great looking powerpoint presentations

20 Really Good PowerPoint Examples to Inspire Your Next Presentation

By Sandra Boicheva

2 years ago

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PowerPoint's Design Ideas

You might have the most amazing idea that you wish to share with the world, but you might not get the results you want if the delivery isn’t good. Although as a tool, PowerPoint is pretty easy to use and intuitive, creating a good PowerPoint presentation is not a simple task. There is a lot of things to consider when designing your slides from the words you use, to the copy structure, data visualization, and overall design. This is why today we gathered 20 really good PowerPoint examples of presentations that flawlessly deliver their messages. These creative ideas will surely inspire you to make your next presentation your best one, as they all share good design and engaging storytelling.

“If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.” – Harvey Diamond

1. Idea to Identify: The Design of Brand

This is a long one. Here we have a 242 slides presentation that exposes the myriad facets of design and how they impact the brand identity. The presentation has a lot of data to show and spreads it throughout more than 200 slides to make it easy to read and follow. In all, this is the best way to present a lot of information: instead of overwhelming the viewers with text walls, the presenter simply adds more slides.

  • Author:   Sudio Sudarsan

2. Jeunesse Opportunity Presentation 2021

This is a great example of brand presentation with company profile, product system, plan, and reward. It gives a similar experience to browsing a website.

  • Author:   DASH2 – Jeunesse Global

3. Accenture Tech Vision 2020

A short and sweet presentation about how companies prepare for data regulation and how this impacts the customer experience. 

  • Author:   Accenture

4. APIs as Digital Factories’ New Machines

A comparison presentation of how companies capture most of the market value. It explains well how to view the economy from a different perspective and adopt customer-centric thinking. The presentation has a lot of value, it’s well structured and it’s a good read in only 28 slides.

  • Author:  Apidays

5. 24 Books You’ve Never Heard Of – But Will Change Your Life

This is a great example of how repeating slides design for the same type of content isn’t a synonym for being unimaginative. It’s pretty straightforward: it promises 24 titles, an inspirational introduction, and a slide for each book that will change your life.

  • Author:   Ryan Holiday

6. 10 Memorable David Bowie Quotes

Not always presentations must have a specific educational or conventional goal. Sometimes, it could be a cool personal project meant to inspire your audience. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love David Bowie? A presentation with 10 memorable quotes by him is worth watching. 

  • Author: Stinson

7. Creative Mornings San Diego 

  • Author:   Anne McColl

8. Digital 2020 Global Digital Overview

A report heavy-data presentation about everything you need to know about mobile, internet, social media, and e-commerce use around the world in 2020. It’s a long read but comprehensive and well-illustrated with data visualization.

  • Author:   DataReportal

9. Blitzscaling: Book Trailer

One of the most well-made presentations about informative topics such as startup’s life-cycle and where the most value is created. It’s designed as a book, consistent, with lesser text as possible, and imitates animation by adding new content on copies of the same slide. 

  • Author:  Reid Hoffman

10. Poor Self-Esteem: Just Beat It!

A very valuable presentation that takes on the reasons for low self-esteem and how to overcome it. The design is very simple and comprehensive and even suitable for social media carousel posts.

  • Author:   SlideShop.com

11. You Suck At PowerPoint!

This presentation is more than a decade old and still checks out. After all, you could expect great presentation design from someone who talks about design mistakes and how to overcome them.  61 slides of a fun experience and a great read.

  • Author:  Jesse Desjardins

12. Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling

Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling, originally tweeted by Emma Coats, in a 24-slides presentation with a custom design. 

  • Author:   Gavin McMahon

13. A Complete Guide To The Best Times To Post On Social Media

A fun little presentation with great value. It takes on the most effective times to post on social media, send an email, or publish a blog.

  • Author:   TrackMaven

14. Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint

The next presentation honors Seth Godin and his wisdom. It uses his book’s insights to visualize all the tips in 45 engaging slides.

  • Author:   HighSpark

15. 10 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters

This presentation is for presenters who wish to become better. And what better way than getting inspired by the world’s greatest presenters and accessing some of their secrets. 

  • Author:   HubSpot

16. Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge

For starters, this presentation has a very captivating title and opening. Winning the attention from the very start, it continues with consistent clean design and great content. It delivers exactly what it promised. 

  • Author: Velocity Partners

17. Displaying Data

More insightful advice and tips from professional presenters that check out to this very day. It’s a great presentation about visualizing your data in the best way possible and it also delivers it with design.

  • Author:   Bipul Deb Nath

18. 5 Storytelling Lessons From Superhero Stories

Custom-made presentation with illustrations made specifically for the occasion, and brilliant execution. It shows it’s definitely worth it to spend time making your presentation more personal and from scratch. 

