We are Word template designers too (Shhh!)

Word template designers

We didn’t want to shout about it, as it’s probably not cool at all: but we also have Word template designers here at Presented. (Obviously you already know that PowerPoint is our main cool-tool).

So if your company’s Word templates need some TLC, drop a line to team@presented.co.uk

How to make your presentations reflect the value of your business.

Step 1: Save time and stress by getting us, the experts, to do it for you!

The end.

I’m kidding, but also not kidding – you and your team have better things to do than slog away for hours in PowerPoint. We hear hundreds of sob stories every year about how many hours are wasted putting poorly designed presentations together.

We have the speed and expertise to take this pain away from you. And once you have a well designed set of slides – in a functional and easy to use template – you’ll find it easier and faster to maintain that standard. After all, most slides can be reused over and over, so if they already look amazing, then you’re set. It’s a worthwhile investment.

Step 2: Evaluate what your company is presenting

Many presenters think that what they do is fine – because everyone else is looking the same. But this should not be permission to keep producing low level presentations. A recent contact heard that his Sales team were satisfied with their presentations as they claimed to be “the best of a bad bunch.” His response?

“I don’t want us to be at the top of the shit pile!”

Step 3: Make some simple changes

So, don’t settle for mediocrity: improve your presentations and your results / conversions / goals will improve too. The design council reported that for every £1 spent on design, you get a £4 return*.

We can help you; working with us isn’t at all painful, and you’ll have something beautiful/valuable to show for it. If you prefer to make your own small improvements, here are some pointers:

1) Avoid bullet points & paragraphs.
Alternative ideas to a list of bullets include popping each sentence into a shape (e.g. a square) and laying those out on the slide in a grid. And avoid paragraphs: do we need to tell you this!? Reduce your text so that it’s good for your audience to experience. They don’t want to read, they want to listen. They cannot listen if you’re presenting them with loads of text to read.

2) Use diagrams, icons, images – that are relevant
I think everyone knows “less text, more images”. But it’s best to avoid photography as it’s usually distracting to your message. Indeed, having no photo is often better (from a communication point of view) than one that looks amazing but is purely decorative. One of the few exceptions is when you’re sharing a photo of your product.

Instead, text content can often be transformed into infographics, data can be visualised in charts instead of tables, icons can be used to code recurring themes, and diagrams that build with animation can dramatically simplify processes and other complex content.

We love to transform all sorts of content types. It can be challenging, but our team have loads of creative ideas and love the challenge.

3) Follow your branding.
If you’re following a company template: Stick to your colours. Stick to your fonts. Use Layouts within your Slides Masters (these should be included in any decent template). Obey where your content should be located – you might follow a grid, or have a simpler rule to keep within certain margins. It looks terrible if your slide titles are inconsistently located or styled, or if everyone is doing different things. Try using the Reset button, or use guides to visually confirm the positioning.

Finally – here are some before and after samples to illustrate some of the above points:

BEFORE POWERPOINT SLIDES:
 
AFTER POWERPOINT SLIDES:
We are here to help you. To discuss more ideas or if you’re convinced you need to stop wasting your own time designing and endlessly formatting PowerPoint and Word – just drop the team an email, or give us a call.
*https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/new-government-figures-show-uk-has-largest-design-sector-europe. 

Reduce cognitive load in PowerPoint presentations

Our working memory is limited. Our brains can only absorb a certain about of information when new ideas are shared or presented to us. To make your presentation truly memorable you need to consider the limits of working memory and ways to reduce cognitive load. It doesn’t matter how charismatic and entertaining you are, if you overload the memories of your audience, they simply won’t remember it all.

Key messages

When designing your PowerPoint presentation think about what information you want the audience to take away with them, what are your key messages (think in 3s). Make sure these points are emphasized and explained simply without any extraneous “noise”. Include a menu at the start of the presentation and reduce the text on your slides as much as possible. If you are presenting live you do not need to have every word on the screen – your slides should be a visual aid.

Complex content

One consideration is the complexity of your content – is your subject matter difficult to explain and therefore difficult to learn and remember? As a presenter it is your job to keep your message simple in order to keep your content memorable. This may mean that you are required to break down more complex information into smaller, simpler parts. Similarly, with charts and diagrams, break them down into smaller pieces and use animation and slide transitions to accentuate how everything comes together and highlight key numbers.

Clearing the junk to reduce cognitive load

The human brain prefers spatial, visual learning and it has been shown that people have 6x better recall when both verbal and visual channels are used together. Avoid extraneous data overload and make it easier for yourself – do not try to describe what can be visualised. Compare these two pie charts, created using the same data. The aim is to highlight the sales on a Friday compared to the rest of the week:

Reduce cognitive load - chart example

The chart on the left requires the audience to work – they must refer to the legend to figure out what’s what whereas the chart on the right tells an instant story. The amount of “junk” on the chart has been minimized and the Saturday to Thursday information combined to emphasise the point being made.

The use of imagery

In terms of imagery, spatial contiguity proves that learning improves when words are placed near relevant pictures. In other words, using images or graphics to support your text prompts learning. Just make sure your choice of visuals supports your key message. Imagery should “connect the dots” for your audience, so that they can understand more quickly what you’re presenting to them.

As you put your PowerPoint presentation together keep in mind the limits of human working memory – in other words, work to reduce cognitive load. If you aim for simplicity your information will be remembered.

Contact us

For more information on how we can help you create memorable PowerPoint presentations please contact the Presented team.