

However, be careful with your selection of images – make sure that they’re relevant to the topic and aren’t just filling up an empty space.

Also, If you’re using Prezi for your presentation, you can access a huge library of images that takes away the headache of finding that one perfect shot. It’s like having a cheat code for making your presentation pop. So dive into the library and pick out visuals that’ll make your presentation not just informative, but engaging.

12. Play with transitions

Using slide transitions is one of the simple yet creative ways to present a project. They create visual continuity and add movement to slides. However, choosing the right page transition for your slides is truly a form of art. You have to consider the topic, tone of voice, and your presentation design. Page transitions should match the overall design, create flawless continuity, highlight key areas in your presentation, and do all that without stealing the show. Ultimately, you want it to compliment your presentation.

If you are looking for inspiration, check out Prezi Present ‘s wide selection of templates . You can play with transitions by adding additional animated elements that will make your presentation even more dynamic.

13. Swap for an infographic

To truly stand out and make a lasting impression, consider departing from the traditional slide-based approach and exploring infographics. Infographics are powerful visual tools that condense complex information into digestible, visually appealing formats. Instead of the conventional slide-by-slide progression, imagine scrolling through your presentation, seamlessly transitioning from one section to the next. This fluid movement allows you to verbally expand on key points while displaying the core information visually.

Onboarding infographic example

When you’re adding infographics, aim for designs that are easy to understand but also match your brand’s vibe. You want something that looks good and fits well with the rest of your presentation, so everything feels like it’s part of the same story. This helps make your presentation both easy to follow and hard to forget.

14. Get social

Employing a unique hashtag associated with your brand can significantly amplify the impact of your presentation, extending its reach far beyond the confines of the physical venue. This hashtag acts as a vital link between your presentation and the vast world of social media. Inviting your audience to dive into the live-tweet action with a dedicated hashtag during your talk isn’t just a savvy move; it’s a dynamic double play. You expand your reach, drawing in more eager participants, while simultaneously igniting a thriving online symphony of ongoing discussions and insights.

This approach effectively transforms your presentation into an active, two-way conversation. As you speak, people can immediately share their thoughts, favorite parts, and main lessons, creating a sense of togetherness and active involvement. Furthermore, the utilization of a branded hashtag allows you to monitor and engage in these conversations, strengthening your connection with your audience and providing an avenue for addressing questions or feedback. 

Even after your presentation concludes, these online discussions continue to thrive, ensuring that your message remains fresh in the minds of your audience members long after they’ve left the physical venue. This lively and extended interaction adds an exciting twist to your presentations, transforming them from just informative sessions into lively hubs of ongoing conversation and learning.

15. Use creative props

Physical props add a memorable dimension to your talk. Props serve as powerful visual aids, helping to illustrate key points, provide tangible examples, and offer visual cues. Props can be particularly useful for educational presentations, especially if you need to demonstrate an example. Another situation where props are paramount is if you are a brand that’s launching a new product and doing a promotional presentation. 

African man standing by whiteboard and giving presentation to startup team at office. Man explaining marketing strategy using statistical graphs to colleagues at office.

With Prezi’s creative tools at the forefront of your presentation along with your latest product at hand- you’re bound to persuade your audience. Integrating props at the right time in connection to your current presentation can really create a connection between you and your listeners. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, would you take in the information by just reading and listening, or would seeing and touching physical props add a layer of interest that enhances your mental absorption?

16. Utilize virtual reality (VR)

VR technology allows you to transport your audience into a different environment or scenario closely related to your presentation topic. Transforming your presentation into a new virtual world takes it far beyond the expectations of mundane slide-by-slide presentations.

With VR, you can engage your audience with a dynamic three-dimensional world where they become active explorers, engaging directly with your content. Picture this: You’re showing off architectural wonders, recreating epic historical events, or unraveling the inner workings of intricate systems. VR takes your presentations to a whole new level, letting your audience not only see and hear but also experience and genuinely feel your message. It’s like inviting them to step right into the heart of your story.

17. Use gamification

Picture turning your presentation into an exhilarating game that dares to captivate and thrill your audience. When you add a little playfulness to your presentation, your audience is going to absorb your information without it feeling like a chore. Making aspects of your talk into fun learning experiences is going to keep your audience switched on throughout the whole presentation. 