19. 10 Things your Audience Hates About your Presentation

Another custom presentation with icons-style illustrations about how to avoid cringe when making presentations. 

  • Author:   Stinson

20. The Designer’s Guide to Startup Weekend

You will work hard all weekend long but you will also find new friends, mentors, and the chance to promote yourself. A pretty wholesome presentation with a custom design where the presenter shares her own experience in the world of startups.

  • Author:  Iryna Nezhynska

That’s It!

These 20 presentations prove that PowerPoint is never out of date and it’s a great tool to deliver your message across. We hope you got inspired for your next presentation and make your audience fall in love with your concepts.

In the meantime, why not take a look at the related articles to get some more inspiration or grab a couple of freebies:

  • [Freebies] 17 Really Good Sources For Free Vector Images For Commercial Use
  • [Inspiration] 85 Really Good T-Shirt Design Ideas to Inspire You for Your Next Project
  • [Insights] The 5 Top Online Tools for Custom YouTube Banners (and YouTube Thumbnails)

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How-To Geek

8 tips to make the best powerpoint presentations.

Want to make your PowerPoint presentations really shine? Here's how to impress and engage your audience.

Quick Links

Table of contents, start with a goal, less is more, consider your typeface, make bullet points count, limit the use of transitions, skip text where possible, think in color, take a look from the top down, bonus: start with templates.

Slideshows are an intuitive way to share complex ideas with an audience, although they're dull and frustrating when poorly executed. Here are some tips to make your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations sing while avoiding common pitfalls.

It all starts with identifying what we're trying to achieve with the presentation. Is it informative, a showcase of data in an easy-to-understand medium? Or is it more of a pitch, something meant to persuade and convince an audience and lead them to a particular outcome?

It's here where the majority of these presentations go wrong with the inability to identify the talking points that best support our goal. Always start with a goal in mind: to entertain, to inform, or to share data in a way that's easy to understand. Use facts, figures, and images to support your conclusion while keeping structure in mind (Where are we now and where are we going?).

I've found that it's helpful to start with the ending. Once I know how to end a presentation, I know how best to get to that point. I start by identifying the takeaway---that one nugget that I want to implant before thanking everyone for their time---and I work in reverse to figure out how best to get there.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. But it's always going to be a good idea to put in the time in the beginning stages so that you aren't reworking large portions of the presentation later. And that starts with a defined goal.

A slideshow isn't supposed to include everything. It's an introduction to a topic, one that we can elaborate on with speech. Anything unnecessary is a distraction. It makes the presentation less visually appealing and less interesting, and it makes you look bad as a presenter.

This goes for text as well as images. There's nothing worse, in fact, than a series of slides where the presenter just reads them as they appear. Your audience is capable of reading, and chances are they'll be done with the slide, and browsing Reddit, long before you finish. Avoid putting the literal text on the screen, and your audience will thank you.

Related: How to Burn Your PowerPoint to DVD

Right off the bat, we're just going to come out and say that Papyrus and Comic Sans should be banned from all PowerPoint presentations, permanently. Beyond that, it's worth considering the typeface you're using and what it's saying about you, the presenter, and the presentation itself.

Consider choosing readability over aesthetics, and avoid fancy fonts that could prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good presentation needs two fonts: a serif and sans-serif. Use one for the headlines and one for body text, lists, and the like. Keep it simple. Veranda, Helvetica, Arial, and even Times New Roman are safe choices. Stick with the classics and it's hard to botch this one too badly.

There reaches a point where bullet points become less of a visual aid and more of a visual examination.

Bullet points should support the speaker, not overwhelm his audience. The best slides have little or no text at all, in fact. As a presenter, it's our job to talk through complex issues, but that doesn't mean that we need to highlight every talking point.

Instead, think about how you can break up large lists into three or four bullet points. Carefully consider whether you need to use more bullet points, or if you can combine multiple topics into a single point instead. And if you can't, remember that there's no one limiting the number of slides you can have in a presentation. It's always possible to break a list of 12 points down into three pages of four points each.

Animation, when used correctly, is a good idea. It breaks up slow-moving parts of a presentation and adds action to elements that require it. But it should be used judiciously.

Adding a transition that wipes left to right between every slide or that animates each bullet point in a list, for example, starts to grow taxing on those forced to endure the presentation. Viewers get bored quickly, and animations that are meant to highlight specific elements quickly become taxing.

That's not to say that you can't use animations and transitions, just that you need to pick your spots. Aim for no more than a handful of these transitions for each presentation. And use them in spots where they'll add to the demonstration, not detract from it.

