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Presentation design: how to impress the audience

Presentation design: how to impress the audience

The best way to present a product, service or event in order to attract customers, buyers and viewers is a presentation. You can find out whether it is effective or not by the response of the audience: if there are appeals and sales, then everything is done correctly, or vice versa: there are no responses, which means that the material is not finished. The price of a mistake is high - it is a loss of time, loyalty of potential customers, new efforts of specialists are needed to find the problems of a failed presentation and draw up a new one.

Those who deal with the presentation of services and products on an ongoing basis understand that the best way to sell is to make not just a beautiful presentation design , but to create an effective structure, work out the text, and choose a high-quality visual; in general, they approach presentations systematically.

By the way, presentations for the sale of computers, perfumes and toys, scientific work are different. They have a different target audience, different ways of communicating with the public (and its perception, respectively), and different expected results. Presentations are much more effective for those who have the skills of various communications, feel people and understand their needs. To master this art, we invite you to master the course " Best Communication Techniques ".

And in our article we will talk about the correct design of the presentation, about the types, differences and features, and also tell you how to make such a series of slides that will most likely interest your audience.

We strongly recommend that you study the entire material, and not scroll through to practical lessons. Reading the article, you will get acquainted with the main differences between presentations from each other depending on the type and understand how to work with different topics.

What is a presentation?

So, a presentation (from Latin praesento - presentation) is a set of documents, information slides, visual aids designed to present a company, goods, services, project to the target audience. It is a versatile tool that helps:

  • start-ups - to attract funding;
  • business to increase sales;
  • manufacturers - to expand the sales market;
  • companies - to establish internal communication between employees;
  • scientists - to share achievements with the world;
  • pupils and students - to submit a research paper on any topic.

A presentation is a universal way of presenting something, but for different purposes its structure, content and presentation are different. So, a presentation of a company and a product are completely different sets of slides and information.

A common request for entrepreneurs is a “business presentation” or “sales presentation”. Let's open the secret: they do not exist, because behind such presentations there is no specifics, only the final desire of the customer is the sale of a product or service.

Submitting a travel package and a diamond ring are completely different methods of interacting with the audience. Making a presentation for a project is different from selling a finished product and involves showing the entire process of creating something, demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of this work.

Why do you need to know how to make a presentation?

Knowing the rules of presentation design has been a useful skill since people learned how to present products and services by showing slides and documents on a monitor screen. Sets of information pictures can be made by teachers, students, managers, managers, software and technology developers, technologists, entrepreneurs, etc.

A specialist with additional skills is competitive both within the company to maintain a job and when looking for a new one. In modern realities, employers choose mainly experts who possess not only narrow-profile knowledge, but also advanced communication and other soft skills .

Why presentation is useful:

  • quick explanation of the question, subject;
  • visual demonstration for those who perceive information visually;
  • a structured flow of information instead of a large written text;
  • with the right approach ensures engagement.

The ability to work in PowerPoint, the main presentation designer, is becoming more and more common in vacancies; it is a necessary tool not only for marketers. The ability to work with presentations is expected, among other things, from managers of all levels, lawyers, accountants, even doctors [, 2022 ]

Now is the time to expand your skills and abilities. They increase the competitiveness of a person when looking for a job, give bonuses at the current duty station. It is not profitable for the employer to turn to third-party experts, so he will give preference to full-time employees with additional necessary skills.

According to Olesya Plotnikova, head of the recruitment department at HeadHunter, presentations are in demand wherever there is a need to convey information to colleagues, management or partners outside and inside the company. Even doctors sometimes share their experience at professional events, and recruiters give candidates a job offer in a presentation format, in which they show the specifics of the position, responsibilities, etc.

The skill became popular remotely when traditional methods of communication stopped working. It is much easier to cover the desired topic or issue through a presentation than by ordinary text by mail or a phone call [, 2022 ].

visual literacy

Knowing how to categorize and design presentations is related to visual literacy, the most important skill of the 21st century, full of technology and ubiquitous use of information.

Visual literacy is the ability to understand, structure and communicate information in the form of infographics, visual images supported by abstracts. This is not only a tool, but also a rule of good taste in relation to those people with whom the expert interacts. If he uncontrollably uses parasitic words, speaks illogically, awkwardly, then his communication is not well developed. The same applies to visual literacy: if the viewer of the presentation experiences discomfort, misunderstanding of what they want to say, then communication is not established, the slides are not thought out properly.

Another situation may arise: the speaker is well versed in the topic, but as soon as he opens the presentation ... And there is a 4:3 format, outdated clip art, although the practical content is in order. Judging by the design, the audience may get the impression that a person does not follow trends, the approach to compiling visual documentation, and this may give the impression that the speaker is inattentive to detail, which means that he may make mistakes in his work, not use the right approach, etc. .d.

