5 Tips on Creating Effective Visual Presentations Like a Pro

Here is a constant predicament for presenters - How can a topic be effectively discussed to an audience in such a way that they will be interested in learning more about the issue and actually be drawn to understand and remember what has been presented to them? Despite your best intentions, incorporating your entire monologue into numerous slides filled with bullet points does not help in increasing the audience’s interest and engagement in the presentation. Adding bar graphs and pie charts do not help as well. Understanding human nature points to one solution – visuals.

Communicating with pictures makes it easier for people to remember things that have been discussed with them visually. Studies done by Psychologist Jerome Bruner of New York University have shown that people remember 80% of what they see and do, while only 10% is retained from what they hear and 20% from what they read. According to Psychologist Albert Mehrabian, an audience during a presentation absorbs 55% of the information presented through visuals, and only 38% of verbal and 7% of text.

Ideally, hiring a designer would be the best solution for having a highly engaging and effective presentation. A presentation created by a professional designer will guarantee a polished presentation that will help you, as a presenter, to capture the attention of your audience and successfully communicate your message. However, hiring a pro to do this may be too expensive for small businesses so here are some tips for achieving a visually
engaging presentation
without the additional costs.



 
Photo source: Richard Schatzberger/Flickr 

1.      Use a single, powerful image per slide

Refrain from placing too many images on one slide. Similar to text having too many images on one slide will just look cluttered to your audience. Focus on one great image that is relevant to the item being discussed and add a word or phrase to emphasize your point. Avoid copying pictures off the internet and instead, get high resolution images from a good resource. Compfight.com contains thousands of free high quality photos for almost any topic.

2.      Choose the right font and size

Typography is also visual. Contrary to popular belief, Helvetica is not a standard font for presentations. Neither is Times New Roman. There are several other creative fonts available that will give your slides a polished look like it was made by a professional designer. FontSquirrel.com offers a wide array of free fonts you can use. Try to experiment and combine fonts. Avoid being too frivolous though, and make sure that you limit your font styles to just 2 to 3 per slide. There is no standard font size, but the safe size would be 40. Remember to consider the size of the room you will be presenting in. Your content should be read by the farthest person from the screen.

3.      Pick the appropriate colour combination

It is important to create a theme for your presentation, and have all the slides consistent to this theme. Unlike the old presentations, you do not have to follow a standard background for your slides. Instead, think of a particular theme and make sure that all the slides fit into that theme. If in doubt with your artistic skills, COLOURlovers.com can help you pick the right colours and them for your presentation.

4.      Present numbers with pictures

Incorporating images in your graphs not only makes them more aesthetically pleasing to the eye but doing so makes your audience more receptive to the data being presented. Conversely, writing numbers and percentages on images has the same effect.

 

5.      Movement

While images make data more digestible, dynamic visuals make data even more interesting for your audience, helping them to understand the data better and retain this information. One great example of how statistical data was creatively presented was Dr. Hans Rosling’s presentation on world development.

 6.      Give handouts

Visuals are not limited to images on your presentation. At the end of your presentation, provide handouts to your audience, summarizing the important points in your discussion. Similar to your presentation, your handouts should be visually appealing as well. PrintPlace.com is a commercial online printer that offers its services at very affordable rates without sacrificing the quality of paper and print.

By focusing on the message rather than the literature, you can create presentations that will attract your audience’s attention and consequently enable them to remember the points you discussed. Always remember to use visuals that will help you get your message across. A successful presentation is not only defined by how well the speaker discussed the topic, but also by how much the audience understood and remembers all the points raised.

 

About the Author

Michelle Rubio is a freelance writer. She writes about almost anything under the sun – practical insights, design, bodybuilding, legal matters, insurance, technology, and business. She is particularly fond of topics concerning creative design and marketing, and how they impact small businesses.

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