Sometimes images tell a better story than text can. And as a presenter, your goal is to describe points in detail without making users do a lot of reading. In these cases, a well-designed visual, like a chart, might better convey the information you're trying to share.

The right image adds visual appeal and serves to break up longer, text-heavy sections of the presentation---but only if you're using the right images. A single high-quality image can make all the difference between a success and a dud when you're driving a specific point home.

When considering text, don't think solely in terms of bullet points and paragraphs. Tables, for example, are often unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you could present the same data in a bar or line chart instead.

Color is interesting. It evokes certain feelings and adds visual appeal to your presentation as a whole. Studies show that color also improves interest, comprehension, and retention. It should be a careful consideration, not an afterthought.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use color well in a presentation. What I do is look for palettes I like, and then find ways to use them in the presentation. There are a number of tools for this, like Adobe Color , Coolors , and ColorHunt , just to name a few. After finding a palette you enjoy, consider how it works with the presentation you're about to give. Pastels, for example, evoke feelings of freedom and light, so they probably aren't the best choice when you're presenting quarterly earnings that missed the mark.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't need to use every color in the palette. Often, you can get by with just two or three, though you should really think through how they all work together and how readable they'll be when layered. A simple rule of thumb here is that contrast is your friend. Dark colors work well on light backgrounds, and light colors work best on dark backgrounds.

Spend some time in the Slide Sorter before you finish your presentation. By clicking the four squares at the bottom left of the presentation, you can take a look at multiple slides at once and consider how each works together. Alternatively, you can click "View" on the ribbon and select "Slide Sorter."

Are you presenting too much text at once? Move an image in. Could a series of slides benefit from a chart or summary before you move on to another point?

It's here that we have the opportunity to view the presentation from beyond the single-slide viewpoint and think in terms of how each slide fits, or if it fits at all. From this view, you can rearrange slides, add additional ones, or delete them entirely if you find that they don't advance the presentation.

The difference between a good presentation and a bad one is really all about preparation and execution. Those that respect the process and plan carefully---not only the presentation as a whole, but each slide within it---are the ones who will succeed.

This brings me to my last (half) point: When in doubt, just buy a template and use it. You can find these all over the web, though Creative Market and GraphicRiver are probably the two most popular marketplaces for this kind of thing. Not all of us are blessed with the skills needed to design and deliver an effective presentation. And while a pre-made PowerPoint template isn't going to make you a better presenter, it will ease the anxiety of creating a visually appealing slide deck.

Blog > Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

Tips for good PowerPoint Presentations

08.14.21   •  #powerpoint #tips.

If you know how to do it, it's actually not that difficult to create and give a good presentation.

That's why we have some examples of good PowerPoint presentations for you and tips that are going to make your next presentation a complete success.

1. Speak freely

One of the most important points in good presentations is to speak freely. Prepare your presentation so well that you can speak freely and rarely, if ever, need to look at your notes. The goal is to connect with your audience and get them excited about your topic. If you speak freely, this is much easier than if you just read your text out. You want your audience to feel engaged in your talk. Involve them and tell your text in a vivid way.

2. Familiarize yourself with the technology

In order to be able to speak freely, it is important to prepare the text well and to engage with the topic in detail.

However, it is at least as important to familiarize yourself with the location’s technology before your presentation and to start your PowerPoint there as well. It is annoying if technical problems suddenly occur during your presentation, as this interrupts your flow of speech and distracts the audience from the topic. Avoid this by checking everything before you start your talk and eliminate any technical problems so that you can give your presentation undisturbed.

  • Don't forget the charging cable for your laptop
  • Find out beforehand how you can connect your laptop to the beamer. Find out which connection the beamer has and which connection your laptop has. To be on the safe side, take an adapter with you.
  • Always have backups of your presentation. Save them on a USB stick and preferably also online in a cloud.
  • Take a second laptop and maybe even your own small projector for emergencies. Even if it's not the latest model and the quality is not that good: better bad quality than no presentation at all.

3. Get the attention of your audience

Especially in long presentations it is often difficult to keep the attention of your audience. It is important to make your presentation interesting and to actively involve the audience. Try to make your topic as exciting as possible and captivate your audience.

Our tip: Include interactive polls or quizzes in your presentation to involve your audience and increase their attention. With the help of SlideLizard, you can ask questions in PowerPoint and your audience can easily vote on their own smartphone. Plus, you can even get anonymous feedback at the end, so you know right away what you can improve next time.

Here we have also summarized further tips for you on how to increase audience engagement.