The ability to properly design presentations is the skill of holding and controlling the attention of the viewer. In fact, it is aimed at sorting the information field and isolating the necessary data from it. So, when considering cognitive science , some emphasize the ability for consistent reasoning, others emphasize skill and how a person finds unusual approaches to solving ordinary and non-standard problems, although the definition itself includes both the first and second.

The sequence and beauty of the slides is an indicator of the ability of the presentation maker to isolate the necessary information, supplement and present it to the public. Many HR consider this skill to be basic for employees of various professions.

What are the presentations?

As already mentioned, depending on the purpose, the requirements for the design of the presentation differ. There is no single classification of presentation documents. In general, they can be divided into several groups according to the type of slides and pictures on them:

  • Static with a fixed picture and text on the slide. Such presentations can be voluminous and at the same time not heavy, they have convenient navigation - the speaker or users themselves can find the desired section, like the menu and search on sites, choose the order in which the sheets are viewed.
  • Animated presentations, in addition to the picture, contain minimal animation - light transitions, moving images.
  • Multimedia presentations include video and audio tracks, active buttons, and other interactive elements.

The visual part of the presentation depends on its specifics, and this is a question that many people for some reason miss, and therefore make mistakes in compiling and presenting the material. Few understand how, for example, a marketing presentation differs from an investor presentation.

Let's take a look at the main types of presentations.

Marketing Presentations

This is a group of presentations, the ultimate goal of which is the sale of goods or services. They are important to attract the attention of a potential buyer, to interest and sell. The marketer has practically no right to make a mistake, or flaws will cost the customer dearly.

In marketing presentations, there are graphs, tables - they make it easier to visually show the benefits and effectiveness of the product, but the numbers may be absent, and only pictures can be used as materials.

We will divide the types of marketing presentations into several subgroups.

Presentation of the company

This is a business image and communication tool that helps to present the company to partners and clients, to demonstrate the advantages and strengths. The presentation of the company may include the history of the development of the company, mission and values, principles of work, competencies and activities, team, achievements, key partners.

It is important not to get hung up on the firm, but to shift the focus to the needs of the client, for example, by showing how the activities of the enterprise have made the client's life better. Here is an example of such a presentation:

Design recommendations: the visual design of the company's presentation should match the corporate identity, perhaps a logo or flag; symbols, fonts, and colors will help create integrity.

Product presentation

Product presentation is an important link in the sales chain. The purpose of the presentation is to stimulate demand and motivate the buyer to purchase. The product is in the focus of attention, 80% of the volume of slides should be devoted to it, 20% is allowed to represent the company.

The presentation must contain a full description of the product, disclose the advantages, characteristics, technical parameters and other key information.

There are several strategies for promoting products: through the customer's story, through pain, storytelling, through dry facts and figures, as Steve Jobs did. The goal of these strategies is to evoke in the buyer the pleasant feelings of solving the problem or the very fact of the purchase, which he will experience after the purchase. Here is an example of such a presentation:

Design recommendations: there is no single rule for designing a product or product presentation; here, marketers have maximum scope for creativity. It is important to use high-quality photographs, and the more the better.

Service presentation

You can sell a service according to an algorithm identical to selling a product. The buyer needs to show the usefulness of the purchase of the service. It should reveal the features of its provision, and not leave blocks of small print. Four semantic blocks can be included in the structure :

  • Identification of the problem (“I want to buy an apartment”).
  • Provision of a solution (“We will help, we will take over the selection and design of an apartment for ourselves”).
  • Closing objections (“I will do everything myself, I don’t need intermediaries” - “You will spend a lot of time and do not take into account the pitfalls”).
  • Call to action (“Contact us, we will help save you time, nerves and money”).

Service presentations are more common when working with b2b companies, so slides should include information that convinces of the reliability of cooperation, guarantees for potential partners.

Design recommendations: A bet on emotionality can be made if the service is provided to individuals. If there is interaction with the company, it is better to operate with facts. The presentation should include the composition of the service, tables, comparative tables, graphs.

Franchise Presentation

The franchise should be sold as a product or service, but with a more detailed profile information depth. It should reveal:

  • the concept and business model of the franchise;
  • cooperation formats;
  • analysis and forecast of return on investment;
  • requirements for the franchisee;
  • work roadmap .

The presentation should also include an analysis of the target audience , niche, competitors.

Design Guidelines: The packaging of a franchise presentation determines the quality of the communication and the success of the sale, respectively. The rule “the colder the audience, the deeper the detail” applies here.

In other words, a restaurateur with experience may be interested in a fast food chain franchise - this is a conditionally warm niche, a person does not need to be immersed in a number of subtleties that he himself knows. If the future franchisee is a person who is far from the food business, he will need that very detail to understand the intricacies of the business.

In terms of design, the presentation should be framed in a single concept with the brand: colors, fonts, style. A good example is the franchise of the Coffe 13 coffee shop chain : local slides, analytics, numbers.