You can achieve this by incorporating various interactive elements like puzzles, questions, or interactive storytelling that turn your presentation into an immersive and educational game. Encouraging your audience to think and respond will result in active participants rather than passive observers. 

Young woman sharing her view during team building session at startup office. African woman talking with colleagues sitting in circle at a coworking office.

18. Employ live demonstrations

Incorporating live demonstrations into your presentation is a potent strategy for effectively conveying your message. Whether you’re showcasing a product’s functionality, conducting a captivating science experiment, or engaging your audience in a hands-on activity, live demonstrations actively involve your audience and leave an enduring mark.

Live demonstrations can transform presentations into captivating journeys where your audience doesn’t just listen but also witnesses concepts coming to life before their eyes. This physical approach creates curiosity and entices active participation, effectively transforming your message into something tangible. When people can see, touch, or take part in live demonstrations, it makes a strong connection. It brings your audience right into your content and makes sure they take the message away with them afterward. 

19. Design comic-style frames 

Using comic strips as a presentation style is great when you want to make your presentation engaging and easy to remember. It works well for topics where you want to tell a story, explain things step by step, or simplify complex information. Comic strips contain the best of both worlds, combining visuals with storytelling. This means they’re versatile for various topics, such as education, marketing, and product demos.

The clever approach of comic strips crafts an animated, captivating experience that keeps your audience glued to their seats and sparks their eagerness to participate. Not only that, but it also makes your message highly memorable.

Colorful Set of Comic Speech Bubbles in Pop Art Style Template.

Creating a comic strip in Prezi is straightforward. Start by planning your content and breaking it down into bite-size sections that will be arranged in sequence. Then, use Prezi’s features to design each section as a comic frame, inserting relevant visuals and images. Prezi’s text and shape tools help you add speech bubbles or captions to guide the story you’re telling. As you present, take on the role of a storyteller, guiding your audience through each frame of your comic strip presentation with captivating explanations that hold their attention.

20. Emulate the style of TED talks

The TED-style approach is a powerful method of delivering presentations that revolves around the core principles of clarity, simplicity, emotional resonance, and compelling storytelling. In this approach, speakers focus on distilling complex ideas into easily digestible narratives, using relatable language and impactful visuals to engage their audience. TED-style talks typically center on a single compelling idea , conveyed with passion and authenticity, making them concise, memorable, and inspiring for a wide range of viewers.

Learn how you can excel in storytelling and develop TED Talk presentation skills in the following video:

Staying current with creative presentation ideas

Just as technology and communication methods constantly change, so do presentation audience preferences and expectations. Keeping your creative presentation ideas fresh and aligned with contemporary trends can significantly impact your effectiveness as a presenter.

Why keeping up matters

Adapting to audience expectations.

This is the key to making a memorable impact with your presentations. In the modern world, audiences want more than the ordinary; they seek thrilling, dynamic experiences. To make this happen, you must wholeheartedly embrace cutting-edge technologies and innovative concepts to make your presentations highly engaging. So, why stick with the mundane when you can captivate your audience’s imagination and curiosity with creative presentation ideas? Break free from the conventional and explore new concepts using Prezi. 

Maintaining relevance

Staying relevant is the cornerstone of success. To connect deeply with your audience, demonstrate your strong dedication to delivering top-notch content consistently. Your presentations should stand out with innovation and creativity, signaling that you’re not merely keeping pace with the times – you’re setting the tempo. With Prezi’s toolbox, you’ll be ready to explore a range of creative presentation ideas that leave a lasting impression on your audience. 

Fueling engagement

Elevating your presentations from mere information-sharing sessions to immersive experiences can be a game-changer. By staying in the loop on fresh creative presentation ideas and cool interactive tricks, you’re all set to captivate your audience. Adding some of these new, interactive touches can help you grab and keep people’s attention way better than just repeating the same slideshows.

Where to get your inspo 

If you’re ready to improve your creative game, there are plenty of helpful blogs, webinars, and online courses about fun presentation ideas you can dive into. Prezi offers a lot of useful tips for making your presentations stand out. Think of Prezi as your toolbox, always within reach to unlock your presentation’s potential and make a lasting impression. For presentation inspiration , check out Prezi’s presentation gallery and explore our highly engaging and creative templates .