Polling tool from SlideLizard to hold your audience's attention

4. Hold eye contact

You want your audience to feel engaged in your presentation, so it is very important to hold eye contact. Avoid staring only at a part of the wall or at your paper. Speak to your audience, involve them in your presentation and make it more exciting.

But also make sure you don't always look at the same two or three people, but address everyone. If the audience is large, it is often difficult to include everyone, but still try to let your eyes wander a little between your listeners and look into every corner of the room.

5. Speaking coherently

In a good presentation it is important to avoid jumping from one topic to the next and back again shortly afterwards. Otherwise your audience will not be able to follow you after a while and their thoughts will wander. To prevent this, it is important that your presentation has a good structure and that you work through one topic after the other.

Nervousness can cause even the best to mumble or talk too fast in order to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. Try to avoid this by taking short pauses to collect yourself, to breathe and to remind yourself to speak slowly.

6. Matching colors

An attractive design of your PowerPoint is also an important point for giving good presentations. Make sure that your slides are not too colorful. A PowerPoint in which all kinds of colors are combined with each other does not look professional, but rather suitable for a children's birthday party.

Think about a rough color palette in advance, which you can then use in your presentation. Colors such as orange or neon green do not look so good in your PowerPoint. Use colors specifically to emphasize important information.

To create good PowerPoint slides it is also essential to choose colors that help the text to read well. You should have as much contrast as possible between the font and the background. Black writing on a white background is always easy to read, while yellow writing on a white background is probably hard to read.

Using colours correctly in PowerPoint to create good presentations

7. Slide design should not be too minimalistic

Even though it is often said that "less is more", you should not be too minimalistic in the design of your presentation. A presentation where your slides are blank and only black text on a white background is likely to go down just as badly as if you use too many colors.

Empty presentations are boring and don't really help to capture the attention of your audience. It also looks like you are too lazy to care about the design of your presentation and that you have not put any effort into the preparation. Your PowerPoint doesn't have to be overflowing with colors, animations and images to make it look interesting. Make it simple, but also professional.

avoid too minimalistic design for good presentation slides

8. Write only key points on the slides

If you want to create a good presentation, it is important to remember that your slides should never be overcrowded. Write only the most important key points on your slides and never entire sentences. Your audience should not be able to read the exact text you are speaking in your PowerPoint. This is rather annoying and leads to being bored quickly. Summarize the most important things that your audience should remember and write them down in short bullet points on your presentation. Then go into the key points in more detail in your speech and explain more about them.

Avoid too much text on your presentation slides

9. Do not overdo it with animations

Do never use too many animations. It looks messy, confusing and definitely not professional if every text and image is displayed with a different animation. Just leave out animations at all or if you really want to use them then use them only very rarely when you want to draw attention to something specific. Make sure that if you use animations, they are consistent. If you use transitions between the individual slides, these should also always be kept consistent and simple.

10. Use images

Pictures and graphics in presentations are always a good idea to illustrate something and to add some variety. They help keep your audience's attention and make it easier to remember important information. But don't overdo it with them. Too many pictures can distract from your presentation and look messy. Make sure the graphics also fit the content and, if you have used several images on one slide, ask yourself if you really need all of them.

example of good PowerPoint slide with image

11. Choose a suitable font

Never combine too many fonts so that your presentation does not look messy. Use at most two: one for headings and one for text. When choosing fonts, you should also make sure that they are still legible at long distances. Script, italic and decorative fonts are very slow to read, which is why they should be avoided in presentations.

It is not so easy to choose the right font. Therefore, we have summarized for you how to find the best font for your PowerPoint presentation.

How you should not use fonts in PowerPoint

12. Do not use images as background

In a good presentation it is important to be able to read the text on the slides easily and quickly. Therefore, do not use images as slide backgrounds if there is also text on them. The picture only distracts from the text and it is difficult to read it because there is not much contrast with the background. It is also harder to see the image because the text in the foreground is distracting. The whole thing looks messy and distracting rather than informative and clear.

Do not use images as a background in good PowerPoint slides

13. Never read out the text from your slides

Never just read the exact text from your slides. Your audience can read for themselves, so they will only get bored and in the worst case it will lead to "Death by PowerPoint". You may also give them the feeling that you think they are not able to read for themselves. In addition, you should avoid whole sentences on your slides anyway. List key points that your audience can read along. Then go into more detail and explain more about them.

14. Don't turn your back

Never turn around during your presentation to look at your projected PowerPoint. Not to read from your slides, but also not to make sure the next slide is already displayed. It looks unprofessional and only distracts your audience.

