6 Tips From Art Directors for Creating a Visually Impactful Presentation
The visual support of a presentation — or the famous slides — is an important tool for capturing the audience's attention and explaining complex concepts in a graphic way. Therefore, a presentation with an impactful design is essential to generating the desired impact.
To help you structure an impactful, state-of-the-art look, I gathered tips from the biggest experts, which are art directors! They are responsible for creating the visual identities and presentations and they agreed to share their knowledge with me for the sake of this article.
Check out these valuable steps to create more interesting, engaging slides and an even more compelling presentation.
Create a good script
If you thought you'd come here just for visual tips, you're wrong. For a visual to be truly impactful, it needs to be linked to a good script. Because the script and the visual go together and need to be in sync. A well-constructed script allows you to visualize the main topics covered and the focus. With this in hand, it is easier to create slides that complement and illustrate the speech — and do not repeat the presenter. Furthermore, the well-defined script eliminates excesses — especially in the amount of text.
Define a visual identity
Preparing a creative presentation with a visual identity is fundamental, whether for a product, an event or a brand. As I explain in this text, the choice of colors, fonts, shapes and symbols are means of making the public recognize your business, in addition to giving unity to the presentation.
An identity is also capable of transmitting the values and essence of your project. The good news is that you only need to do this job once. Then, you can repeat the pattern in other presentations — as long as the objective, context and audience profile are the same.
For example: if a person from an IT company is giving a presentation at a sales convention to talk about strategy, the visual identity should be more impactful, use metaphors and have animation effects that attract and connect the audience. If this same presentation is made to the board, it needs to have a more serious visual identity.
Break content down into steps
It bears repeating: a good visual presentation is one that doesn't have too much text and/or images on the same slide. In addition to polluting the material, too much can have the opposite effect of a good slide: hindering, rather than helping, understanding. Always prefer to divide the most 'loaded' projections into two or three slides. Thus, the material will be more enlightening and will not clutter your interlocutor's head. Imagine the horror of someone who stops following your line of reasoning because they are trying to understand that fine print or read the 15 bullet points you selected.
A tip: separate the content of your presentation by messages and use tools such as 'click' (an effect that makes an image or text appear on the slide). This helps make the presentation more dynamic and visually pleasing.
Contrast (of colors, sizes and shapes) is an excellent tool to make a presentation more interesting and draw the audience's attention. Just as I explained in this article about design tips, the technique can be applied in different ways. So don't be afraid to dare. You can create different sizes and fonts for the texts, work with information arranged in different colors, and even vary the dimensions of the images. This means that the reader is much more likely to focus on exactly the information you want.
Choose images carefully
Choosing certain images and tones for your visual presentation makes all the difference. Here, it is worth remembering the psychology of colors: each hue causes a different sensation in people. Calmness, tension and even hunger can be awakened by color. Therefore, it is necessary to find figures with tones that relate to the subject to be treated.
It is also necessary to be always attentive to select images that make sense for the proposed theme. Avoid choosing old or low-quality images and always try to maintain a standard. Do not mix photos, drawings or other types of illustration in the same presentation.
The arrangement of objects within the slide expresses organization and clarity. Therefore, when diagramming your presentation, use and abuse tools such as contrast, and take care of the alignment and breathability of the text. Organize the content so that it is pleasant, but also expressive. Different layout models can be found on the pages of newspapers and magazines. So, if you have no ideas for building your presentation, just look for the nearest copy.
To assimilate so many tips, looking for examples is always a great idea. Fortunately, there are resources like SlidesCarnival, which offers templates and real-world examples to inspire your own presentations. By using these templates, you can witness firsthand how expertly crafted scripts, distinct visual identities, segmented content, creative contrasts, careful image selection, and meticulous diagramming come together to create visually captivating and compelling presentations. Thus, by combining these insights with practical examples, you can elevate your presentation skills and leave a lasting impact on your audience.