Watch this video and learn more about creative presentation ideas:

Get inspired for more presentation ideas

The world isn’t flat, and your presentations shouldn’t be, either. Step outside your comfort zone, and play around with these 20 creative ways to present. Better yet, come up with your own creative ways to present and incorporate them into one of Prezi’s dynamic content layouts. Using this presentation software’s open canvas approach, you can tell your story conversationally and spontaneously so that audience members will engage with and remember.

how to make presentation unique

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How to Make Presentation Creative and Unique [PowerPointer’s Q&A]

how to make presentation unique

Hey 🙂 We’re continuing our Questions and Answers series and today I’d like to share simple tricks on how to stay creative with your presentations without putting much effort into it.

Everybody wants to create a unique and outstanding presentation, right? 🙂 Here are two tricks  I’d suggest you try:

1. Take time to think about how you can present your text as visuals

Give yourself time to realize what pictures to add, which will look better considering your content. Another simple trick is to use shapes with text instead of bullet points. Here’s a bonus for you: discover three creative list presentation ideas .

To get more creative I’d recommend those four steps:

  • Put computer away
  • Stay simple, declutter
  • Use a graphical style associated with creativity
  • Look around for inspiration

Check also 5 inspirational ideas to change your presentation into creative powerful slides:  Do your slides need energy boosting?

2. Use a non-default style to be unique

Remember gradient style is obsolete, flat is modern but omnipresent. I’d go for a unique hand-drawn style (check our Pinterest ).

If you’re trying to keep up with trends, I’d recommend taking a look at outline graphics . Here’s how nicely you can illustrate a chart or diagram and make your information visual:

non-default style slides PowerPoint

Even if you think you’re not creative at all, try small things. Another good idea is to look for inspiration (if you have time of course). I’d recommend TED.com talks or Slideshare.net as sources of cool inspirational presentations.

If you want to learn more about how to be creative and original while creating presentations, check out this blog.

Leave your presentation or slide design question in the comments or  contact me directly , I’d love to share my tips.

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

how to make presentation unique

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.

how to make presentation unique

  • 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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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

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

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 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.

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.

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.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

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

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

Screenshot of how to compress 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.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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How to Make a Boring Presentation Interesting

Tips to make a Powerpoint presentation not boring

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

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

So, why are so many presentations so BORING?

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

It doesn’t have to be that way.

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

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

How to Make a Presentation Interesting

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

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

Tell a story 

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

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

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

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

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

  • What am I sharing? 
  • Why is it important? 
  • What can my audience do with the information once they have it?

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

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

  • To persuade
  • To entertain

Take Your Presentation to the Next Level with Images and Video!

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

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

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

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

Callouts show off the important statistics in a data shareout.

Be authentic and engaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slide that shows callouts used to add information and ask questions during a presentation.

Prepare cool presentation slides

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a win-win!

How to Make Your Slides Look Cool 

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

Less is more

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

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

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

Use cool slide designs

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

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

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

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

Be on-brand

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

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

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

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

Use quality images

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

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

Use screenshots

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

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

Use infographics

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

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

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

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

Add cool transitions to your slides

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

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

Use GIFs & memes

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

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

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

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

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

how to make presentation unique

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

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

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

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

Create a Video to Share Your Cool Slides After Your Presentation 

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

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

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

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

FAQs about Successful Presentations with Cool Slides

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

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

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

how to make presentation unique

Danielle Ezell

Danielle Ezell is a Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith, where she writes about effective workplace communication, offering tips and strategies for using images and videos to collaborate more effectively in hybrid and remote environments.

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

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.

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Anyone who has ever attended a presentation has experienced that lackluster presenter who left you counting down the minutes until you could finally escape.  In fact, most people attend a presentation with the expectation that it will be boring.  Why not be the presenter who blows their minds and leaves everyone saying “wow!”  If you want to get your audience’s attention, you can’t be afraid to liven things up with a little fun and creativity.

Use Your Audience

There’s no better way to keep your audience awake and engaged than by using them in your presentation.  Ask questions and actually call on people to answer.  Have them move around the room to demonstrate statistics.  For example, instead of showing a slide that says “20% of people think this way” actually have 20% of the audience move to one side of the room.  You can also have the chairs set up in a 20/80 arrangement and explain during your presentation why they are set up that way.  You can ask a question and hide the answer under the chairs.  There are countless possibilities for engaging your audience but don’t forget that the audience itself is your greatest presentation tool.