In PowerPoint's Speaker View, you can always see which slide is currently being displayed and which one is coming next. Use this to make sure the order fits. You can even take notes in PowerPoint, which are then displayed during your presentation. You can read all about notes in PowerPoint here.

great looking powerpoint presentations

15. Do not forget about the time

In a good presentation, it is important to always be aware of the given time and to stick to it. It is annoying when your presentation takes much longer than actually planned and your audience is just waiting for you to stop talking or you are not able to finish your presentation at all. It is just as awkward if your presentation is too short. You have already told everything about your topic, but you should actually talk for at least another ten minutes.

Practice your presentation often enough at home. Talk through your text and time yourself as you go. Then adjust the length so that you can keep to the time given on the day of your presentation.

timer yourself to know how long your presentation takes

16. Avoid a complicated structure

The structure of a good presentation should not be complicated. Your audience should be able to follow you easily and remember the essential information by the end. When you have finished a part, briefly summarize and repeat the main points before moving on to the next topic. Mention important information more than once to make sure it really gets across to your audience.

However, if the whole thing gets too complicated, it can be easy for your audience to disengage after a while and not take away much new information from your presentation.

17. Choose appropriate clothes

On the day of your presentation, be sure to choose appropriate clothing. Your appearance should be formal, so avoid casual clothes and stick to professional dress codes. When choosing your clothes, also make sure that they are rather unobtrusive. Your audience should focus on your presentation, not on your appearance.

Choose appropriate clothing

18. Adapt your presentation to your audience

Think about who your audience is and adapt your presentation to them. Find out how much they already know about the topic, what they want to learn about it and why they are here in the first place. If you only talk about things your audience already knows, they will get bored pretty soon, but if you throw around a lot of technical terms when your audience has hardly dealt with the topic at all, they will also have a hard time following you. So to give a successful and good presentation, it is important to adapt it to your audience.

You can also ask a few questions at the beginning of your presentation to learn more about your audience and then adapt your presentation. With SlideLizard , you can integrate polls directly into your PowerPoint and participants can then easily answer anonymously from their smartphone.

19. Mention only the most important information

Keep it short and limit yourself to the essentials. The more facts and information you present to your audience, the less they will remember.

Also be sure to leave out information that does not fit the topic or is not relevant. You will only distract from the actual topic and lose the attention of your audience. The time your audience can concentrate and listen with attention is rather short anyway, so don't waste it by telling unimportant information.

20. Talk about your topic in an exciting way

Tell compelling and exciting stories to make your presentation really good. If you speak in a monotone voice all the time, you are likely to lose the attention of your audience. Make your narration lively and exciting. Also, be careful not to speak too quietly, but not too loudly either. People should be able to understand you well throughout the whole room. Even if it is not easy for many people, try to deliver your speech with confidence. If you are enthusiastic about the topic yourself, it is much easier to get your audience excited about it.

microphone for presentations

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great looking powerpoint presentations

Helena Reitinger

Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Examples That Show Style and Professionalism

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By Iveta Pavlova

in Inspiration

6 years ago

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Examples That Show Style and Professionalism

There are way too many bad PowerPoint presentation examples that can bore you to death. Well, today’s post is not about them. We believe that it’s always important to show the good examples out there and follow their lead. We admit it, it was pretty hard to dig out the good PowerPoint presentation examples from the mass. We’ve added our opinion on each piece and why we believe it’s worthy of being included in this collection. Let’s begin!

You may be interested in  The Best Free PowerPoint Templates to Download in 2022

1. The Sketchnote Mini-Workshop by Mike Rohde

An eye-catchy PowerPoint presentation example whose content is fully hand-written. What we love about this design, is the high personalization level that is achieved via handwriting. It almost feels like the author is drawing and writing in front of the viewers’ eyes. A digital presentation that conveys a physical feeling.

2. 10 Ways to Spread The Love in The Office by Elodie A.

The following presentation is a real eye candy. We can’t help it, the cartoon style lives in our hearts. An incredibly appealing PowerPoint presentation that brings positive vibes and a good mood through vibrant cartoon illustrations. It gets bonus points for the usage of bullet points and little text.

3. The Great State of Design with CSS Grid Layout and Friends by Stacy Kvernmo

A presentation that tells a story is always a good example that everyone should follow. This PowerPoint presentation has a lot of slides that tell different mini-stories. The way they are depicted is really engaging – they almost look like a sequence of frames that make up a video. This technique really nails the viewers’ attention.

4. We live in a VUCA world by Little Dragon Films

A classy design of a PowerPoint presentation example – a dark theme and white font on top with just a single color accent – red. Such designs are really suitable for serious topics like this one. To soften the contrast between the black background and white font, the author has used a gradient on the background which gives the illusion of soft light in the middle of the design.

