Have you ever been to a meeting where you almost fell asleep because of the boring slide deck? We bet that really put your energy and engagement on a low level. Unfortunately, this happens a lot. A great amount of text and no visuals. That doesn’t ask for engagement at all. Let’s change that!

Are you going to a meeting where you need to present something? Make sure to create a slide deck that will keep your audience interested in what you have to say. The best slide decks guide attendees through the information, and will keep them engaged and focused.

However, it’s not easy, especially if you have a lot of information to share with attendees. Next time, use the following steps to create a slide deck that will WOW all attendees!

Create an outline first

Before you start working on your slides, create an outline first. You will save a lot of time when you create your outline first, before you start creating your slides. What is your main message? What are you going to say, and in what order? Are there key points that can be supported by visuals? After you’ve done this, take a look at your outline. Does the flow make sense? Does it include everything you want to say?

Create graphics and visuals

Once you’re happy with your outline, find or create graphics and visuals to support your outline. This is really important. One study showed that only about 10-20% of learning recall was retained after a spoken lecture without visuals, while 65% was retained from an illustrated lecture. Just like with the graph below, seeing “illustrated lecture” outperform “spoken lecture” gets the point across immediately and will increase the odds that you’ll remember this information.

Create your slides

When you’ve created all your content, you are ready to open your slide deck program and put everything together.

First of all, create an agenda slide, showing what you will discuss. You’ll give your audience an idea of the topics and it will help them remember the most important things that were presented. It positively primes attendees as to what they would be getting out of your presentation – the key takeaways.

After this, you can create your other slides, using the outline you’ve made. This should go relatively smooth because you already defined your outline and searched for great visuals to accompany your text on each slide.

Use large fonts and limit the words in your slide deck

Seeing a long, solid block of text will make attendees feel like they’re at the bottom of a mountain. This will really encourage people to stop paying attention. Your slides are there to support your presentation with words and visuals, so don’t put large pieces of text on your slides. If you put a lot of words on a slide, you’re asking your audience to split their attention between what they’re reading and what they’re hearing. That’s really hard for a brain to do. Think about the power of three: put a maximum of three points on each slide, less is more! Limit the words and use a large font.

Also, don’t put important text at the bottom of your slides. Some people might not be able to read it because of people sitting in front of them.

Use humor, but don’t overdo it

It’s a great idea to incorporate some humor and fun in your presentation. This will keep your meeting lively and attendees will stay more engaged. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to draw the attention away from the important information. If you overdo it, a slide with excessive effects can become a distraction from the central point rather than a support for it.

So, when you decide to use humor in a presentation, use throwaways. This might include a funny meme, gif or video on its own slide that you can quickly skip past.

Use a theme for your slide deck

Ultimately, you want to create a central take-away for every attendee to remember once the presentation is over. You can do this by using a theme.

One very effective way to use a theme is the ‘loop’. Start off your presentation with a question or statement regarding a certain theme. This opens the loop. At the end, return to this and answer the question or involve your audience. This closes the loop. By creating and presenting a theme at the beginning of your presentation and repeating it at the end, you increase the chances that participants will remember the key point. This opening and closing with the same theme will end your presentation on a strong note while giving you the chance to repeat the key takeaway.

Check if your slide deck works offline as well

Make sure you always have a copy of your presentation that can be used completely offline. It may save you from a horrible presentation experience! You can’t always trust the Wi-Fi connection.

Well, we hope these steps will help you create an awesome slide deck that won’t put attendees to sleep and will keep everybody focused and engaged. Please let us know if you have any other tips!

 

Are you planning a meeting? Make sure to read How to plan an efficient meeting. Also, sign up for GAIKU to improve your meetings!