Customize Your Presentation

It is so important to know your audience before you give your presentation.  This allows you to customize your presentation based on the audience.  For example, if you are pitching an idea to an audience that is predominantly female, you might use anecdotes or statistics that females can relate to.  If you are presenting to a younger audience, use fresh content and current pop culture to capture their attention.  Customizing your presentation gives people something they can relate to and helps to keep their attention.

Many people view presentations as a formal speech that has to be serious.  They are afraid to use humor for fear that they aren’t funny.   Adding humor to your presentation does not require having stand-up comedy skills.  There are a number of ways to add humor without telling jokes.  Use funny memes or video clips to illustrate your points.  Incorporate funny pictures or use a song to introduce your next slide.  People like humor and they like to laugh.  It makes an impression on your audience and gives them something to remember.

Tell a Story

A presentation is like a story in many ways.  You are talking about a specific topic and taking the audience on a journey to learn more about it.  You can personalize this technique by telling a story that relates to your topic.  People love a good story and it gives them something to relate to.  Stories can be used to evoke all sorts of emotion from laughter, smiles, tears, and surprise.

Using props can quickly turn a boring presentation into a unique, interactive experience.  Choose props that help illustrate your points.  You can even use people from the audience in a demonstration.  Props keep things interesting and help people make a visual connection with what you are saying.

Make a Provocative Statement

You might begin your presentation with a slide that simply says “People don’t care about your brand.”  It leaves the audience wondering how you are going to justify that statement.   It is thought-provoking and unexpected so it is something audiences will remember.  Leading with a provocative statement entices people to listen to what you have to say.

Communicate with Images

You don’t have to give the traditional PowerPoint chock full of content and boring information.  Try using images, memes, or video clips instead to illustrate your points.  As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so it is a unique way to communicate concepts to your audience.  Images are a great way to enhance what you are saying and emphasize your message.

A collage of colorful PowerPoint designs organized into tidy rows

5 golden rules of PowerPoint design

february 6, 2024

A smiling woman with blonde hair, glasses, and a leopard print cardigan poses with her hands on her hips in front of an olive green background.

by Deb Ashby

Wondering how to design the perfect PowerPoint presentation? It's easier than you think–just follow five simple rules to get started:

1. Consider using templates

When building a slide deck, it’s important to maintain consistency throughout. We want to ensure we are using consistent font styles, colors and themes. This can be tricky when designing from scratch, so why not start from a template?

Microsoft Create contains hundreds of pre-made, customizable PowerPoint templates, which means you don’t have to start from scratch and the fonts and colors are already set for you.

Simply choose a template from the gallery, customize it as needed, and you are done!

Screenshots of slides in a branded PowerPoint presentation, in hues of navy, maroon, and brown.

2. No walls of text

We’ve all seen PowerPoint presentations where slides contain too much text. The human brain struggles to listen and read at the same time. If you are presenting to an audience, keep the text on slides to a minimum.

Consider employing the “5-5-5" rule. No more than 5 lines, no more than 5 words, no more than 5 minutes. Think short and sharp memory joggers instead of rambling paragraphs.

Where possible, consider replacing text with visuals to represent your point. People remember images more than words.

A minimalist, black and white PowerPoint template

3. Be mindful of colors and fonts

No one wants their audience to leave with a headache after an hour of straining to read slides. We need to ensure that our presentation is easy to read for everyone – even for those in the nosebleed seats at the back! Think about the font you are using. Is it appropriate for the presentation? What about the font size? Can people at the back easily read? What about people with visual impairment? Ensure all text is at least 24pts.

When it comes to color, ensure all slides have good contrast. Dark backgrounds should have light font and vice versa.

4. Use animation sparingly

Animation can really liven up an otherwise flat presentation. However, it should be used thoughtfully and sparingly. Too much of the wrong type of animation with objects flying in and zooming around the screen, while fun, can look confusing and unprofessional.

Animation should be subtle. With every animation you add, ask yourself, "Is this going to enhance my presentation or distract from it?"

5. Engage your audience

When presenting to an audience, there is usually an awkward time before the presentation begins while the speaker waits for everyone to arrive. During this time, people may start scrolling on their phones or get distracted with work emails, and it can be hard to pull the audience back.

To avoid this issue, work to grab your audience's attention before the presentation even starts. Instead of just having the title slide on the screen, consider creating "kiosk slides." These are a series of slides that contain a combination of interesting things for the audience to look at or engage with. Maybe you have an interesting image? A funny quote or fun facts? Or maybe there is a question you want them to think about prior to the session?

