How to create effective and engaging PowerPoint presentations for business
In businesses across a wide variety of industries, presentations continue to play a key role. But PowerPoint isn't what it used to be.
Nowadays, thousands of sales pitches, board meetings, internal presentations and pitches for investment are supported by slides that enhance key messages, visually support the speaker, and engage the audience. In the very best PowerPoint presentations for business, there's no clip art or dodgy animation in sight.
We helped leading tech-enabled marketing communications group MSQ Partners enhance their business presentations with versatile, future-proof PowerPoint assets that allow them to produce their own powerful and effective presentations in-house.
Here's how we did it, and how you too can create effective and truly engaging PowerPoint presentations for business.
1) Grab your audience's attention with striking imagery
Cliched stock images, clip art and low quality photos are just not going to cut it anymore.
Powerful visuals that compliment what you're saying and contribute to your story will give your presentation a professional look, and help your audience understand your message.
In MSQ's template (pictured above), we utilised powerful, engaging imagery to grab the attention of their audiences and deliver key messages with impact.
Quality images matter, and they’re by no means difficult to come by. There are plenty of growing websites that allow you to download images for commercial use for free, including Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. These sites make it easy to be imaginative by offering artistic and unique images that you might not otherwise have considered using.
2) Highlight key points with bold text
Our eyes are drawn to the biggest, boldest elements on a slide. It's that simple.
However, it’s easy to fall into PowerPoint’s trap of making the title the most in-your-face element on the slide, rather than the content it introduces.
For MSQ's template, we knew how important it was to draw attention to key numbers. So, we built a range of slides that focus on the numbers they really want to shout about, as shown above.
In your business presentation, ask yourself: what really needs to stand out on your slides? What do you want people to remember? Then, make it stand out.
3) Visualise data to make it easier to digest
There's nothing worse than staring at a PowerPoint slide filled with confusing charts and graphs that you can barely read, let alone make sense of.
Don't put your audience through the same thing. Instead, if you need to show data in your business presentation, ensure you visualise it in a way that makes it easier to digest.
MSQ often have to present important numerical information, sometimes in the form of pie charts and graphs. To allow their audiences to better understand them (and to avoid sending them to sleep), we produced a number of visually impressive slides that display this information with impact.
Visualising complex data helps to increase audience comprehension and engagement, which in turn increases the effectiveness of the presentation.
4) Direct your audience's eyes with sleek animation
Utilising PowerPoint’s motion animations in your presentation can help you increase the comprehension of your audience by making your content clearer and easier to digest.
Slide by slide, our attention is drawn to what is different, so moving images work well for helping audiences to process new information.
For MSQ's presentations, we used animation features to help build new ideas and highlight key points by breaking up large amounts of information into tasty, bitesized chunks. Notice how your eyes are drawn to each moving block above? That's the power of animation.
5) Reimagine how PowerPoint slides can look
The best PowerPoint slides look nothing like PowerPoint slides - just take a look at the one we made for MSQ above. To create the most effective and engaging presentations, you need to throw out the idea of what traditional PowerPoints look like.
Endless bullet points, uninspiring backdrops and repetitive company templates will do little to encourage your audiences to listen and act as a result of your presentation.
Instead, think outside the box, be imaginative, and seek advice from experts like us. We turn presentation software inside out, building impactful PowerPoint slides that truly impressive. Talk to us about how we can help you.