Whether you’re looking to publish a stand-alone slide deck to share online or preparing for a live presentation, using powerful visuals to reinforce your message is a must.
Nowadays, the power to create stunning visuals is no longer an ability limited to professional graphic designers and visual artists.
Like many other things in this Internet age, the ability to communicate visually has been democratized–so that you too can get your message heard, no matter your professional background.
This is where Visme comes into the picture.
An all-in-one tool for creating engaging visual content, Visme can help you create professional looking presentations–that look like they took several days to create–in a few hours.
In this short, step-by-step tutorial, we show you how to make a simple but effective and captivating presentation using Visme–one that can be published online or used as support for a live presentation.
One of the most common mistakes beginners make in crafting a presentation is diving straight into slide creation before having a clear idea of the presentation’s main message. This is a big no-no, according to presentation pro Aaron Weyenberg, TED’s in-house slide master.
We know it’s second nature to just open an application and start adding text, but the best way to brainstorm is to actually write out your ideas using pen and paper. This will not only get your creative juices flowing, it will also ensure that you don’t simply go with the first idea that comes to your mind.
The next step is to clearly define your main message and the storyline that will carry it through to the end. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
Once you have a clear picture of who your audience is and the result you’re aiming for, you can weave a story that catches the audience’s attention, takes them by the hand and leads them to a specific end destination.
The most challenging part will be keeping their attention so that they don’t trail off into some other undesired location–like checking their inbox or thinking about what they have to do after your presentation.
To do this, you must add some elements of surprise and suspense along the way. For example, you could add a slide with just one word or a stunning image to catch viewers off guard and keep them on their toes.
Also, you must make sure that each element you add to your presentation–whether it’s text, an image, a color, an icon–reinforces your main message; if it adds nothing or, even worse, detracts from it, then it has to go.
Next, you should create an outline of your message’s main points and supporting ideas. You can make it as detailed as you want–even including the main message of each slide and references to visuals and highlighted quotes–depending on what you already have in mind to create.
Once you have a bare-bones mockup of your presentation, make sure it accomplishes all of the goals defined in the previous step.
If you don’t already have a Visme account, you can create one by simply going to www.visme.co and entering your name, email and password.
Then, you can click on the “Create New Visme” option at the top left corner of your screen to name your new project. Next, select the Presentations option to browse through all the available templates.
Depending on the message you want to send, you can either choose a template from the available options or you can decide to create one from scratch–it’s up to you.
Next, you can pick a background from one of the options provided or, if you have time, decide on an appropriate color scheme by referring to color scheme generators, such as Adobe Color CC and Coolors.
As covered in our previous post on color psychology, the color combinations you choose for your presentation convey a message all on their own and trigger different emotions, depending on the hue.
Once you find a color scheme that communicates the right message, all you have to do is copy the hex color codes generated by the tools mentioned above and insert them into Visme’s option for customizing color.
Now that you have an idea of the colors you want to use to reinforce your message, you can now choose a unifying theme for your presentation, which should provide unity and consistency.
Just take a look at how this presentation achieves a sense of cohesiveness by using similar elements throughout, such as amusing vintage photos.
The use of black and white photos in combination with spurts of bright colors such as pink and yellow also give this presentation the perfect amount of contrast to draw attention to the most important points.
As with all the visual elements in your presentation, the images you choose will greatly influence the overall look and feel of your presentation. They can mean the difference between a forgettable presentation and one that will stick in your viewers minds for months to come.
Another design element which communicates all on its own is your choice of typefaces. For example, while this combination has an elegant and traditional feel to it, this one is more fun and laid back.
Like with your choice of color combinations, make sure to keep it simple and stick to a maximum of three different fonts: one for your title, another for your subheaders and a third one for your body text.
A good rule of thumb is to use a title font that reflects the character of your brand, while sticking to more simple and easy-to-read typefaces for your subheaders and body text.
If you first wrote out a detailed, slide-by-slide script for your presentation in step number 3, then this part shouldn’t entail much effort.
If, on the other hand, you only have section and subsection titles, then this is where you should think about the actual wording of each slide’s content.
As indicated in our previous tutorial on how to create infographics with Visme, it’s also important to choose one style of icon for your presentation.
For example, if you choose an outline style, then stick with the same type throughout your presentation to ensure consistency and professionalism.
This is the part where you can resort to simple and effective data visualizations to support your main points.
Using the Charts or Infographic Widgets tools, you can create your own data visualizations right within Visme, as seen above.
Now that you’ve finished adding all the visual and textual elements to your presentation, you can now go back over your slides to ensure that it flows smoothly from one section to the next.
Also, make sure that you have incorporated some kind of visual cue between sections to let your audience know that you’re moving on to a new concept. As with any type of story, you should break the monotony with some type of variation, adding rhythm and texture to your presentation.
For example, you could use an inverted color scheme for every transitional slide or an eye-catching design element.
Once you’re satisfied with your presentation, you can share a link to your slide deck, embed it into your site, upload it to SlideShare or download it as an image or PDF file.
Here is what we created with Visme:
How about your presentation? We would love to see what you created with Visme. Just drop us a line in the comments section below.
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