Parmonic Resources

How to Design a Slide Deck

YES. PEOPLE STILL DO THIS.

I think we can all agree that this is a poorly-developed slide. But sarcasm notwithstanding, slide design is extremely important in the corporate world. It does not matter what information you have to tell people; if it is not given a model to shine on, no one will pay attention.

This is especially the case for something like a webinar, where you are anticipating people watching your entire presentation. Should you choose not to incorporate a live video component, the audience is going to be watching an hour of slides.

Would you watch an hour of the kind of slides our fun little example CMO did? I wouldn’t.

Parmonic has seen its fair share of slideshows. Our AI program has interpreted millions of minutes of slides, and the humans behind our AI a little bit below that. So here are some of our tips on how to make a professional, and informative, slide deck.

  1. Create A Color Scheme

The predetermined templates in Powerpoint are…fine. But they suffer by themselves. A quick method to creating your own is by creating a color template and implementing it over the course of the presentation. My go-to site for getting color templates is Adobe Color CC. You can either select a featured template, or make one yourself with the color wheel. In this picture, I have selected Parmonic’s logo color as the base, and selected colors that were analogous to it. If you wanted a stark contrast, you could select the Triad model. Alternating between colors in your scheme, plus some tips we will cover later, help create a visually engaging presentation without giving a look of “I just opened Powerpoint for the first time and they said this would work.

2. Pick Your Fonts Wisely

People are very picky about their fonts. But I think we can all agree that there are certain fonts that do not belong in a presentation (looking at you, Comic Sans.) Try to avoid those “fun fonts” that we all saw in elementary school. Chances are if you thought it was cool then, it’s not great today. Do not mix serif and sans serif fonts: they are separate categories for a reason.

This does not mean there isn’t room for variety, though. It just means that variety needs to be kept within certain parameters. For example, in this first picture, I made my title and subtitle both the Arial font. It looks fine, but kind of boring. So in the second picture, I changed my subtitle to Arial Black. Now the slide has a little more “pop.”

3. Don’t Center Align Everything

You’ll see in those examples I set my text boxes to be aligned left. It’s a little thing, but it helps guide the viewer. Centered fonts, in my opinion, lead to nowhere in the mind’s eye.

4. Throw in some faded images

That title slide is a nice purple. But it’s a LOT of purple. One way to tone it down is throwing an image over the top and fading it out. For this example, I grabbed a photo by Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash. I arranged the photo at the bottom of my slide, then arranged it to be behind the text. Then, I set the opacity of the image to 30 percent and changed the color of the text to white.

Now THAT’S a title slide. I kept the color scheme intact, but made the slide more vibrant.

5. Do Not Rely on Text

If everything you want to tell the audience is on a slide, why are you even there? Use the slides as a guidepost and visual aid. If you need a script, you can have it. Just don’t put it in your presentation.

6. Try and make your supplementary material  blend with your presentation

This one can be tricky. It’s very easy to put a graph in your presentation, but a lot of times they can detract from your theme. This is more a byproduct of the graph being, well, a graph. Try taking the original data and repurposing it into a new graph within Powerpoint. Here, I took some climate data from Parmonic’s home city, Atlanta, and turned it into a 3-D graph that blended with our overall color scheme.

Jacob Dent

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