The truth is that proper business presentations are like hygiene. They have to look and feel professional. We might not notice when everything is as it should be, but everyone notices if something isn't right. You wouldn't show up for an important meeting with a stain on your white shirt, would you?
Subsequently, delivering sub-par presentations doesn't demand respect from your peers, nor does it command the attention of the CEO.
If everyone in the room already agreed with you, your presentation would not be necessary in the first place.
So what's the common denominator for professional PowerPoint design?
The fundamental principle of good presentation design is that it should support your message, not detract from it in any way. You (and your presentation) are aiming to convince the audience of something; whether you are selling a business, presenting a 2020 strategy or preparing for a boardroom meeting.
Your presentation should facilitate your objective without distracting your audience. Essentially, you want them to pay attention to your message without being distracted by bad alignment or cramped slides.
But you might argue:
Design is subjective, right?
Take alignment: it is a law you must follow, like doing the same thing to both sides of an equation.
We address all the do's and don'ts in our free ebook below.
It won't help you become a great artist. What it will do is make your analysis the focal point of attention.
In our free ebook, we will address all the bullets, along with a comprehensive checklist so your presentation can be 100% mistake-free or at least well on the way.
Though you might think an empty slide is a canvas where you can go crazy with the visuals, resist the temptation to fill every blank space
Keep spacing around each element in your slide, and be sure to leave a distance from each edge – don’t “steal the margin” and cram everything to one side.
The power of negative space can be huge.
A majority of the most iconic ads in the past decades have been ones that are minimalistic and aren’t afraid to let negative space speak for itself.
Did we mention the other bonus for white space?
By cutting out the excess material, you’re forced to boil down your content to one or a few important points. Though it might be hard to part ways with elements, surrounding the main takeaway with white space will be better for the long run. The audience will have an easier time remembering an emphasized, singular message as opposed to a scattering of ideas.
Go for simplicity. Clarity. Give the eyes a place to rest, and your slides will look both clean and professional. Your audience won’t be forgetting your presentation any time soon.
To discover the other slide design principles, check out our free ebook.