The best slide design for webinars and video presentations:
Slide design for webinars and video presentations is important to get right. Follow these “how to” tips to improve your meeting productivity!
Step 1: Design your slides with visuals as well as words for stronger communication
Fill in the dead air both visually and verbally. Seeing and hearing the message at the same time helps everyone to follow along and retain the information.
- Hold visual interest (avoid distractions / multi-tasking by the viewers) by using infographics and other imagery. Keep text content as light as you can, and aim to show more visual elements than words.
- Don’t over-do animation. There can be a screen lag and you don’t want viewers to miss key content due to animation. Likewise, best not to animate content to disappear, in case people are tuning in and out.
- Do however, use animation to show content slowly piece by piece – this avoids cognitive overload, ensures they stay in sync with what you are talking about, and helps hold their interest when it’s obvious that there is more to come on each slide.
- You may still be asked for a copy of the slides, so if you do send always make sure a key message is clearly identifiable on each slide. We recommend using the slide heading for this.
- If viewers are using laptops or monitors, you can use a smaller font size than for an onscreen presentation. Knowing if anyone is on a mobile device would change this of course, and you’d still need a minimum of roughly 20pt like you would for a slideshow.
- You can also get away with a more muted colour palette in webinars compared with when projecting your slides (where contrast is more important).
- Interactive tools are powerful keys for audience interaction. You could consider taking a poll or asking a question and requesting for answers via the chat function.
Before: Be nice and break the ice
I know, groan, but it could be a good way to start off the interaction by going around your virtual audience and asking them to introduce themselves. When the introductions are done, give your audience an overview on what to expect during the presentation. Depending on the length of the presentation you may want to factor in some breaks to give people the opportunity to stretch, take a loo break, or get a drink.
During: Slow down and focus your audience
When speaking consider that there could be a slight lag and speak slowly and clearly. To prevent your audience from becoming distracted, the screen should always tell them what is going on – then there is no need for them to switch between programs and lose focus.
Bonus step: A bit of etiquette, please and thank you
Finally, don’t interrupt other speakers or speak over them. If there is a mess of noise your audience will stop listening. Mute yourself as a rule, but be ready to join in – don’t let those tumbleweeds roll!
Good luck when you design your slides for webinars and video meetings!