5. 2017 Marketing Predictions—Marketo by Marketo

A design that was made over a year ago but it’s still really trendy. In the following PowerPoint presentation example, we can see the combination of 3D shapes, beautiful hand-written fonts, negative space techniques, and more. The overall feeling is of futuristic design. Moreover, they used the color of 2018 – Ultra Violet for their color scheme. Maybe, they did predict the future after all.

6. 10 Ways Your Boss Kills Employee Motivation by Officevibe

Who doesn’t like to see a familiar face? We know your audience does! It’s proven that if you show a familiar face to your viewers, you nail their attention and boost their engagement level. This is the technique used in the following PowePoint presentation. Moreover, the inner slides of the presentation are also cartoons with big conceptual illustrations and little text. The formula for a really good presentation.

7. How to Successfully Run a Remote Team from Weekdone.com

We haven’t really seen many PowerPoint presentation examples with top-view illustrations. The following presentation really reminded us that when presenting to an audience, you should always think: How to make your design stand out from the rest? Well, this one really caught our eye. In addition, we love the bright colors, geometric shapes, and overall flat feeling, all of which are among the graphic design trends for 2022 .

8. SXSW 2018 – Top Trends by Matteo Sarzana

People love visuals and this is an undeniable fact. The whole PowerPoint presentation is built on high-quality photos, each including a little tagline in the middle. We love the consistency, we love the factor of surprise, and we love the high engagement level this presentation creates. Just make sure to back up such presentation type with a good speech!

9. How to study effectively? by sadraus

Semi-transparent overlays, geometric shapes, a video inside… Everything about this PowerPoint presentation screams “modern”. The grayscale coloring is accompanied by a fresh green color accent. The choice of images clearly suggests that the target audience is young people. The overall feeling that we get from this PowerPoint presentation – is youthful and modern.

10. Study: The Future of VR, AR, and Self-Driving Cars by LinkedIn

A presentation about the future should look futuristic, right? The following PowerPoint presentation example is proof that you should always connect the subject of your presentation to its design. Everything in this presentation speaks of futuristic: the choice of fonts, colors, effects, and even some elements look like holograms from the future.

11. 9 things I’ve learned about SaaS by Christoph Janz

A PowerPoint presentation example created in a consistent style by using a blue theme. Why did we include this presentation? We love the fact that the author has shown an alternation of text and visuals (from slides 7 to 22). This technique is proven to hold the attention of the viewer. Moreover, the way the graphics are presented (on a napkin) draws the interest even more.

12. How To Achieve Something Extraordinary In Life by Sultan Suleman Chaudhry

A PowerPoint presentation example that shows consistency and style by using a strict color scheme: orange, beige, and deep blue. Orange and blue are one of the most popular contrasting combinations widely used in all kinds of designs. If you are not sure what colors to go with, simply choose a tested color scheme.

13. New trends to look out for 2018 winter season by FemmeConnection

Geometric shapes and negative space techniques are among the  graphic design trends for 2018  which is why we see them often in PowerPoint presentation examples and other designs. In the following presentation, we can see a collection of women’s clothes presented in a very engaging way with the help of rounded geometric shapes, negative space technique, and the color pink.

14. Fear of Failure by Sultan Suleman Chaudhry

Speaking of the usage of geometric elements in the presentation’s design, let’s see another example. An elegant design decorated with circles, triangles, and more geometric details. What else we love about this presentation is that it only has one color accent – light yellow which looks classy and pleasant for the eye.

15. The Three Lies About Your Age by Sean Si

A great choice of fonts, beautiful semi-transparent geometric elements, and trendy futuristic colors. This is one of the PowerPoint presentation examples that we absolutely love. The story is engaging and the design is extremely appealing – a combination that keeps the viewers’ eyes on the screen from the beginning till the end.

16. Secrets to a Great Team by Elodie A.

Bright, fun, using lots of illustrations and cartoon characters – definitely our kind of PowerPoint presentation. Why do we love it so much? Well, cartoons are real ice-breakers between you and your audience. Moreover, cartoon characters are easier to relate to than a real human face. If you need to connect on a deeper level with your audience, this is your kind of presentation!

You’d probably like to learn  4 Invaluable Presentation Design Tips You Wish You Knew Earlier

17. How to Build a Dynamic Social Media Plan by Post Planner

A great presentation PowerPoint example with watercolor illustrations and backgrounds that look hand-drawn. We also see semi-transparent colorful overlays, high-quality conceptual photos, and great, useful content. What more would you want from a presentation, right?

