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6 Slide Design Tips for Online Presentations


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Time to sit back and listen as Boris and Iva reveal how you can design effective slides for remote presentations.

In the last episode, we talked about setting up your remote presentation environment, preparing the tools, removing all distractions, and establishing an engaging connection with your audience online.

Now it’s time to talk about the steps you need to design slides that will promise your success when you’re about to present in a remote environment.

You’re about to learn the slide design techniques that are extremely easy to implement in your next online presentation and will give you a noticeable difference and increase in the engagement levels your audience demonstrates.

Break down your presentation into more slides

One of the key engagement boosters for any online presentation is a constant change in slides and visuals.

If you have a slide that you can break down into 2 or more slides – do it. Since direct face to face connection is not present in online meetings, humans need visual stimulation to keep their attention focused on you.

That happens with constant visual change in the presentation they’re seeing on their screen as you’re speaking. But with slides where there’s too much going on and nothing changes for a while… people start losing focus.

So, if you have 10 slides in your presentation – break the content down and spread them out into 15 or more.

Don't substitute constant change with transitions

By constant visual change, we don’t mean to simply add more transitions and animations to your current slides. That won’t help, it will only hurt your audience engagement when presenting remotely.

While we’re on transitions, the next important step in converting your presentation into a remote one is avoiding any unnecessary motion from the slides.

The reason for that is that due to differences in Internet connection speeds and bandwidth, complex transitions tend to lag when they’re viewed over remote presentation software.

So, if you can stick to the simplest transitions like Fade – better go with them. If possible – go without any transitions. This will only ensure your audience sees your slides changing smoothly without any lagging or delays that hurt the viewing experience.

Put meaning and simplicity into your visuals

Since attending remote presentations is difficult enough with all the possible distractions, adding complex slides and visual elements doesn’t help with that.

So, the right way to go is using photos and images that don’t have too much going on. Use data visualizations that don’t overwhelm viewers. Use simple colors that don’t get ruined on different devices and connection speeds.

Look at each and every single slide in your presentation and do everything you can to simplify each element so it can be consumed by your viewers without them having to try hard.

If an image or other visual element is vague and too complex – replace it with a simpler and more direct one. If there are too many visual details in a photo and your viewers need to look closely at the screen to see them – replace it with another one.

Don’t make them work hard to understand your presentation when you’re delivering online.

Slide numbers make it easier for users to keep track

You rarely see slide numbers on live presentations, but they do help when you’re presenting remotely.

If your audience gets lost for a second and wants to get back on track – having the slide numbers helps them stay in the loop of what you’re talking about.

Going out of slideshow mode without giving away what comes next

When you’re presenting a demo, or a topic that requires you to pause your presentation and switch tabs, there are a couple of seconds where viewers can see your upcoming slides.

Now, sometimes this is not important, but there are a lot of cases where the viewing experience will be damaged if users get a good glance of what you’re about to show them.

Things might go both ways – they get confused by something they don’t understand yet, or their attention might get spoiled because they found out what’s coming too soon.

Start your online presentation with a visual notification that audio has started

You know those brief confusing moments when you just joined the online call or meeting and you’re wondering if it’s already started or if the presenter is still waiting?

Yes, that can be a frustrating moment, but you as a presenter can eliminate that discomfort.

Simply add a quick slide that conveys the message that “Audio is now live” exactly when you officially start your presentation.

This way viewers see and know they need to turn on their headphones or speakers so they start listening and don’t get frustrated about what’s going on with the presentation.

Listen to the full episode!

All of this is discussed thoroughly in the podcast episode, so tune in, subscribe, and let us know what you think!

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