Create these slides and have them automatically cycle round before the presentation starts.

A PowerPoint presentation for a whitepaper proposal.

Related topics

Don't start your work presentations by simply saying 'hello.' Here's how to be more engaging in the conference room.

  • I'm a public-speaking expert, and I've trained many executives and senior teams.
  • I tell all of them to stop starting work presentations with a salutation or a "hello."
  • Instead, you should engage your audience by telling a story or asking a question.

Insider Today

I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank you for having me here today," or, "I am so glad to be here" — often followed by their name and professional résumé . Sometimes, if it's an internal meeting, you get the same salutations followed by an agenda slide with bullet points and the presenter narrating it.

As a public-speaking coach who has worked with many executives and senior teams, I know how to make work presentations more engaging. Here's how you should change your approach.

If you stick to your old ways, you aren't leaving a memorable first impression

Your audience is thinking three things when you walk into that conference room or onto that stage: Who is this person, why should I care, and how are they going to solve my problem?

Let's face it: Most people are more interested in how you will solve their problem than in you and your professional résumé. So let's flip the script a bit. Start with the solution to their problem, briefly talk about yourself for credibility, and then give them a reason to care.

Instead, try to capture their attention

Begin your presentation with a hook or a story — something that grabs their attention right from the start. For instance, your hook might be, "Did you know this?" or "What if that?" It could also be a short story that humanizes your services or products.

Most presentations are predictable; wouldn't it be better for both your time and your audience if you could introduce an element of surprise?

Some might feel it rude not to thank the organizer or greet the audience, so I suggest finding another place in your presentation for this. Here's a good structure:

Intro: "What if you could be a more confident and credible presenter? What if you could engage with your audience so they remember your products or services?"

Credibility: "My name is Meridith, and I've been coaching entrepreneurs and executives on how to speak with spark for over a decade, and I am really excited to be here. I want to thank [insert name] for inviting me to share the afternoon with you."

Solution: "Today, I will give you three ways to make your audience remember your products and services, helping you stand out in a competitive market. Let's get this party started!"

You could also try to form a personal connection

Often, presentations lack a personal touch. Try sharing a relevant personal anecdote or experience that relates to your topic. This not only makes your work presentation more relatable but also helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, you could say: "When I was younger, I often hid in the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me because I didn't want to sound stupid or have the wrong answer. Later in life, I discovered acting and improv comedy . It was through the practice of these two art forms that I developed my confidence and learned how to engage more courageously with others. Today, I will give you solutions for how you can also better engage your audience with spark."

Try to encourage interaction

At the very least, you should try to engage your audience from the beginning — whether in person or on virtual calls. You can ask a thought-provoking question or propose a challenge that involves them directly. This approach shifts the dynamic to more interactive and engaging sessions.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you can make your presentation memorable and impactful immediately. And you'll most likely get a larger return on your investment of time and energy.

In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are increasingly shorter than ever, it's crucial to grab and hold your audience's attention from the very beginning. By doing so, you set the stage for a more engaging and productive interaction. So challenge yourself to break free from presentation norms and embrace a style that resonates deeply with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

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Watch: A public speaking champion reveals 3 keys to nailing your business presentation

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy  and Ctrl+V to Paste  from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read my guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

NOTE: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read my guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read my guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read my article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read my guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read my guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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Create a Winning Client Presentation: Tips, Tricks, & Strategies

Sarah Burner

ClickUp Contributor

February 14, 2024

Pitching client presentations can be a daunting experience.

You have to convince clients that you’d be a good fit for their brand and have the best solution to their problem. That your product or service can help them achieve their goals.

With multiple elements in the mix, driving engaging and relevant presentations becomes challenging. 

Learn how to deliver a successful client presentation using the strategies in this guide.

The Importance of a Client Presentation

Step 1. research and plan the pitch, step 2. create a marketing funnel out of your presentation, step 3. use visually engaging content to communicate your story, step 4. encourage two-way conversations, step 5. establish clear next steps to close your presentation, 1. detailed client research, 2. client pain points, 3. proof points, 4. call to action, 5. expected investment and timeline, 1. not setting the stage properly, 2. getting defensive, 3. mentioning irrelevant information, 4. not guiding the feedback loop, pitch perfectly with clickup, common faqs.