Commercial offer and media kit

A commercial offer is a concise presentation with the indicated competitive advantages of cooperation, a product or a service, and a media kit is a presentation of services from the media (media, radio, online).

These presentations usually contain a minimum of slides, because the more concise the presentation, the higher the chances of success, because the potential buyer wants to find the right data quickly. When drafting a document, you should go straight to the point.

Design guidelines: laconic colors and pictures that do not distract the reader from the point. Fonts must be readable. The presentation itself contains only the necessary slides, without water and frills.

The media kit is signed as a presentation of services with all sub-items and tariffs; information about the media, benefits for the advertiser, cases can be used. An interesting example is here .

Product Catalog

Oddly enough, the product catalog and portfolio are designed according to the type of presentation and according to similar principles. With this tool, you can show the results of work, products.

The catalog or portfolio is based on photographs of a product or a result of a service, possibly satisfied customers. The design should reflect the status of the company, expert, professionalism and inspire confidence in the target audience.

corporate presentation

The second group of presentations are corporate presentations used for communications within medium and large businesses. In most cases, these are formal documents drawn up according to the regulations, in which emotionality, excessive creativity beyond the concept of the enterprise are unacceptable, therefore, we will briefly consider them:

  • Investor presentations are public documents prepared for a business event. They are intended to attract investors, which means they should include information about the state and prospects of the market, financial indicators for past periods, data on the implementation of company strategies, achievements and customers. The presentation is based on infographics, numbers, tables for quick and visual perception.
  • The annual report for the development of the investor relations strategy is an indispensable tool. It is compiled annually and published on the company's website for review by shareholders and investors. The report covers several aspects of the company's activities, so the length of the document can reach several hundred pages. In order not to overload them, neutral colors should be used, while the report should correspond to the company's brand book. In order not to get a monolith of numbers and information, you should break the report into semantic blocks. An example of a report from Gazprom is here , pay attention to the volume and quality of the slides.
  • Presentation for employees (onboarding) helps to reduce employee turnover through the specific design of corporate culture and values, social packages and bonuses, work schedule, development and training opportunities, and other information necessary for the employee. Through this presentation, the company informs the new employee about the work processes, his responsibilities, and opportunities.
  • A brand book is an important document that includes a list of visual corporate and communication attributes of a company. The brand book forms the vision of the company and creates the basis for creating a single recognizable style. It also outlines the mission and strategy of the company, positioning and brand standards. The brand book can also contain a guideline - a guide to the use of corporate identity and symbols.

Corporate presentations also include various reports, for example, on sustainable development, finance, but they are compiled according to the approved regulations and should contain only key information in a structured form.

Investment presentations

The third group of presentations - investment, aimed at attracting funding.

Startup presentation

It is better not to make a presentation for a startup according to a template - in this case, a novice entrepreneur needs to show his own uniqueness in order to be noticed and appreciated.

A startup presentation should not be large - up to 10 slides are enough, but they should contain the most juicy squeeze of facts: what kind of product is to be developed and promoted, how it can be interesting, when it will interest you and how quickly it will pay off. Creativity is a mandatory accompaniment of the presentation.

Investment project presentation

An investment project differs from a start-up by having a real operating business that is already operating, but needs cash injections to increase productivity and expand the production base. The rules for compiling a startup presentation can be taken as a basis, additionally included blocks of achievements, plans, descriptions of targeted investments.

Scientific type presentations, research

This type of presentation is used by schoolchildren and students, medical workers, teachers and other highly specialized specialists who do not need to sell, but need to convey the benefits of the work done. Their main task is to consistently present the subject of study, to show its dynamics and perspective.

The presentation describes the subject of the study, the results are not all, but only the main ones. It is important to demonstrate understanding of the material [ I.A. Suchkov, 2017 ].

We have given the main types of presentations that are most often encountered in practice. Knowing the basic typology, it will not be difficult to figure out other types of presentations, and their knowledge is already half the battle. It remains to pack everything properly.

Presentation rules

Let's move on to the most interesting - the practical block. When you have decided on the purpose of the presentation, it's time to design the slides.

The first step is to understand in what format it is advisable to make a presentation:

  • In the form of sequential slides, switched automatically or manually by a person.
  • Video with voice over.
  • In Flash form for creating aminated and multimedia presentations with movable elements, active menu.
  • In wine PDF - suitable for static presentations, documents.

The content of the slides depends on the form of presentation of the material. If the presentation is an auxiliary tool to accompany the narrator, only pictures with a minimum of theses can be concentrated in it. Self-directed presentations, such as those sent by mail, should get to the heart of the issue.