We always love to hear your opinion about stuff. So, what do you think of these PowerPoint presentation examples? Do you think that you’ve created a presentation better than these? We’d love to see your own creations in the comments below if you want to share them with us.

You may also be interested to read these related articles:

  • 7 Most Popular Software for Presentations
  • 4 Invaluable Presentation Design Tips You Wish You Knew Earlier
  • 70 Inspiring Presentation Slides with Cartoon Designs
  • Need PowerPoint Backgrounds?The Best Places to Check Out [+ Freebies]

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great looking powerpoint presentations

Iveta Pavlova

Iveta is a passionate writer at GraphicMama who has been writing for the brand ever since the blog was launched. She keeps her focus on inspiring people and giving insight on topics like graphic design, illustrations, education, business, marketing, and more.

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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

For example, most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize.

You can also guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement also matters. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you. Use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered. Either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts. Just keep legibility top of mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

  • A change in color

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell. Think about the colors and composition in an image and the distinct mood they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in a boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it.

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later? You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos , colorful markets , and so on.

Aerial view of a cargo ship

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag-and-drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu.

Screenshot of how to compress a picture

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low-quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI), and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of compression options for your image

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections, Color, Effects, Animation, and a lot more. This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of picture format options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of how to crop an image

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of how to change the shape of an image

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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How to Design a Professional PowerPoint Presentation

Our series of tips on presentation design outlined some generic rules and ideas that you can live by to create better, more professional presentations. Today we want to follow that up by taking you through the actual process of designing a presentation from start to finish.

We’ll break down every step of the design process, from choosing colors and images to using whitespace properly. After reading through this you should be all set to design your own beautiful presentation slides that will put your coworkers to shame.

Using a pre-built PowerPoint template can be a good starting point for many people (we collected some of the best PowerPoint templates for you!). But if you’re wanting to design your own from start-to-finish, you’re in the right place!

How Does Unlimited PowerPoint Templates Sound?

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A Word About Content

I usually make a big deal about content preceding design, and presentations are no exception. Ideally, you’ll have the topic and much or all of the content outlined before you even think about design. This will in every way shape the appearance of your design, which is why working from pre-built templates isn’t always the best move (though generic templates can and do work great in some circumstances).

The reason that I bring this up is that I don’t really have an actual presentation in mind for this project. I’ll be running with a basic theme, but the textual information will be entirely placeholder copy. Your image, font, color and layout selection shouldn’t necessarily match mine but instead reflect the topic and content you’re working with.

Choosing A Color Scheme

Before I even open Photoshop (yes, I design PowerPoint/Keynote slides in Photoshop and drop them in), I want to find a color scheme on which to base my entire design. When I need to quickly find several colors that go together I usually start with Adobe Color CC . Not only is it a great way to build your own color schemes, it’s an outstanding source to find schemes built by others that you can just grab for your projects.

As luck would have it, I liked the very first color scheme I saw upon opening Color. This scheme was featured on the home page and looked like a great place to start for our presentation design.

great looking powerpoint presentations

Now, if you wanted to get everything exactly right, you could make a list of the RGB or Hex values, but I prefer a quicker, more direct route. What I usually do is snap a screenshot of the color scheme, paste it into my document and stretch it across the canvas on its own layer for easy access. This way I can quickly activate the layer, eyedropper the color I want, then hide the layer and get back to work. It’s a bit like having a palette of colors to dip your paintbrush in.

Designing Your Cover Slide

Now that we have a color scheme, the design work is going to be much simpler. One trick that designers often use in presentations is to leverage the color scheme as heavily as possible. If you’re new to design, you’ll likely think that this is too easy, too plain or even that it’s cheating somehow, but trust me, it’ll be much more attractive and professional than that horrid Microsoft clipart library you love so much.

To start, simply grab one of your colors from the scheme you chose and flood the background of your slide with it (I chose #631c25). Good job, there’s your background. Don’t freak out. It’ll look great. Now let’s throw in some typography.

Choosing a Font

Font choice is a major issue for non-designers. The tendency is to think that most fonts are “boring” and to look around for something exciting and fun. This inevitably leads to the use of Comic Sans or some other equally hideous font.

great looking powerpoint presentations

Unless you’re an elementary school teacher, your presentations should never look like this. Instead, why don’t you try one of those “boring” fonts to see if you can come up with something you like.

Combining fonts can be a tricky task and can take a trained eye to pull off. Fortunately, font designers have already created collections that work well together and if you’re not a designer, they make it easy to pull off great typography. The trick is to just stay in a family. Again, I know this sounds lame, but it works really well if you make sure the two styles you choose are very different.