A client presentation is meant to offer your prospective clients a good idea of your specialized expertise. It helps them see what working with you might be like and how you can add value to them. 

If planned and delivered well, an informative customer presentation can help you:

  • Talk about your work in the format of a compelling story
  • Articulate your value to potential clients
  • Communicate the progress you’ve made to an existing client
  • Wrap up projects and dissect what went well and what didn’t

Effective client communication is therefore one of the most critical skills for a sales or business professional today.

5 Essential Steps for a Successful Client Presentation

Whether you’re about to deliver a sales pitch or a creative slideshow, creating engaging client presentations is work.

Use this five-step checklist when creating presentations and add value to your client’s time:

You may understand your work inside out, but your potential client is yet to warm up to the idea of partnering with you. 

This is why the most essential part of an effective client presentation starts with research and planning.

  • Who your target audience is (for the presentation) and what their goals look like
  • Everything about your prospective client, including their problems, inspirations, interests, and more
  • How to answer your client’s biggest goals, roadblocks, and issues
  • Their business, team size, and industry (and how your product/services will support their vision)

Now the question is, where to find this data?

Make sure to look up the following:

  • The client’s LinkedIn page and website for information on their current offerings
  • Your past pitches for inspiration—especially if you’ve catered to clients in the same industry
  • The client’s ‘About Us’ page and videos online for a better understanding of your presentation’s ideal tone of voice and topics

Gather client information with ClickUp's Agency/Client Discovery Doc Template

Once you have all the information about what makes your clients tick, help them make sense of the data—structure and format the key points you plan to deliver using ClickUp AI.

Utilize this smart assistant to generate a presentation to help you reach your prospective client goals faster.

Next, you’ll want to use the client meeting to talk about why your brand is right for them:

  • Start by acknowledging their pain points, showing them that you understand them, and building trust in the process
  • Move on to asking questions and see if they have any pressing issues that need to be solved
  • Introduce your offering as the ultimate solution to your client’s problems and tie your product to their immediate needs

Your presentation needs a tangible end goal to ensure focus and direction. 

Do you want the client to sign the contract? Or maybe you want them to register for a demo. 

Either way, you must have a clear idea of what action you’d like to inspire them to take.

Here are a few tips on how to convert your presentation into a marketing funnel:

  • Build your narrative using a compelling story to hook the audience
  • Don’t overload the prospect with tons of information
  • Ensure your presentation is to the point, and avoid beating around the bush
  • Take charge of your meeting and get your clients to focus on the conversation at hand
  • Beginning: Introduce what is being presented, why you’re presenting, and what the client should expect when working together
  • Middle: Add visuals to your story and create aesthetic value 
  • End: Tell the customer about the next steps and add a relevant call to action

Use the premade ClickUp Presentation template and customize it according to your liking.

ClickUp's Presentation template is great for beginners

This template enables you to:

  • Organize sections of your presentation easily, with a clear structure from beginning to end
  • Gather feedback from key stakeholders before the final presentation
  • Keep track of all tasks related to the presentation in one place

Too much text on your slides makes them boring and overwhelming for the audience.

So, when presenting, consider visual aids like infographics, pie charts, bar graphs, images, hand-drawn illustrations, etc., as your trusted friend.

These visuals offer advantages such as:

  • Catching and keeping your client’s attention
  • Aligning the client’s needs to the brand’s product/service—visually
  • Breaking up text-heavy slides for better focus 
  • Converting complex information into easy-to-digest data

Use ClickUp Whiteboards as a canvas to create a visual presentation for your meeting and show your clients your value.

ClickUp 3.0 Whiteboards simplified

Whether it’s a sales pitch or an onboarding meeting, it is necessary to keep your audience engaged. In other words, your presentation cannot be a monologue.

So, when the presentation is done, it is vital to encourage two-way interaction.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Avoid small talk and instead iterate why the client’s account is important to you
  • Do you have any questions for us?
  • Do you see our product/service as a satisfactory solution for your needs?
  • How do we work together as partners and move this project forward?
  • Motivate your audience to ask questions and provide support for their queries—whether it’s related to scope, costs, timelines, and so on

Effective client management is about establishing clear next steps at the end of the meeting. 

If you leave the meeting open-ended, then you might not hear back from your audience.