Structuring and collecting information

Due to the fact that a presentation is a way to convey information, this very information needs to be structured and divided into blocks at the initial stage:

  • Think about what you want to talk about, collect data, check it.
  • Designate the main blocks (structure) with theses, then expand them with important facts.
  • Highlight the main thing - what should be emphasized. Will it be italics or a provocative picture?
  • Decide on the language of presentation of the material. To do this, you need to know the target audience with which to interact.

The main problem of some speakers is the inability to structure the material. Sketching blocks and expanding them with abstracts creates the skeleton of a future presentation and gives an understanding of which direction to move in, what images, videos and special effects to choose.

The following algorithm will help overcome the fear of a white sheet :

  • Start with a provocation: “Are you satisfied with your income level?”, “Do you feel happy?”, “Is your house cozy?” Such an emphasis is able to attract the attention of the audience and identify the problem for which the speaker will offer a solution.
  • Expand the problem - give statistics of those who are dissatisfied with income, home, standard of living, as well as those who have already left the vicious circle.
  • Give examples of real people's success.
  • Make a conclusion.

This backbone is versatile and can be used for most presentations. An important principle that complements it is Explain like I'm 5 (“Explain it like I'm 5 years old”). Simplify, do not use complex constructions, terms. Imagine that you are talking to a child who needs to explain a difficult topic.

Now let's move on to the presentation. The most commonly used program for this is PowerPoint. It has an intuitive interface that anyone who owns Office can master. If you have not come across such programs and need instructions on how to make a slide with an image and text.

Working with images

The design of the presentation begins with the title page. PowerPoint has templates for the first sheet, but it's better not to use them because of the non-uniqueness of the options offered.

The best pictures for presentation design are original photos of the product, staff, customers, products of the enterprise, etc.

To complement the slides, you can use pictures, other people's photos, and legally - take a look at the photo stocks. We warn you to pass off photos from these resources as your own, so as not to violate copyright.

Rules for working with slides

The photos have been found, the structure has been drawn up, now it needs to be transferred to the slides. Stick to a few rules:

  • Simple content - a minimum of textual information.
  • Structure - use bulleted lists, theses.
  • Highlight keywords in italics or bold.
  • Stick to the same color scheme and font style on all slides.
  • Use high-quality pictures, photographs, tables and graphs.
  • Don't stick to presentation design images, try to come up with the design of each slide yourself, you can even draw it [ com ]
  • Align the text on the sheet relative to the right or left edge - this way it looks more compact.
  • Dedicate one of the slides to the team that created the product - this is a gesture of gratitude to colleagues and a way to increase the loyalty of the target audience, which will see real people behind the product.
  • If necessary, insert a video or audio track. Important: they should be captivating, not long, their task is to explain or evoke emotions. For example, in 2019, at the presentation of new smartphones, Samsung used the broadcast of emotional footage captured on a smartphone camera on huge screens on stage. An unusual move.

Slides should be informative and easy to read. If the graphics are bad, a person will have to look at the text and the picture, but will he do it, waste his time? Probably not. Risking attention is an unaffordable luxury.

There are examples of high-quality presentations in different styles in Note & Point, and on Pinterest you can see options for ready-made presentations and make your own.

Final slide

How to end the presentation and how to fill the last slide? There are two options:

  • List of sources used to compile the material. The option is suitable for business presentations and business documents.
  • Gratitude for Audience Attention – An option for presentations intended for an audience that does not require too much formality.

A slide that contains a conclusion about a product, service, presentation issue should not be the last [ Center for extracurricular work "On Sumy", 2022 ]

Where to make a presentation?

It is not necessary to install a program for creating presentations on your computer - it is much more convenient to use online services:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint on the web is available for free. It is rightfully considered one of the best - the widest distribution, a large selection of editing tools, templates, palettes, fonts.
  • Apple Keynote  is a presentation program with a rich set of tools and ideas. You can work collectively in the service, but it is only suitable for iOS devices and Mac.
  • Google Slides is a presentation creation service suitable for teamwork over the Internet, and you can edit and save presentations offline.
  • Canva is known to smartphone owners on all types of platforms. The free version has a limited feature set, and serious presentations require a subscription.

You can get inspired by interesting design ideas to make a presentation with a “wow” effect here .

Presentation software is just a tool. Even the best template can be spoiled by an excess of information, the selection of the wrong font, or inconsistency with the style of branding. Follow the proposed rules, remember the purpose of creating a presentation, the target audience, the usefulness of the information and act.


To improve your presentation design skills, we recommend downloading several books to improve your skills:

  • Robin Williams, Design. A book for non-designers.
  • Karsten Bredemeyer, Black Rhetoric. The power and magic of the word.
  • Garr Reynols, Zen Presentation.
  • These are examples of literature aimed primarily at developing communication skills.

You will learn how to master these techniques faster and implement them in practice in the coming weeks in the Best Communication Techniques program. We invite you to study, which will help you reach new heights not only in your professional life, but also in communication with others, relatives and friends.