For instance, I chose a Helvetica Bold Condensed and a Helvetica Light for my cover slide. Notice how different the fonts are from each other in terms of thickness. Choosing two styles that are relatively close causes visual confusion and should be avoided as a general rule of thumb. Instead, what you want is contrast and plenty of it.

great looking powerpoint presentations

Alignment and Layout

Notice a few things about the way I set up this slide. First, I used a strong left alignment for the text. As I say in just about every design article I write, center alignment should be a last resort, not a first. It tends to be the weakest text alignment that you can choose, having a hard edge increases readability considerably (notice that book pages aren’t center-aligned).

Also, notice the generous whitespace that I used. Remember that you don’t have to eat up every inch of space. Giving your text room to breathe helps your layout immensely and gives the design a clean look.

Adding an Image

At this point you might be wondering why you wasted your time reading so I could give you such plain advice. The truth is, most people that create presentations could improve them by 100% from following the advice above. However, I realize minimalism may be too extreme for some folks so let’s throw in an image to make it look nice.

Since our text is on the left, I wanted to find something a little heavy on the right. The general theme that I’ll go for is “City photos” assuming I had some sort of architecture or city-centric presentation to give. Again, you’ll have to choose iamges relevant to your own topic.

I grabbed this Flickr Creative Commons image from photographer Ben Spreng .

great looking powerpoint presentations

Now, if we just made this image our background, the text would become unreadable and we would be ditching our color scheme. What we’re going to do instead is set it on top of the colored slide and set our blending mode to Overlay. Then throw your opacity to around 45%.

great looking powerpoint presentations

As you can see, this helps the slide look much more interesting but keeps the text and colors fairly intact. It’s a simple solution that adds a lot of interest to an otherwise plain design.

Adding Content Slides

The cover may seem like it’s only a tiny part of the battle, but you’ve actually already set the tone for the entire presentation. You’ve got your theme, color scheme and fonts already in place. Now you just need to set up a few different layouts for your content.

The thing to keep in mind is to keep everything extremely simple, and that includes the level of content that you include. Apart from design, these are just good presentation tactics that you’ll learn in every public speaking class. Filling your slides with everything you’re going to say makes you unnecessary. You could just email everyone the slides and shut up.

Instead, the slides are merely meant to be a visual aid. Show a slide with your overall topic or main point, then speak the rest, without reading. Nothing is worse than watching a guy read his note cards word-for-word for thirty minutes, except perhaps watching a guy turn his back to the audience so he can actually read his slides out loud to you the whole time! You may laugh, but I’ve seen it happen folks.

For our first content slide, we’ll grab another Flickr photo and set it to the bottom portion of our slide at full bleed. Then we’ll set the top to another color from our scheme and toss in some text using the same exact formatting that we used on the cover.

screenshot

See how this closely resembles the theme we’ve already established while still looking significantly different? This is they key to good presentation design: cohesiveness without redundancy.

Now for our third slide, we can simply do the inverse of the second slide with a new color and a new image .

screenshot

Adding Informational Elements

It would be nice if every slide ever presented could work in a full bleed image, but the truth is that this simply isn’t practical. It will often be the case that you’re presenting graphical information or some other item that isn’t necessarily a photo.

My advice here is to try to stick as close to your theme as possible. For the slide below I flooded the entire background with a solid color from our original scheme and made a quick 3D graph with white columns (I drew a few flat boxes in Illustrator and applied a 3D effect).

screenshot

As you can see, this slide is very information-focused and yet it doesn’t sacrifice the aesthetics and simplicity we’ve already established.

You’re All Set

From here you might come up with one or two more alternate slide designs and then rotate between them for the duration of your speech. The result is a presentation that is beautiful, very readable and highly professional. The bonus is that the simple, straightforward design will probably result in less work than a clip-art-filled horror show.

Most of the time, great design doesn’t mean being particularly artistic or knowing how to create amazing complex layouts. Instead, it’s about presenting information in an attractive and user-friendly way. With this goal in mind you realize that you’re probably trying way too hard if your end result is ugly. Try cutting out half or more of the elements on one of your slides and giving what’s left a strong left or right alignment with plenty of whitespace.

I hope this article has convinced you to abandon that clip art gallery once and for all. The benefits of clean, minimal design in presentations are clear: the information is easier to take in and the end result is more professional than the mess of information you typically see in presentation slides.

Of course, if you’re looking to get started quickly, flick through our collection of the best PowerPoint templates to find a beautiful set of pre-made designs!

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

powerpoint tricks

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

great looking powerpoint presentations

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No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

great looking powerpoint presentations

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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