Here’s how to set the right expectations for your client while closing the presentation:

  • Outline what you want them to do next 
  • Be upfront and direct about how and when you’ll be making follow-up calls
  • Give the client a defined deadline and keep them in the loop always

Key Elements to Include in a Client Presentation

Brush up your client presentation skills and set your presentation up for success with these must-have elements:

Use primary and secondary research methods to gather information about your client’s pain points.

Get answers to these questions during your research:

  • What are the client’s short-term and long-term goals?
  • What problems are they currently facing within their industry?
  • How does the client measure success?

Pro tip: Leverage sources like company websites, annual reports, industry publications, and social media platforms to get granular details. 

Invest in client onboarding software to efficiently organize and present your research.

Addressing your client’s current challenges demonstrates your understanding of their immediate needs and, by extension, establishes your relevance.

Do your homework about your client’s recent activities to identify challenges they might be grappling with currently. Also engage in discussions with your key stakeholders to get their opinions. In addition, you can use project kickoff templates to capture information about your clients from the get-go.

ClickUp Project Kickoff Template offers a structure for establishing expectations, clarifying roles, delegating tasks, and comprehending project timelines.

Your proof points validate your claims and build credibility by highlighting your track record and success stories. To showcase them:

  • Gather case studies, testimonials, and performance data that demonstrate the effectiveness of your solutions within the industry
  • Structure your presentation to strategically incorporate these proof points, highlighting them at key moments to reinforce credibility
  • Use visuals, such as charts or graphs, to represent your proof points and make them more impactful

A clear call to action directs your client to the next steps they should take after the presentation and guides them toward a decision.

To make this process easier for them:

  • Clearly outline the desired outcome, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or starting a trial
  • Provide multiple channels for the client to take the desired action and make it as convenient as possible for them to move forward
  • Connect with them promptly afterward to reinforce the call to action and provide additional support as needed

Present a detailed breakdown of the investment required for your solutions, including costs, payment terms, and potential ROI.

To get an accurate estimate of your client’s budgetary and timeline requirements, ask these questions:

  • What’s the maximum budget for the project?
  • Are there any specific budgetary constraints to be aware of?
  • How flexible is the client’s budget? Are they open to discussions about cost adjustments?
  • What timeline do they have to get the project up and running?
  • What will happen to the deadline and costs in case of a scope creep?

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Client Presentation

Find the sweet spot with your presentation skills by avoiding these common mistakes:

Failing to establish the proper context at the beginning of your presentation leads to misunderstandings and a lack of engagement from your client. Manage client expectations and clarify what the audience should expect.

If your clients feel confused about the purpose of the presentation, they’ll never be able to grasp the value of your offerings fully.

To set the stage properly , follow these few tips:

  • Understand your audience’s background and align your introduction to resonate with their needs
  • Clearly state the objectives of your presentation and let your clients know what they stand to gain from your pitch
  • Start with a compelling hook that captures their attention and sets the tone for the rest of the presentation

Displaying defensive body language, such as crossing arms, avoiding eye contact, or appearing tense, signals discomfort to your clients.

This can immediately undermine your credibility and rapport with them.

Plus, your defensiveness may seem more like a lack of confidence in your customer’s eyes, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust.

To sharpen your non-verbal communication skills , follow these tips:

  • Pay attention to your body language during practice sessions. Also, practice maintaining an open posture and making eye contact to convey confidence and openness
  • If a challenging question is asked, remain calm and open-minded
  • Demonstrate active listening by nodding, smiling, and using affirming gestures. This shows your clients that you value their input and are engaged in the conversation
  • If you’re unsure about something or need clarification, ask questions politely and respectfully. This demonstrates a willingness to understand and address your client’s concerns

Irrelevant details during a pitch are a waste of your client’s time. 

If there is no clear benefit of adding additional information about the company services, don’t.

For example, if your presentation is about account management, don’t talk about your company’s history unless it directly relates to the success of your account management strategies.

Instead, focus on showcasing account results as the main takeaway.

This will keep your presentation focused and ensure you’re providing valuable information that directly addresses your client’s interests and needs.

Here are some strategies to effectively incorporate relevant data within your presentation:

  • Add data that directly addresses your customer’s specific pain points and interests
  • Identify the most important metrics that align with your audience’s goals and tie these metrics to the impact of your solutions
  • Use charts, graphs, and visuals to present data in a clear and compelling manner
  • Provide context of the data you’re presenting—help your audience understand why these numbers matter and how they relate to the overall story you’re telling
  • Use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate how your solutions have delivered tangible results for similar clients

Finishing a solid presentation is not where your work should end. 

Keep tabs on your audience’s needs, starting with a follow-up call.

Use a free project management software like ClickUp and arm your company with real time client feedback into what’s working for them and what isn’t. A good client management platform can also automate many of these tasks. 

With ClickUp Forms you can capture your client’s responses and route work to the right team at the right time. Additionally, you can convert Clickup Form responses into trackable tasks, which can be plugged directly into your workflows

Read More: Strategies for Client Project Management

When it comes to a presentation, sticking to the basics makes sense. However, deliver the Big Idea in a way that wows your clients and wins them firmly over. 

So, incorporate research and storytelling and maintain a client-first approach to make your presentation stand out .

Use presentation software like ClickUp to deliver pitch-perfect pitches!

1. How can I improve an audience presentation?

Here are a few key takeaways on how to deliver a successful presentation:

  • Spend time and effort researching and planning your pitch
  • Convert your presentation into a well-defined marketing funnel
  • Leverage visuals and images to highlight the USPs of your product or services
  • Close the presentation with a two-way dialogue and clear next steps

2. What should I include in a client presentation?

You can include the following in a client presentation:

  • Detailed client research
  • The client’s pain points
  • Strategic proof points for your presentation content
  • A relevant call to action for your audience
  • Essential details such as the expected investment and timelines

3. How can ClickUp help in optimizing a client presentation?

ClickUp saves you time and effort in creating effective presentations through its various tools as:

  • ClickUp Presentation template, which helps you create effective and engaging presentations for your audience
  • ClickUp AI, which allows you to generate a presentation outline within seconds; for example, creating a sales presentation for your sales process
  • ClickUp’s Presentation Executive Summary Template, which helps you make a killer first impression with your presentation

Use these features and save the time that goes into creating presentations.

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NYFW 2024: From surreal feasts to scarlet furs, Gabriela Hearst's new collection embraces whimsy and texture

S tep into Gabriela Hearst's Fall/Winter 2024 show, and you’re not just entering a fashion presentation; you're stepping into a Surrealist dreamscape. Once inside the Brooklyn venue, you see, ‘butterfish’ sculpted from radishes and Oaxacan cheese ribbons, a playful prelude to the collection inspired by artist Leonora Carrington.

Carrington's whimsical touch was evident, particularly her portrait of Max Ernst in a feathery merman garb. This translated into Hearst’s menswear last month and now echoed in the women’s line with luscious textures taking centre stage. Think mixed shearling and cashmere coats, woolly cashmere furs in bold reds, and teddy-like V-neck gowns that were pure comfort royalty.

Also read:  NYFW 2024: Michael Kors inspired by grandmother’s wedding gown for Fall-Winter collection

Hearst’s new ‘Carrington’ bag, a sleek box in shades like oxblood, further underscored the season’s obsession with all things red. Velvet boots and metallic flats solidified this fiery trend, proving red isn’t going anywhere soon.

Leather ruled the runways this season, but Hearst’s take was anything but ordinary. Napa coats were hand-pleated for added depth, while supple suede slip dresses rivalled silk in their fluidity. Comfort never takes a backseat, though. Merino knit waists graced double satin slip dresses, and signature swirl lace adorned cashmere shirts and flared pants – “Good luck trying to do this,” Hearst was quoted as saying, highlighting the intricate craftsmanship.

Material marriages were another standout feature. A chic black cashmere knit and ivory shearling coat with a corset back stole the show, while a gold metallic napa dress embraced the art of ‘organic engineering’ with its bias-cut silk fusion.

Also read:  NYFW 2024: Tory Burch set out to make the everyday ‘sublime’ with Fall-Winter collection

From the playful feast to the textured masterpieces, Gabriela Hearst's Fall/Winter 2024 was a testament to her unique blend of whimsy, comfort, and exquisite craftsmanship. It's a collection that reminds us that fashion can be both beautiful and thought-provoking, a welcome escape from the ordinary.

NYFW 2024: From surreal feasts to scarlet furs, Gabriela Hearst's new collection embraces whimsy and texture

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    When it comes to a presentation, sticking to the basics makes sense. However, deliver the Big Idea in a way that wows your clients and wins them firmly over. So, incorporate research and storytelling and maintain a client-first approach to make your presentation stand out. Use presentation software like ClickUp to deliver pitch-perfect pitches!

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